As the flyingnorthblog makes its way south to Peru, here at the blog we thought it would be helpful to provide some handy tips for air travelers in order to enhance their travel experience. Travelling can sometimes be hard work, but if we all do what we can to help better this collective experience, it will help ease the pain. Remember, you never travel alone.
Hygiene. Squeezing in on an airplane can sometimes feel just like you are trying to fit into those jeans that you keep in your closet because you think you will fit into them again someday [note: you won’t]. So it is of the utmost importance to make sure that your flying experience begins with the proper hygiene. We live in the twenty-first century, with the miracles of hot and cold running water, soap, and deodorant readily available. Therefore, there is no need to smell like you have just walked out of the barnyard and on to your flight. Your fellow passengers will appreciate your efforts.
Security. We are all quite aware of the security routine of taking off belts and shoes and carrying on liquids of less than 3 ounces or so. Therefore, you should probably not make a shopping trip to Costco to purchase your carry-on items. Fighting with the TSA agent about how your hair absolutely needs the 64 oz. size of hair butter may be fine in the salon, but in the security queue it only annoys your fellow travelers. Likewise, regardless of how bad that rash is, your medicated powder should also be taken in a carry-on size. When they state that blades of any sort should be less than three inches or so to carry on, please note that the machete you just bought in Mexico does not fit that requirement.
Boarding. When boarding the plane, please do not act like you just came through a wormhole from the eighteenth century and have never seen an airport, plane, or ticket before.
Boarding Group. A quick review of basic math will give you all of the tools you need to be successful here. For example, when Group 2 is called, look for a “2” on your ticket following the word “Group.” Should you have any other alphanumeric combination or any other number after the word “Group” then you should not, I repeat, NOT proceed to board.
Proceed to your seat with conviction. On your ticket you will find a seat number. This seat number corresponds to your seat on the plane. One helpful tip: the seats are numbered sequentially. Therefore, there is no reason to stop at row ten, staring blankly at the seat number for five minutes while fifty people wait behind you, when your ticket indicates you are in seat twenty-five.
Carry-On Baggage. Again, a quick review of units of measurement [metric or not] will provide insight into what you need to know about carry-on baggage. Given that airlines are charging ever-higher fees for checking baggage, it does not mean that each overhead bin should look like you do in those old jeans in your closet. A good rule of thumb is if it does not fit into the sizing racks provided by the airline, it should not be taken on board. While many airlines are not as strict as they should be about this, it is not helpful to the other hundreds of passengers when your carry-on alone takes up an entire overhead bin.
Food on Board. Since many flights no longer serve meals, many of you have opted to bring your own. This is prudent and cost-effective. However, your choice of foodstuff is of the utmost importance in how it impacts your neighboring passengers. For example, shelling hard-boiled eggs in the seat next to me, then picking your teeth with the edge of your credit card is not acceptable, nor is [sorry Asians] bringing some kind of fish-head soup on board. Opting for a small sandwich without any kind of stinky cheese is your best bet [sorry French].
We at the flyingnorthblog hope that this public service announcement has been helpful.