I take at least a couple flights per month, sometimes more. Often it’s for work and takes up half of my day. I’ve learned a fair amount of travel etiquette that I’m happy to share! This is actually a requested blog topic, but I had been on a quick break from traveling until this past weekend.
Instead of dreading long travel days, I have shifted my focus to make a flight feel like a comfortable, productive place– a relaxing spot to get re-organized. I am a girl-on-the-go who is focused on having zero stress when traveling.
Although there are plenty more tips than the ones listed below (thetravelinggringo.com blog has already covered a lot of things you MUST know before traveling…. go read if you haven’t, it’s v funny), here are my do’s & don’ts of airline traveling.
Do: Get to the airport around 1 hour before your plane doors close. Bags are checked up until 45 minutes before your flight takes off. Arriving 2+ hours is excessive and a waste of time.
Don’t: Cut in front of anyone sitting in seats in front of you upon exiting the plane. This is the most frustrating thing– your time is not more important than everyone else’s.
Do: Sign up for multiple airline rewards programs (especially if you’re not financially able to always stick to your preferred airline). It’s free to sign up and you get rewards/future flights! I keep a note on my phone of all of my airline account numbers and apply it when I check in.
Don’t: Be rude to airline employees as if they are trying to ruin your travel experience. They have busy days tirelessly dealing with other people’s problems. Have a little sympathy for hard work in customer service!
Do: Invest in TSA Pre Check and CLEAR! It’s worth the $80-$100 for 5+ years of expedited security and keeping your shoes on.
Don’t: Leave for the airport without checking if your carry on bag has any liquids/big, full containers (like peanut butter or pre-workout). You’re wasting other travelers’ time when your bags get stopped for avoidable reasons.
Do: Bring an EMPTY water bottle. Food & drinks are suuuuuper expensive at any airport, but they always have water fountains.
Don’t: Try talking to people with their headphones in/on. Body language, people.
Do: Stay in your seat at the gate until the boarding number you have on your ticket is called. You’re crowding a busy area standing in the way of other people trying to board.
Don’t: Push your elbows into the middle seat when sitting window/aisle. It already sucks being in the middle of two strangers– the least you could do is allow a fair amount of personal space.
Do: Charge your phone & any other electronics (wireless headphones, reading tablet, laptop, mifi, portable charger) before you get to the airport. Outlets are not always easily accessible!
Don’t: Clap when the plane lands. It’s supposed to do that.
Do: Pack efficiently– bring only a carry on if possible!
Don’t: Run off the plane and straight up to the baggage carousel to LOOK/WAIT for your luggage. You’re in everyone’s way. This doesn’t help you get your bags quicker.
Do: Utilize social media to review/complain about your airline experience. Airlines will make it right if you allow them to do so! Read more about this on a previous blog of mine.
Don’t: Take the airbus for granted. It’s easy to be stressed and complain about all the things that are going wrong in your day. You are lucky to be flying to a new place!
Have any tips I forgot??? Let me know and we can make this an ongoing list of do’s & don’ts forever. Also– check back to this blog on your next travel day to remind yourself of airline etiquette, or you’ll end up being complained about on a blog like thetravelinggringo.com.