Traveling has never been as easy as it is now. And, for better or for worse, flying remains one of the top means of transport (the number of flights in 2021 was estimated at 22.2 million). And it makes sense, as it’s so convenient, especially if we’re talking transcontinental. It would take 7 nights to sail from Southampton, UK, to New York, US, if you boarded the Queen Mary (but I’m sure the voyage would be delightful), whereas the same flight would only take 11 hours, 30 minutes.
Some people love it, some hate it, but many still choose flying. And no matter how many flight hours some people collect, there are always folks who act like it’s their first time on the plane, based on their flight etiquette. And while the journey on the plane sounds easy at first, the hassle that comes before and after it can be annoying.
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That’s why Bored Pandadecided to compile a list of airport hacks, flight etiquette that people seem to forget, and other tips and tricks that will make your journey as light as possible. Make sure to upvote your favorites, share any other tips down below, and fly safe!
Arriving early and being bored for 2 hours is *way* better than being on time and stressed out.
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Its better to be 3 hours early than 3 minutes late, airport food is cheaper than paying to book another flight
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Keep your limbs in your designated seating area (feet not stretched out into another person’s bubble, leaning or sleeping on others) Man or woman no draping your hair over the back of your chair. No creepy groping or unwanted conversation
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The person in the middle gets 2 arm rests.
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Always pee BEFORE you board.
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If you are in Copenhagen Airport and have an invisible issue (disability, disorder, or anything), go to the service desk and get a sunflower pin. The staff will know you have some issues (wont ask what) and be more accomdating.
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Never leave your bags unattended, never leave it with someone, I know it’s good to be human and be helpful but never carry anyone’s luggage for them. You don’t know who’s carrying contrabands or not and can easily put you in a jam.
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Don’t just trust the gate number on your phone app, always double check with the airport screens.
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If I have my headphones on don’t talk to me.
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At the security line, put all your things (phone, wallet, watch, belt, etc) that will need to be removed in your carry-on. It makes it much more efficient rather than taking each individual article and placing it into the bin.
Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the fountains. Air travel dehydrates you and most of us don’t drink enough fluids anyway.
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I just got TSA precheck and I can’t stop talking about how amazing it is.
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Do not start engaging other people on the plane in small talk. especially if you see them reading, sleeping or listening to music.
Don’t talk non-stop. If you absolutely must run your mouth the entire flight, use your inside voice.
Don’t the be the b**ch who sat behind me once and changed her baby’s sh**ty diaper on the tray. She sprayed perfume to cover it up.
Teach your children not to kick the seat of the person in front of them.
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Deodorant is not optional. Nor are socks and shoes.
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Don’t put your hair over the back of the seat.
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Respect the Flight Attendants, they bring the drinks
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Bring something to entertain your children in long flights. If that something had sound, make sure they’re wearing headphones. You might be used to little Billy’s screams and Paw Patrol, but the rest of the plane doesn’t want to hear it.
I used to board 2-4 flights every week before COVID. Here are a few things:
1. If you can then arrive early.
2. Have 2 bags. The backpack should contain all the stuff you would like to be available at moment’s notice during the flight. The bigger trolley should only be opened once you have deboarded
3. Stay away from the line that contains old people, kids, families. Queue up behind business travelers. There is an excellent scene in Up in The Air where Clooney profiles different kind of fliers. All of it is true.
4. Flight attendants have heard every single excuse for an upgrade. You can try but good luck. However, if you do get one than stop bragging about it. It might get them into trouble.
5. Flight attendants also like small gift like little bags of treats. If you are on a longer flight this is always an option to cheer someone up and make their day.
6. If you are frequent flier get a pair of noise canceling headphones.
7. Always check in as soon the window for check in opens. Usually 24 hours before the flight.
8. A small powerbank can make a world of difference.
9. The lounge is worth the money if you have a long layover or you are a frequent flier.
10. Always keep a small bag full of regular OTC medication you may need.
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Airports are lawless wastelands, like Fallout 3. There are no rules, all social miscues you’ve been taught to avoid are no more. Want to sit on the floor? F*****g do it. Pizza and beer for breakfast? F*****g do it. Fasting walking past old people to get in line faster? F*****g do it. Survive.
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Control your Babies, Kids and Husbands, No one wants to hear that screaming/Crying for 1+ hours on a Flight, that’s rude
At baggage claim: DON’T stand right up against the conveyor belt the whole time. Stand a few feet back, and when you see your bag, walk up, grab it and move on
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Bathing and tooth brushing before a flight is a good start
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No speakerphone. No reheated fish. No feet on my arm rest. Don’t use the headrest in front of you to help you get out of your seat. It turns the persons seat into a catapult
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if you get bumped from a flight because the airline overbooked and you have to wait more than two hours then you are entitled to up to 4x your fare. Certain restrictions apply but point is dont let them take advantage of you
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I’ll probably get down voted here.. But please, for the love of God, wear shoes that require socks when you go through security. It just turns my stomach all the barefoot people standing in the EXACT SAME SPOT as the last guy with the crusty fungus
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When they tell you not to put your winter coat in the overhead until everyone else has boarded, DON’T PUT YOUR COAT IN THE OVERHEAD!
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Don’t stand in the boarding line until it’s your turn
After the security check, when the x-ray conveyer belt delivers the tray containing your coat, wallet, belt, shoes, bag, laptop, etc…
For the love of god take your tray the 5 or so feet to the benches and tables set aside for you to repack at. Don’t just stand in front of the line slowly getting dressed and making everyone else wait on you
Definitely bring entertainment and snacks for your little ones. It’s not fair to the other passengers to have to listen to them scream and cry the whole flight.
Always try to book an early flight. My father-in-law used to travel a lot and worked in an industry connected with the airlines. He said that the schedule board usually resets between 3 and 6 in the morning, so if there are late or cancelled flights causing a chain reaction in other areas that all tends to drop out of the system when it starts fresh the next day. I’ve never had a flight that left before 8 am that was noticeably late or canceled unless it just wasn’t safe to fly.
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This is an awesome airport hack for the UK, not sure about other countries…
Order any toiletries/meds etc for ‘click and collect’ from one of the airport stores like Boots or Superdrug. You don’t need to worry about them being under 100ml since you collect them after security, and you don’t pay crazy airport prices either.
If your flight is overbooked and your boarding card says ‘Standby’ or ‘SBY’ check a bag into the hold.
If you’re lucky they’ll give you a boarding card with a seat number and bump someone else off the flight because they won’t want to have to unload your bag if you don’t get on the flight.
If you know you’re a frequent restroom user please don’t take the window seat 🙂
Use headphones. Or any other solution that isn’t blaring your c**ppy movie out of the sh**ty ipad speakers for everyone else to hear against their will for the next 5 hours
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Depending on the time of day, sometimes it’s easier to get picked up at the departures area than the arrival area. Also if the line for the Uber/Lyft area is crazy, go to one of the taxis and ask if they can match the Uber/Lyft price on your phone. They usually have no problem doing this when I ask. And there is never a line for taxis anymore.
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There may be other apps/ sites, but I’ve used these:
– GateGuru to familiarize myself with gates and shops in unfamiliar airports or when I have to change flights.
– SeatGuru for picking best seats – it has airplane specific seating tips that can help you find the seat with extra leg space due to shape of the plane, or avoid the one with the broken tv screen.
Vibrations from the engines are stronger in the seats over the wings. You may find yourself noticeably more tired after flying in those seats – especially in longer flights.
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If Tom Hanks is in the flight, get out!
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Clean up after yourself. Don’t dump all of your rubbish on the floor and expect the air hostesses to pick up after you. Also, don’t be that person who yaks really loudly when everyone else is trying to relax. It’s a confined space.
I always pack a smallish collapsable bag and when I’m sitting by the gate waiting to board I put in the things I want to access during the flight ( book, a couple snacks, headphones) from my carry on so I dont have to dig around in the carry on during the flight.
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If you’re worried about making your connection, tell the flight attendants.
If they can, they’ll call ahead to let them know you’re coming, and will often let you get off the plane before everyone else and can often even tell you your connecting gate and the quickest way to get there.
Don’t just jump up and try to shove your way off the plane.
And with that, there’s an order to getting off the plane. Throwing all of your s**t into the aisle as soon as the plane lands and trying to shove your way past people is max going to get you off the plane 20 seconds faster and everyone will see you’re an a*****e.
Don’t get distracted talking to people at the wine bar, even though one guy bought a bottle and is sharing wine with everyone and a cute girl heading home to Japan is telling you about her christmas plans. You could miss your flight and have to spend the night in the airport hotel because that was the last flight of the day.
Never happened to me…just a tip I swear.
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I am an airline employee and have a few things that I see too often that people need to stop doing.
First and foremost, **put your name on your bag**
I can’t stress this enough, this is a huge thing to make sure you get your bag. I work regionals sometimes and carry ons need to be gate checked, but at least a couple times a week, someone forgets to claim it. We have no idea who owns it without a name and just send it off to lost and found with what flight it came from and hope they claim it. Other times the bag tag may fall off, more than likely because of a damaged or worn bag. No name on it, off to lost and found it goes. But if there is a name, we can pull up your itinerary, print a new bag tag, send it in it’s way **and you will never know!**
Only use backpacks or roller bags for your carry on. It will be easier for you to walk around, especially up to a mile, while if you use a duffel bag or something similar, you may have a hard time getting around, seen too many passengers dragging those things when they get tired.
Dress appropriately, especially shoes. You may be walking or even running up to a mile to catch your flight, do you think heels, dress shoes or flip flops are good for that? Also understand what the weather will be at your destination! I saw one passenger one time wearing a tank top and short shorts in December in Chicago. I kind of sympathized with her because at the time some of our regional gates didn’t have jet bridges, meaning the passengers had to walk outside in the snow, but she was going to Green Bay, Wisconsin, not exactly a tropical location.
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Tall people with wide shoulders cannot help being tall with wide shoulders. Let them use at least one of the damn armrests!!!!!
Avoid attempting to engage the passenger next to you in conversation, especially when they don’t seem receptive.
(Some people feel the need to make small talk on long flights, even when others are trying to nap or just be quiet.)