Before even setting foot on an aeroplane, there are plenty of things we can do to ensure a more pleasant flight. Here are some pre-flight airline travel tips to help you on your way.
Pick your Plane
Before booking your flight, if several airlines offer the journey at similar prices and on suitable days then compare the planes and services on offer with each flight. Airline consumer standards and in-flight services vary significantly from carrier to carrier. www.airlinequality.com is a good place to start.
Find the Best Seats
Once you’ve chosen your airline, check out where the best seats on your plane are. User friendly Seat Guru is an excellent resource for this. Find your model of plane and read the reviews. All seating layouts are colour coded in the helpful overview.
Unless you have a bladder the size of a peanut, window seats are the way to go. A window seat means less disruption (for you, at least) and a headrest that does not get upset when you dribble on it.
Exit Row Seats
There’s only one thing better than a window seat: an exit row window seat. You’ll get legroom-a-plenty and never have the seat in front nestled on the bridge of your nose.
Cross Pack your Belongings
If travelling in company, split your belongings between both sets of luggage. That way, if one bag gets lost you’ll still have half your stuff.
Mark Your Luggage
Mark your luggage with something unique to identify it clearly. Mark it as distinctively as possible and you’ll be able to spot it more easily at baggage claim and (more importantly) no one else will mistake it for theirs and walk off with your favourite holiday shirt!
If you drive to the airport, note the lot/area where you park the car. Write it down somewhere, take a photo of the sign, or leave a verbal or text message on your phone. Remember: Memory fades with both time and Pina Coladas.
Check in Online
If you have the opportunity to check in online, take it. Not only will you avoid the long queues at the airport but also be in with a better chance of bagging your preferred seat. The early bird gets the legroom.
Check in Early
If you can’t check in online, check in early for a better chance of bagging your desired seat. Remember to speak to the check in staff nicely about your seating preference, otherwise you’re in the lottery with the rest of the shitmunchers. Be sure not to simply ask for extra legroom though, since you may end up stuck by the toilet and the constant barrage of passing/waiting toilet-bound passengers.
Be the Last to Board
If the flight isn’t full, linger toward the back of the boarding queue. Boarding last will allow you to see where all the empty spaces are. If you don’t like the look of your seat (or the people around it) then jump in one of the empty ones. When seated, rarely will the cabin crew ask to see your boarding pass if there is no dispute over a seat. If they do, and they insist you move, you just go back to your original seat having lost nothing.