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Top 6 Tips For First Time Flyers

Top 6 Tips For First Time Flyers

To fly for business or pleasure has become common place for many of us.  However, we should all remember that some of our fellow passengers might be first time flyers. Here are my Top 6 Tips For First Time Flyers. These tips will make your trip go a little smoother, for both you and your neighboring passengers:

1. Be Organized

I know, this can be a little tough if you don't know what to expect.  On most commercial flights, you are allowed to bring a carry-on bag (usually small luggage) and a personal bag (usually a purse or computer bag).  Keep in mind the more you bring, the more cumbersome it will be to stay organized and get situated.

There is not a lot of room under the seat in front of you, shocking, right?  so a small purse or other bag is what works best.  Think about how long your flight will be - will you need your laptop? iPad?  Book?  Headset? Phone?  Water or snacks that you bought at the kiosk before you boarded?  Those items you'll want in your bag that is stowed under the seat for easy access.

Keep in mind that when you take off you need to have everything stowed and your seatbelt on.  Most flight attendants allow you to have a small device or a book in hand, but anything else must be put away. Once you reach a certain altitude, you are then given permission to bring out your other devices, etc, so make sure they are easily retrievable in your bag.

2. Be Quick

Be prepared to get into your seat quickly -  If you are carrying the allotted two items, the goal is to quicklyput your larger bag/luggage in the overhead bin, and your smaller item under the seat in front of you, then get seated and belted.  If you take more than 10 seconds to do this...you will feel everyone giving you the hairy eyeball!

When putting your smaller luggage in the overhead bin, you want the wheels to be in the front, not the back.  Make sure your bag is at a weight that you can easily pick up on your own.

3. Everything You Do Affects Others

Remember that every move you make affects everyone near you - front, back, both sides and even across the isle.  After you sit down, try to refrain from flopping all over the place, like you might do at home.  Basically, don't be the bull in a China shop. If you need to hoist yourself up or down by grabbing the seat in front of you, take your time and try not to grab a handful of the person's hair!

4. Be Aware Of Social Queues

If your neighbor has a headset on, or is reading a book, please note that he or she may not wish to join you in conversation.  While you might be nervous and chatty, or maybe are just naturally bubbly, your neighbor may not be.  There is nothing worse than being on a flight for 5 hours listening to your neighbor talk about some inane subject like the enormous boil on her dad's butt cheek.  Not that you would choose that topic for discussion, but you get the idea.  And if you do get a neighbor who is just as chatty as you, yay!  But, be kind to the others in your row and your neighbors across the isle, a loud conversation is not polite.

5. Have Bottles And Toys Ready For Your Littles

Infants and toddlers can not pop their ears like older kids and adults.  It really can hurt their ears and I'm sure it's scary for them.  Most parents have been through this and if your little one ends up crying, we feel for you!  Those without kids are usually the cranky ones - just disregard them.  Having bottles or binkies at the ready is most helpful for infants.  New toys or a special treat is great to keep the older ones a little more occupied.

I have seen some parents make a cute little packages for their neighboring travelers that have a note explaining they are first time travelers or traveling with a new baby.  For fun, they also add some ear plugs, a home made cookie and/or small bottle of alcohol.  Super cute idea, wish I had thought of that when my son was little!

6. Use The Restroom Before You Board

For the love of God and all that is Holy...go before you board.  How many times have you heard about a flight stuck on the tarmac for hours, either before or after the flight?  If there is anything I learned from my mom, never-ever, ever, ever get into a vehicle, including planes, when you have to go.  A ruptured bladder is something you DO NOT want to deal with in a vehicle crash.  And if you whine to the flight attendant because you failed to plan ahead...yep, hairy eyeball.

Don't panic.  As you continue to fly, you will learn new tricks to make your travels smooth.  Had one bad experience?  Heard horror stories in the news or social media?   Don't let that slow you down!  Sometimes everyone just has a bad day...clearly some worse than others.  When I travel, I look at the airplane as the Royal Library, I know, probably not a real thing, but you get the idea- I take extra measures, anything from breathing techniques to meds and a cocktail, to be calm, polite and quite.  I've NEVER had one single problem in nearly 50 years of travel.  When you do this, your flight attendants will love you and do their best to make sure your flight is as comfortable as possible.

And speaking of flight attendants... lets also throw in pilots, Air Marshals, and any other airline staff...  Like cops; they do not make the rules, they enforce them.  Their job is to fly you to your destination, keep you comfortable, safe and make sure we all follow the rules.  Yes, many of the rules are completely idiotic, I whole heartedly agree!  But having a temper tantrum or just being a jerk is the quickest way off a plane, it won't get you there any sooner and you just make life miserable for the rest of the passengers.

I hope you found my top 6 tips for first time flyers to be useful!  Stick with me and I'll have more fun tips for ya! - Contact me to keep in touch!

Jenn Simmons

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