Be a better passenger, and follow these five before boarding an airplane.
Feed, Clothe, & Water Yourself
I’m a flight attendant, not your Mom. It’s not my job to pack a special lunch for you that meet all of your dietary needs, carry your personal water bottle for you, and stock the airplane closet (that doesn’t exist) with coats, for your inflight climate preferences. If you only like salads, bring one. If you only eat gluten-free, plan your own snacks. If your baby needs milk, bring it! These days you cannot expect an airline to serve meals, and if there is food available for purchase, often it’s gross, in limited supply, and laced with preservatives that will make you feel bloated, tired, and yucky. The cabin temperature of an airplane varies to a great degree, and often the flight attendants will have little control over the temperature setting. Bring a jacket, or your own blanket, if you know you want one, and if you don’t bring appropriate clothing, limit the complaining. Your poor planning, is not my problem (said like a jaded stew).
Take Care of Business
Your business, has no business, in my business. You’ve been sitting in the terminal for an hour before your flight is scheduled to depart. You board the aircraft, settle in, and sit down. Five minutes after take-off, while the seatbelt sign is still on, you get up, and walk to the lav. You leave a present, one that settles over the entire cabin, leaving a lovely smell. The flight attendants, and your fellow passengers cringe in discomfort, and gasp for air. My first question is WHY?!?! Please, don’t torture us with your lack of planning. It’s just not nice! I eat my breakfast, lunch, and dinner less than two feet away from where you did your duty. It’s like you just went in my kitchen. Not appreciated. Not at all. Moral of the story: Use the bathroom at the airport!
So many people leave passports at security (guilty as charged), forget cellphones in the gate area (done it), left a jacket at the airport restaurant (it happens). Double check, triple check yourself. I never know how I survive traveling without the bestie. She is the organized one that makes sure we have all of our stuff together.
Kara’s unorganized suitcase
Emily’s organization. Yes. I give her the important stuff to keep track of:)
With technology, and the requirement of commercial flights to file flight plans, you can track your own flight with websites like FlightAware.com by entering the departure, and arrival airport, flight number, or by looking up the airline. Confession: I, as a flight attendant, for my work trips, even look at this website to see if my flight is delayed, or on-time, so I know when to show up at the airport. As a passenger, you have the option to know tons of information by using resources that are accurate, as opposed to asking the flight attendants, who probably know little about why your aircraft is not waiting for you at the airport.
Say Love You
I’m not telling you this to be overly serious, but in life, with anything, you just don’t know what can happen in your day. Tell the people who you love, you love them. Flying is a safe mode of transportation, safer than driving, and not something to fear, but leave conversations with good, positive words. Always. Make it a habit.