Travel Tips: Air Travel

When Flying Choose your Seat Wisely new
- When traveling with a partner, choose your seat on your flight wisely. If you are in a 3-seat by 3-seat configuration, choose 2 aisle seats instead of an aisle and a middle or window and middle. You will still be able to talk to each other, but will also have alot more room to enjoy the flight.

If you are traveling in a 2-seat by 3-seat by 2-seat, you can take a chance and book the 2 aisle seats in the 3-seat configuration. If the flight is not fully booked, you may end up with a free seat between you. If the middle seat is booked, then I am sure whoever has the middle seat will trade with you to get an aisle seat.

Always see if you can get the bulkhead seat or an emergency exit for more leg room. And check for the best seats at

A Little Preparation ...
- I find that a combination of several common tips goes a long way toward preventing flying problems, or at least making them more tolerable. I go with one carry-on, make sure it's a little smaller than the minimum size, bring my own food and drink onto the plane, bring at least one good book if not two, eat in the airport before the flight, and get to the airport a little early. I've never had to check a bag, and I've never had missing or damaged luggage. I've never been bored during flight delays. I've never been hungry or thirsty on flights. A little preparation goes a long way.

Advance Attention to Safety
- When boarding the aircraft, make a mental note of all exits, and count how many seat rows you pass from the exit to your row. This will expedite your escape route in case of an emergency landing if there is smoke and/or power loss in the cabin. And by all means, pay attention to the flight crew! No matter how boring or uninteresting it may sound, their instructions are vital ... and read the aircraft emergency procedure manual completely before takeoff. These are located in the pouch right in front of you. Do this - it pays to be prepared for flight. Knowledge is power, and armed with the basics you can sit back and enjoy your flight.

Advance Seat Assignment
- When buying airline tickets online, call the airline to get seat assignment immediately if no seat assignment is given. If you arrive at the ticket counter without seat assignment on an overbooked flight, you probably will get bumped off the flight and forced to take a later flight - which can be several hours or even a full day later. Due to overbooking, getting seat assignment in advance can reduce the risk of getting 'bumped'!

Advice for Traveling Alone
- Traveling alone can be an intimidating experience, especially for those who don't do it often. Knowing what to expect and thinking about the challenges solo air travel throws at you ahead of time can make it an easy and efficient experience.

Avoid checking a bag. This is true of any air travel really, but I find it's much easier to be a self-contained entity when alone, leaving as little responsibility to the airline as possible. There's nobody to search for the right baggage claim with you or to help you talk to the agent if a bag gets lost. By keeping everything with you, there's less chance of error.

Along those same lines, don't be afraid to gate check a bag (usually signified by yellow tags put on the bag as you board). This works differently from normal bag checking, as any gate checked bag is only given to the airline as you board the plane, and is retrieved right as you exit the plane. The bag never actually goes through the whole luggage system - that invariably ends misplacing things.

Traveling alone seems to increase the chance of you being searched at security, particularly if one is not obviously on a business trip. Just assume you will be searched and pack accordingly.

The biggest advantage of traveling alone is usually the ability to get an exit row seat. If the airline you are flying with allows online check-in (usually available 24 hours before departing time) exit row seats can usually be obtained there. If not, make sure to ask at the gate, as most of the time there will be the odd one exit row seat that nobody has taken because they want to sit with their traveling companions. They get company, you get leg room. Sometimes a book and being able to stretch is better than someone to talk to.

Viewed:775 | JeNnY | 02/27/09

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