Today I’ve got a special post for you from my friend, Jason Hobbs. Jason is an active flight attendant with American Airlines and has 10 true tips from a real flight attendant.
Jason has extensive experience in the aviation industry, performing multiple roles for many companies. He began his career as a ramp service and gate agent before becoming a Flight Attendant for TWA.
In addition, Jason has an extensive roster of aircraft worked including the DC-9 series, MD-80/83, the Boeing family, and Airbus A320 family.
His first flight took place in June 1994, STL-PDX-STL red-eye flight, “I remember it well because OJ was running from the cops in his white Bronco.”
1. Dress for your destination.
If you’re going from a warm climate to a cold climate it’s a good idea to pack the flip-flops and wear warmer footwear. Also, if you carry-on, have a sweater or light jacket you can use on the plane and at your final destination.
2. Footwear is important
Comfortable shoes, not flip-flops, are advisable for safety reasons as well as practicality. The carts moving up and down the aisle can weigh up to 300lbs. Running over an open toe can be quite painful. Also, if you need to run for your next flight, it will be easier in shoes.
3. Watch the Experts
If you are a nervous flyer, watch your flight attendants. We are trained professionals familiar with the sounds and feel of the aircraft. Flight attendants are trained in CPR and basic First Aid as well and can give many tips on helping with ear-block.
4. Check the Bag
Checking your bag relieves you of unnecessary stress. Boarding and deplaning becomes easier with less to carry on and stow. Traversing through the terminal is less hectic, especially if you’re in a rush. The likelihood of the airline losing your bag is not that high. If the airline does lose your luggage, they will have delivered to you.
5. Kids and Strollers
If you’re traveling with young children and have a stroller, it’s best to have a travel stroller. While the Cadillac of strollers may have all the bells and whistles to keep your child comfortable and entertained, it must be in the cargo hold of the plane where it’s more likely to get damaged. Buying a cheaper stroller will save you the worries of having your nice one damaged.
6. Cheap Seats may not be the Best
Cheaper seats might mean that you and your family/friends might be separated on the plane. Most discount travel sites that have the cheapest fare usually sell the middle seat of many rows on the airplane. Airlines have adapted different pricing tiers for window and aisle seats, as well as premium economy and exit rows. If you’ve bought the cheapest fare seats from a third party and don’t have the opportunity to pick your seat, you’ll likely to be the middle seats in different rows. Because of the many options that people have chosen to pay for, FAs are not allowed to move passengers to get people together.
7. Connection times are Important
Be aware of your connection times and DO NOT take any connection less than 1 hour. One hour allows for slight delays and will help reduce your travel stress. I personally give myself 2 hours between flights.
8. International Connections
Along the same lines as above, if you’re traveling internationally with a connection, you’ll need even more time to allow for Customs and Border Protection. I personally recommend 3 hours for international connections.
9. Jet Lag/Vacation Lag
Do not return home on the last day of your trip and plan on going to work the next day. While it’s great to be able to have the maximum time in paradise, it does eventually have to come to an end. Having an extra day at home can give you a couple of benefits. The most practical one is that you have a day to rest and relax before returning to work/school.
While vacations are exciting, they can also be tiring. If you have an irregular occurrence, such as a flight cancelation, you still have an extra day before and won’t have to take an additional day off work.
And finally, if your return flight home is overbooked, you have the luxury of taking advantage of the compensation the airline is offering to “buy” passengers off the flight.
10. Use your Technology
Download the app for your airline. In the event of a flight delay, flight attendants do not have the ability to contact the gate for your next flight to let them know you are coming. If you are running late, you can use the app to find out the necessary information to help you to your connecting gate and worst case, through the rebooking process.
You can find Jason on Instagram at jwhobbs4.
In addition, Jason is a regular guest on my YouTube live streams, https://www.youtube.com/@trizitytraveling.
Questions or comments? Put them below or come into the live streams, Monday at 12pm ET and Wednesday at 8pm ET using the link above. Thanks for coming by and Happy Travels!