All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go, a taxi is waiting outside your door… Now you’re ready for air travel! But you still have a ways until you reach your destination, with the possibility of hick-ups that could damper your trip. Want to hear how to turn your flying adventure into smooth sailing? Then check out these ten tips to improve your air travel experience.

10] Have all of your documents prepared. Be certain that the name on your reserved ticket is how it appears on your ID card and, if you’re flying abroad, keep that passport handy. For some countries, you’ll need a visa. And for others, you’ll need at least two blank pages available in your passport for clearance. [3] Know where you’re flying to and what their regulations are. You don’t want to be stuck stateside when you’ve been planning your tropical getaway for months.

9] RSVP a good seat. If you’re riding coach, don’t get stuck in the middle! Choose your seats in advance in an area of the plane that offers more leg more. This will improve your flying more astronomically. Where’s the best place to sit? In an aisle seat near the back of the plane; you just might get a seat with no one sitting next to you. [2]

8] When it comes to your luggage, make it stand out from the others. US Airways customer-service supervisor Chris Gossner advises, “When passengers use the ribbons and bows, they can be torn off in the transporting process.” [1] Instead, opt out for the typical black, and pick a bright colored or patterned luggage. Now you’ll spend less time gawking at baggage claim.

7] Organize your carryon to make it checkpoint friendly. If you plan on bringing an array of electronics, keep them together in one layer; for snacks, another layer. This way, when it’s your turn to clear security, you’ll spend less time rummaging through your bag, and so will the TSA. “When things are tossed in haphazardly or jumbled together, we spend more time determining what they are [from the X-ray] and have to manually check bags,” says TSA spokesperson, Sterling Payne. [1] Besides, we don’t want to be those people holding everyone else up, do we?

6] Double check your bags before you leave for the airport. No one wants to get held up at security because they innocently forgot about the nail clippers hiding in the side pocket of their luggage!

5] BYOB – bring your own blanket. Those airline blankets appear clean in new when tucked into a sleeve of plastic, but former US Airways flight attendant, Sarah Scott says to, “steer clear of the blankets and pillows. They’re only washed when they look dirty.” [1] Good thing the Wings Flying Hoodie is made of 100% cotton and comes with a detachable inflatable pillow. Now you’ll stay warm and the neck support will help you obtain better in flight sleep.

4] Stow your carryon near your seat. No matter how tempting it is to throw your bag in the first overhead compartment you pass, just, don’t. People will then be forced to migrate down the plane for an open bin. This only slows down the already slow process of boarding and de-boarding the plane.

3] Whoops, you missed your connecting flight and now there’s a line of angry flyers crowding the desk agent. You’re probably better off calling your airline’s 1-800 number. You’ll be able to speak with someone faster and someone less frazzled than that poor desk agent. [3]

2] Ask for help. You’d be surprised how more quickly you can reach your destination when you simply ask for help. Does security look backed up? Ask someone if there’s any additional lines you can go through. Was your flight cancelled and you’re stuck at the airport all night? Most airlines should offer complimentary hotel room for your inconvenience. Ask any desk agent with your airline what your options are.

1] Above all else, remain calm. Children will cry, flights will be delayed or cancelled, over bookings will occur – but try to roll with the punches. Courtesy and a smile will get you much further, and quicker, than a short temper. Have a pleasant flight!


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