16 Air Travel Tips to Follow for Smooth Flying
With inclement weather delays to in-flight problems, anything can happen when you’re traveling via airline. The good news is, being prepared for the unexpected can be simple and easy. These travel tips for airline travel will show you the best way to handle a canceled flight, how to take a shower at the airport, and everything in between.
Air travel tip #11: Keep the essentials in your carry-on
If your checked bags get lost or delayed, it’s important to have your essentials packed into your carry-on. Start with prescription medications and medical supplies, a cell phone charger, a change of clothes, and the necessary paperwork to get you through security and into your hotel. What you can pack in a carry-on is different than what you can pack in a checked bag. Be sure to check the latest air travel rules so you don’t hold up the security lines
Air travel tip #12: Don’t fly with your baby on your lap
Although most airlines will allow you to fly with an infant on your lap for free, it’s extremely dangerous. “If there’s any impact or deceleration, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose hold of your kid, and he becomes a projectile,” the pilot Patrick Smith told Reader’s Digest. “But the government’s logic is that if we made you buy an expensive seat for your baby, you’d just drive, and you’re more likely to be injured driving than flying.” The safest place for a baby to fly is in an FAA-approved car seat. Watch out for these other things you should never, ever do on an airplane.
Air travel tip #13: Wear sunblock
Wearing sunblock is one of the things every smart traveler should do. Flying the friendly skies isn’t so good for your skin. One study found that pilots flying for an hour at 30,000 feet get the same amount of radiation as if they had spent 20 minutes in a tanning bed. Another study found that they were ten times more likely to be diagnosed with malignant melanoma. The fix? Load up on sunblock.
Air travel tip #14: Use the bathroom at the terminal
A poorly timed pre-takeoff bathroom break could hold up the entire flight. “There’s a sequence to taxiing and getting in line for takeoff,” Sara Keagle, a veteran flight attendant and blogger at TheFlyingPinto.com, told Woman’s Day. “If somebody gets up to use the restroom, we have to tell the cockpit, and they have to stop the plane and wait until the person is back in his or her seat and buckled up. During that time we could lose our spot in line.” Learn some more secrets flight attendants won’t tell you.
Air travel tip #15: Pick up your coffee at the terminal
Better to pick up a coffee, tea, or water bottle at the terminal—the stuff onboard can be downright dirty. For one Wall Street Journal piece, reporters packed samples of water from the galley and lavatory taps of 14 different flights and tested them for quality. “The results of our water-quality snapshot: A long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from salmonella and staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs. Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits,” they wrote. Eek.
Air travel tip #16: Don’t be a pushover on lost luggage
Airlines are able to pay up to $3,400 on lost bags and their contents. In order to receive a full payout, report lost luggage as soon as possible—many airlines have tight deadlines for filing claims. Submit your report before you leave the airport and keep all receipts related to unexpected expenses caused by the loss. You might be able to get a refund on those, too. By the way, these are the airlines that are least likely to lose or damage your bags.