I have had a few trips by plane in my life so far, and though I do not claim to be an expert on flight travel, I have learned quite a few things over the years. There are things many people do not even think about before heading off to the airport, that sometimes you really need to think about. We all seem to be aware of, or at least I have heard many times, different plane etiquette while on the plane. For example, middle seat gets the arm rests; that kind of thing. And we are so busy making sure we have our passports, our luggage, our tickets, and so on, we often forget about the little things. After this last flight (including three layovers and 4 flights), I have made a list in my head of the things I wish people would think about before they travel. So of course, I thought I would share them…
1. Do not wear cologne/perfume when traveling by plane (or any confined form of travel with strangers)
This is something I feel strongly about. As someone who is allergic to something in perfumes/colognes, it makes it a very uncomfortable plane ride for me. My eyes sometimes burn or get itchy and red, if the person has just put it on or put a lot on that it is overwhelming. Mostly it bothers my nose, and I end up with a runny nose or get sinus headaches from the allergies. I know that so many people have so many allergies, and you can't please everyone, and so on. But there is no need for you to wear this on a plane ride. It's something so simple. No one wants to smell it, even if they aren't allergic. If you feel you need it, put it on once you have left the plane (not just before we are going to land, as I have had that happen as well, which is even worse because it is being sprayed in the air and is so overwhelming to my allergies).
2. Make sure your carry-on is the proper size
As someone who prefers to travel with only carry-on bags when I can, this is difficult for me. And I may come across as being hypocritical to those I have traveled with. I always want to stuff as much as I can into my carry-on and get away with it. When I traveled South East Asia, we had a backpack full of clothes as my carry-on, Ryan had his backpack of camera gear, and then we had his tripod, ukulele, a bag of books, my purse full of things.. We got away with a lot. But we put whatever we could under the seat in front of us, to not take up too much room in the overhead compartment. The biggest problem is when people have suitcases that are too big, and they do not fit, and they have to struggle trying to get it to fit anywhere they can. Ultimately having to have the flight attendents check it. Wasting everyone's time. If you have to bring lots in your carry-on, I get it. Just make sure it's not going to be an issue. It's not worth the struggle.
3. Bring a pen for international flights
I don't mind lending my pen to anyone who may need one to fill out the customs form, don't get me wrong. But if you are flying internationally, you always have to fill out a customs form. You need a pen to do this. Bring one to save the hassle of trying to locate one, or stealing it from the person next to you while they have fallen asleep. Just be prepared, you know you will need one. Bring one with you.
4. The plane will not leave without you
Did you make it to the gate on time? Good. The plane most likely will not leave without you then. There is no need to line up before your seats are called. Everyone is getting on the same plane. Even better, you have a seat designated for you, therefore you do not need to be on first to get the best seat. I understand we all want to get on in order to make sure our carry-on bags are put in the compartments over our seats, but those will get on the plane somewhere. It's not the end of the world if they aren't right above you. Be patient, and we will all be on the plane and taking off together. With our luggage.
5. Bring proper clothing for plane ride
You may be going somewhere hot or cold, so people tend to dress for the weather at their destination. And yeah that makes sense. But in the past, often times I have found I am cold on planes, and have dressed poorly for the AC to be cranked. And even if I turn my personal one off, with others around me having theirs on, I get cold. So remember to bring socks, pants, sweater, whatever you may need, in case it's cold on the plane. Airplane blankets are nice and all, but they don't always cover both your chilly toes and your arms. It can get cold and annoying trying to fit all your extremities under that blanket.
I know some people may read this thinking, well of course you should think of these things. Or you may have read similar things before. But I feel as though every time I get on a plane, I have to deal with at least one, if not all, of these things. And being someone who is allergic to the perfumes, I feel most strongly about spreading awareness that you just don't need to be putting on perfume for a flight. It's unnecessary and causes others discomfort. So that's my two cents anyways. Take from it what you will. Just plan for a safe and comfortable flight for you and the other passengers around you.