If you want to know the best travel secrets, ask a flight attendant. They’ve been everywhere and seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Brittany, a flight attendant for one of the Big Three airlines, opened up and spilled her favorite travel secrets. Here are some things that only a flight attendant will tell you:
How to Get Upgraded
Batting your eyelashes at the gate agent probably won’t get you far when it comes to getting an upgrade, but there are ways to improve your chances. Choose your favorite airline and remain loyal to rack up points and therefore, upgrades. Most people in first class today haven’t shelled out for their seat but cashed in their miles.
How to Get Special Treatment on Your Flight
There are certain things that flight attendants LOVE that might ensure they keep the mimosa’s flowin’ during your flight. Bring the crew a small gift that they’ll actually use: a van tip. When the crew arrives at their location, they will probably jump on a van to shuttle them to their hotel or next assignment. They tip the van drivers from their own pockets, so pop several one dollar bills in an envelope and let your flight attendant know it’s for their van tip. You can also get up and head to the back to ask for something small you need, like an extra blanket or water. It may seem like you are inconveniencing the crew, but they’ll be grateful that they don’t have to navigate their way down the narrow corridors. If nothing else, “please” and “thank you” go a long way.
Most Common Travel Mistakes
One of the biggest mistakes air travelers make? Not leaving themselves enough time when connecting. Brittany recommends at LEAST an hour between flights if you’re flying on the same airline (you’ll most likely be in the same terminal and will have further to travel) and an hour and a half if you’re flying two different airlines. If you book with a site like Priceline or Expedia, you may end up with a connection that’s way too short.
Where the Best Seat on a Plane Is
If you’re a nervous flyer, it’s worth the cost to select your seat ahead of time. The back of the plane is the bumpiest, so aim to sit on the wings for the smoothest flight. If middle is taken, aim for the front before selecting a seat in the back. Thinking of booking a seat in the exit row? You may gain some extra legroom, but be sure to pack some extra layers as these are often the coldest seats on the plane.
How to Pack for Easy Travel
Brittany’s secret for stress-free packing? Pack from your dirty laundry. That is, pack the clothes you wear most often and are the most comfortable in. Throw your clothes in the wash a day or two before packing to make sure that your A-level clothes are available to toss in your luggage.
Ready for your next trip? Learn how to pack the perfect carry on.