Holidays, right? Yeesh.
Loads of you are traveling this season. Even if you’ve already made it to your destination, you might be flying home in the days after Christmas… along with hundreds of thousands of other people.
I’m a flight attendant, and I can admit it: airports suck. Airplanes suck. Travel sucks.
Do these things to make it suck a little less. 😀
- CHECK BAGS. I know it’s a hassle. I know it can be expensive. But oh my lord, it makes things so much easier going through security and boarding an airplane. You’re stressed enough; do you really want to worry about whether you’re going to find bin space on the airplane?
- Pro Tip: Flight attendants can NOT lift your bags for you. It’s not that we don’t want to help, but airlines won’t pay for our injuries if we touch your bags. We just can’t afford to be out of work because you insisted on bringing bricks. 😛 So if you do bring something on the airplane, be courteous. You pack it, you stack it. 😉
- BRING CHOCOLATE. Flight attendants are missing our holiday season to ensure you make yours. We’re happy to do it, but it’s really lovely when people remember that and thank us. If you bring us a tiny gift, I promise we’ll make it up to you–usually in free drinks / food for the duration of your flight. Win-win for all! 😀
- Pro Tip: The better the gift, the better the service. If you bring us Starbucks gift cards, oh my god, let it rain.
- GIVE YOURSELF TIME. Lines are loooong during the holidays. Plan on heightened wait times in the baggage line, security, restaurants, and at the gate. There’s nothing more stressful than thinking you’ll miss your flight… or actually missing your flight. The extra two hours of sleep aren’t worth it. Trust me.
- Pro Tip: Have the required documents prepared before you get to the TSA guy. Have your liquids and laptops properly sorted before you get to the x-ray machines. Have your boarding pass ready before you reach the gate agent. Preparation is key, especially if you’re traveling with children!
- DON’T BE THE JERK. You know them. They’re sitting in the window or aisle seat, but they still take the armrest. They peel off their socks and slap their cheesy feet right next to you. They change their baby on the tray table, the same one you’ll put your lunch on during the next flight. Be kind, folks. Everyone’s stressed, so don’t be the jerk who makes it worse.
- Pro Tip: Don’t EVER take off your socks. Guys. People vomit and poop and pee on that carpet. Sweat, saliva, gross hair oil… it’s all over those airplanes. Keep your kids’ shoes on. And whatever you do, don’t kiss your baby’s feet after walking them barefoot into the bathroom. Jesus. O.O
- REMEMBER, YOUR ATTITUDE IS ALL YOU CAN CONTROL. Delays happen. Cancellations happen. Reroutes happen. We’re so sorry, and it’s never our intention to delay your holiday or strand you. But if the worst happens, remember that you decide how to react. Handle things with dignity and compassion, and the airline staff will move mountains to get you home. Promise.
- Pro Tip: If you’re really feeling anxious or angry, download a meditation app. I personally adore “Calm.” Whenever I feel short with someone, I excuse myself to the lavatory, then take two minutes and focus on my breathing. Just a couple minutes puts things in perspective; take that time if you need it. <3
So that’s it! If you have any questions about the airline industry, or delays that occurred on your flight, consider this an Ask Me Anything! I’d be happy to answer all your travel questions in the comments below!