A plane in the eyes of flight attendants and a plane in the eyes of passengers are two completely different worlds. And if the former know all its secrets, then the latter may have no idea about them.
We collected 10 tips from flight attendants on how to get the maximum comfort from any flight.
1. Don’t feel ashamed of asking for more food.
The food that’s distributed onboard an aircraft has a short shelf life since it’s delivered premade. All excess containers with food are immediately discarded after the flight. Therefore, if your stomach demands more, don’t be ashamed to ask a flight attendant for another serving.
2. Check the presence of a life vest before taking off.
It’s surprising, but it’s still a fact: there are passengers who steal life jackets from under their seats as a souvenir. Therefore, for safety reasons, check your seat before the flight to make sure the life vest is there and not stolen by a sentimental kleptomaniac.
3. If you accidentally smoked, use the ashtrays.
You might have noticed that, in spite of the fact that smoking onboard is strictly prohibited, there are ashtrays in the toilets. People still smoke despite the fines. And it’s better they put cigarettes out in the ashtray than on paper in a trash can. So if you forget yourself for a moment and find yourself in the lavatory with a cigarette in your hand, be so kind as to use the ashtray. And then pay the fine.
4. Try not to be squeamish during the flight.
Most airlines only do a “superficial cleanup” after the flight. Blankets and pillows aren’t washed, just beautifully refolded. Food trays aren’t washed. The seat trays are wiped, the carpets are cleaned, but you cannot be sure there wasn’t a passenger at your seat who suddenly felt sick.
5. Keep in mind: the lavatory door can be opened from the outside.
Flight attendants have their own keys in case a passenger is locked in the lavatory. In addition, many aircrafts have the door lock mechanism itself installed under the “No smoking” sign on the toilet door. If you raise the flap with the cigarette image and turn the bolt, the door will open.
6. Be the last person to board.
If you checked in for a flight at a different time to your fellow traveler, there’s a solution: just board last. When all the passengers take their seats, you can immediately see which seats are free. And the fact that the door has already been closed behind you and there will be no more passengers gives you the opportunity to occupy any empty seat onboard.
7. Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Flight attendants warn that one glass in the sky is equal to two on the ground. And this is true since altitude affects blood in such a way that alcohol during a flight affects you much more than on the ground. So even if you drink simply because you’re afraid to fly, you risk becoming too relaxed.
8. Avoid the bulkhead seats.
Remember this rule: if there are passengers with babies onboard, they’ll most likely take the bulkhead seats. This is simply because it’s easier and safer to place a baby carrier there. So if you love cute screaming neighbors, you know which seat to choose.
9. Drink only bottled water.
The problem of filthy water onboard aircrafts has gained a lot of attention since the scandalous study of the Wall Street Journal in 2002: the number of bacteria in water samples from 14 of the most popular airlines was hundreds of times higher than the established standard. Today’s situation hasn’t changed a lot, so it’s better to drink only bottled liquid onboard. Tea, coffee, and water from the sink should be avoided.
10. Refrain from applause at the end of the flight.
In some countries, passengers give ardent applause to the pilot for landing the aircraft right on the airstrip. Perhaps people are trying to express gratitude to the crew or the joy of coming back home, but the crew may consider this gesture insulting. The flight is not a roulette game; this is their job.