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Making Flying More Comfortable

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by engicedave, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

    Aug 27, 2005
    I was reading the thread about Southwest Airlines and some of the comments and made me think how much easier or nicer some of you could make your flights.
    I fly quite a bit, I'm not a million miler or anything like that, but do a few overseas a year, a bunch of domestics and there's a few things I have learned or make things better or more comfortable for me.

    The first line of defense is a good offense...How to survive TSA.
    Know the rules and think of it as a game, the game of "don't beep"...that's it, don't beep. Don't be pulled aside, don't do anything to slow you down. I carry a backpack when I travel, and before I get to TSA, stop and take a minute to put everything in your bag. Watch, belt, jacket (if possible), phone...essentially everything. In my opinion, it's safer in your bag than that bowl or bin.
    Wear slip on shoes...no boots, no lace-ups...wear easy on-off slip ons.
    Be done and ready when you get to the machines, so all you have to do is bag on belt, and walk through. DO NOT walk through until your carry on goes into machine and watch for it to come out, try to watch it as best you can. The last item in the machine should have the most important, like the bag with with watch and iPad or laptop in bin...shoes and jacket first, important stuff last, this way your done before it comes out.
    Lastly, if you can help it, don't dress there at TSA, grab your stuff, slip on your shoes and start moving. You can put your belt on while on train or even at gate, same time you get your stuff out of your bag like watch, wallet and phone. It's too crowded, chaotic and just listening to everyone complain can harsh your flow...just get out of there.

    Before you get to your gate, go find food. Unless you're flying first, go find a large bottle of water and some food and snacks. Get a sandwich, some chips and maybe even some candies, never know how long you can be stuck, right? With your big bottle of water, you're never thirsty and flying dehydrates you, so drink up! Personally, if your airport has a Cibo (in many airports), I love the apples and caramel packages they sell, as well as the crackers/cheese/grapes packages, and I'm not even a health nut! Don't be hungry or thirsty, makes flying miserable.

    I like to wear comfortable clothes, and I explained the slip on shoes. I also carry a light sweat jacket, because planes get cold.

    Finally, invest in an iPad, regular or small, a Kindle or Galaxy Tablet. Download some movies or TV shows/series' and keep entertained. The in-flight entertainment (IFE) is usually junk, you know it. Control your IFE. Many planes have wifi now too, so you can text, email, surf or whatever. The only exception is flights with live TV, but those are far and few between, also costly on some flight and sometimes they don't work right. Also, when traveling as a couple, get a splitter for the headphones so you can both listen.
    I also recommend you get noise canceling headphones, that low roar of the engines does wear on you, even if you don't realize it. Noise canceling headphones keep you more relaxed and not as tired when you arrive. You do not have to buy the expensive Bose units, there are decent ones not too expensive at Brookstone.

    Plan ahead, for all situations, and your can make your flying experience far more pleasant.

    I welcome additional input or ideas
  2. Epeebes

    Epeebes Tourist

    Mar 4, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great Suggestions!

    I'm also a stickler for always arriving at the airport 2hrs before your flight. You never know how crowded or understaffed an airport might be that day. I don't want to worrying about rushing to the gate or missing my flight.

    This paid off one time where the line for bag drop was an hour long and so was TSA. My flight was mostly boarded and leaving in 15mins, eek!
  3. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Feb 18, 2008
    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This is an excellent post.

    I would only challenge one aspect of it, and this is kind of fatalistic thinking.

    You don't want to be wearing slip on shoes (or flip flops or ballet slippers) when you have to follow the running pilots through the burning wreckage, over the shards of metal.

    Having said that, the odds are extremely good that you will never have to experience this.

    I guess the other thing I would add that I learned the hard way is to never wear sock feet to the washroom.

  4. ButterflyMtn

    ButterflyMtn High-Roller

    Jun 25, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    great post. And may I add to the security info..be ready to go, have your 3-1-1 in hand, have your id and boarding pass out. Seriously the same rules for years still apply, I hate getting into those long lines and behind those that aren't
    'ready" I try to make it as easy for me as well as those around me. Be considerate of others.
  5. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

    Aug 23, 2008
    Chicago & Jersey City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This is an excellent thread.

    The only other thing I would add is arm yourself with a positive attitude. Don't be surprised to get delayed or have your flight canceled. Just realize this is all out of your control and let go.

    Every week I see people showing up late and sweating security, which has gotten much slower the past month. Also I hear the constant whining from people complaining about stuff.

    It is what it is, and it beats taking the wagon train out west like our fore-fathers.

    Try to enjoy the down time free from kids and bosses. Generally no one bothers you at the airport.
  6. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

    Jun 16, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    You have described my routine to a T with the exception of the slipons. Which I have thought about but never found a pair I like. My last stop before TSA is always the ladies room, where I jam everything in my carryon and leave the restroom with ID and boarding pass in my hand. I only fly once a year to Vegas but I learned years ago how to be ready. Some of us are just good (OCD) planners. :thumbsup:
  7. runningonthehub

    runningonthehub Low-Roller

    Jul 3, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Basically what you are saying is --Be Proactive. Take care of your own business and don't expect others to do for you, what you should have done for yourself. Do what you need to do to make your flying experience better. Don't have a "Me, Me" attitude. Because it is not always about you. Respect the rights of others.

    Like others have said, don't expect everything to go smoothly every time, "shit happens". Be prepared and don't take out your frustrations on people who have nothing to do with the problem. Attitude is everything. You would be surprised how much respect you will get, if you give respect.
  8. Username

    Username VIP Whale

    May 5, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    And if you can afford it......Fly FIRST CLASS :)

    Oh....and if you notice a LOT of kids in your waiting area to board also...volunteer for a BUMP.
  9. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    May 4, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    We always have an ipad or computer to watch movies. And the splitter is a must.

    As to TSA lines - I am always amazed how people turn into sheep when it comes to lines. Why people get in the LONGER line and pass up a short line is beyond me. I just chuckle.
  10. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Dec 10, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yes, except for the slip on shoes. I have never found it a problem to grab my stuff and go over to where they have chairs to put your shoes back on. I bring Ked's tennies and sandals and the sandals take less room in my luggage.

    I bring a small enough purse so that it fits in my tote bag so when I go through security, I've got my suitcase and my tote.

    I am also a big believer in getting to the airport 2 hours before the flight. Then I don't really care how long the security line is - as the longer I spend in line, the less time I have to wait for my flight once I'm through security.
  11. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Sep 11, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I agree with most of the post except the slip ons and the wristwatch. Haven't taken my watch off in the last 18 flights and it is a stainless steel band. It is not required.

    Before I leave the house my belt, wallet and Chapstick are in my carry-on. I always wear a shirt with a pocket and have my driver's license in the shirt pocket along with a couple of bucks for the parking shuttle driver.

    My boarding pass goes in the shirt pocket also. At TSA I can grab my money roll, DL & boarding pass in one hand and be through the scanner w/o a problem. I never enter the scan line until my carry on is inside the machine.

    Before flying I rip a couple of DVDs to a flash drive and play them on a 9" player. I used to bring the laptop but if the person in front of me leaned their seat back, the laptop was jammed in my gut. I'm not that large, 6'2" and 215# but if they lean back, I am cramped.
  12. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

    Apr 4, 2006
    You have described my routine, as well --
    except "slip on" shoes.
    I watch my carry on go into the scanner - then
    I proceed....sorry, I ain't moving until that luggage
    is safe.
    However, i don't take my shoes off until the
    very last second.
    And from that point forward - I walk on my toes.
    I don't want completely filthy sox the rest of the day !
    Therefore, I tip toe to the nearest open seat after TSA
    and put on my shoes, immediately......people
    around me ? - doesn't bother me ----
    heck, I'm about to be a packed sardine for the next 5 hrs
    to VEGAS.
    I don't listen to complaints around me.....I'm goin' to VEGAS !
    Oh.....and don't pull yourself out of your plane seat by
    pulling back on my headrest.
    That's my seat ....NOT YOURS !
    I'll tell you in no uncertain words how I feel about it ! :grrr:
  13. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

    Oct 8, 2000
    Laconia, NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This post would have saved me years of figuring thses things out one at a time! I generally fly once a year but maybe twice a year soon. Most of these things are good ideas for everyone but each of us has unique needs and/or likes. I fly Southwest and in 6 hours in the air will only get some peanuts and perhaps a shack pack so I generally buy sub, the night before fresh made and wrapped. I also carry some candy and some sort of nuts like walnuts or cashews.

    I have seen long lines at times for unknown reasons so I like to BE at the airport 2 hours before my flight. I find that checking my bag at the curb is so much more convenient and faster for the price of a tip. I have all my pocket stuff in my carryon, and inquire how they want the DVD player or compute displayed before I go through the line, coming out I buy a bottle of water or soda and sometimes have something light to eat. Out of time, hae to continue later.
  14. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

    Mar 5, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I wear bedroom slippers on a plane. Nice to slip off while in flight.

    Running through burning wreckage and over shards of metal is a risk I am willing to take! :wave:
    Super Bowl or BUST!
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Apr 13, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yeah, I've never felt the need for slip on shoes.

    Also, I like to make sure I have gum for the ear popping of takeoff and landing.
    Golf/World Men's Curling
    Tentative December Trip
  16. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

    Sep 15, 2010
    At the tables
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    my keys are

    a) pray, pray, pray that I get PreCheck
    b) stop at Sky Club for a couple of free beers
    c) fly first
    d) fully charged iPod
    e) extra batteries for my Bose noise canceling headphones

    it's like stepping back in time to how flying used to be in the 90s and before and it's not bad at all.
  17. nhcris

    nhcris High-Roller

    Nov 27, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    What a great thread! Thanks for starting it endicedave. I am a firm believer in making things easy on yourself, and I do wear slip on shoes & I carry a pair of fuzzy socks to slip on for the actual flight when it is over a couple hours. I also won't board a flight without a bottle of water. Too many times the flight has been rough and drink service is either delayed or nonexistent. Keeping hydrated is a must on a long flight! Also, choose your movies with care. You don't want naked people on your laptop if you have a 7 year old sitting next to you!

    My biggest tip is to avoid stroller people going through security if you can. It is astounding how much stuff they have crammed into the nooks and crannies of the stroller, and how long it takes them to get it all through! I also try to avoid anyone that looks unsure of themselves. I am continually amazed by people that ignore or think the instructions that the TSA person is repeating over and over don't apply to them!

    Flying isn't fun, but it's the best option from NH to Vegas so I suck it up and make it as painless as possible! Time to go download a couple of movies for my flights next week!
  18. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

    Aug 27, 2005
    Lot of good suggestions and glad you folks like the topic.

    I too agree on getting to airport early, I usually do 1.5hr at local airport, two hours are away airport. I know MY airport, I don't know the away airport.
    I will also take a change of socks on long flights. Once airborne, I go to restroom, change socks and then take shoes off at seat (don't want to stink place up)
    I have also found on international flights, changing into a pair of fleece pajama type pants is very comfortable.
    Back lumbar support - I have a messed up lower back (too many motocross crashes..LOL) and I found at "Relax the Back Store" an inflatable lower lumbar pillow. Blow it up and put behind back, makes seat far more comfortable, since they don't really recline. When done, it deflates and rolls up.
    I also watch TV shows instead of movies, I'll download entire seasons of a show I have never had a chance to watch, but has been recommended. Some I like and recommend is The West Wing, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Justified, Suits, Sons of Anarchy and comedies like How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock and a few others. Download season one, and go from there. Also cool to start from the beginning, then if you see on TV, makes more sense.
    Last thing I like to also do is carry a travel size of wet wipes to freshen up during a long flight or after eating something.
    Also, those new Wisps single use disposable tooth brushes are good for freshening your breath and mouth while flying and after eating.

    You can get off a plane refreshed if you plan ahead
  19. KBT2012

    KBT2012 High-Roller

    Sep 6, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    If you are like me and you always fly out of Midland, TX....you never have issues flying because our airport only has 5 gates lol. You know whats funny and a true sign that us West Texans love Vegas....you cannot fly directly to AUSTIN, TX but you can catch a non stop flight to Vegas 2 times a day, 7 days a week out of Midland haha.

    If I had a suggestion for any first time flyer it would be make sure you take a dump at some point before getting on the plane because if you are taller than a midget it is going to be miserable attempting this on the plane.

    Use the bathroom.
    Bring iPad/iPhone.
    Bring headphones.
    Bring ID/Board pass.
    Good to go.
  20. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

    Aug 20, 2011
    Cincinnatti, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Lets not forget the most important rule to make flying more comfortable for your fellow passengers.

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