I have been flying a lot more in the last year than in my entire life and in doing so, I have become very intrigued by the way air travel works. As a business traveller, I can say I look at flying much differently than when I was a leisure traveller.
I don’t slight people for the way they navigate through the airport and on planes, but I do now see why the things I used to do – before I knew any better – must have drove people crazy.
I am using this experience to share some of my observations and perhaps save others the time it took me to learn some “travel lessons”. Please share your own tips, as I am still figuring things out and am sure I have a lot more to learn.
- Be Prepared: When you hit the security line, be ready. Laptops out, metal out, don’t take your water bottle or your large shampoo bottle with you. Be quick, be alert, and yes, you likely have to take your shoes off if you are flying international. Most importantly, don’t stand there looking stunned and lost. You could be holding up people that are trying to make a tight connection or those that just want to get to the airport lounge before their flight.
- Use the Lounges: Someone very close to me introduced me to airport lounges years ago, and it’s hard to go back. As a business traveller, you have reliable WIFI to get some work done, a quiet place to sit and time to have a bottle of water, bowl of soup or a warm meal depending on the airport you are in. TIP – You can get a nice discount in the Edmonton Premium Plaza Lounges with an AirMiles card if you aren’t a lounge cardholder.
- Limit Carry-ons: If you are going to bring a ridiculous amount of carry-on luggage, please respect the people that put their items in the overhead before you. Really, I get it. You don’t want to pay the fee to check your bag, or maybe you just don’t want to wait for your luggage when you land, however, trying to cram that really big, heavy carry-on in the overhead and crushing other people’s property is unacceptable. Common courtesy costs nothing.
- No Baggage Blocking: When you are claiming your baggage, there is NO NEED to stand directly in front of the carousel. We all need to get our luggage, and let’s be honest, that thing moves at a snail’s pace. But have no fear – if you actually stand back so we all have a fighting chance, the world will not end and you will still get your bag. Also, if something happens and you do miss it, it will come around again, very soon.
- Let People Pass: When you are getting off the plane, unless you have a tight connection, just let the people in front of you off first. It’s a line, and we all know how those work (well, most of us do). Let people in front of you go first, as there is no need to push through and get off first, especially when I just end up running into you at the baggage carousel.
Now we all know air travel is seldom painless, often frustrating and always tiresome, but there are things we can all do to make our travel experience and the experience of those around us a bit less painful.