Monday, May 12, 2008

Rant--Flying Basics 101

I'm off to another conference and either because of jet lag or just a generally crappy attitude after no sleep and lots of stuff to do, I decided somewhere over the mid-west that a list of air travel "do's" and "don'ts" should come standard with each reservation. Here's the list:

  • Dress appropriately. Airline travel used to be about style and class, now it is about getting to your destination in cattle-car fashion so dressing to survive instead of to impress is only logical. The new "show the butt crack when you sit down" jeans, are atrocious. Ditto for ultra mini skirts, and other clothing more appropriate for a nightclub than a family-oriented event.
  • Consider that you may need to escape down a slide from your aircraft and run from the crash scene. Spike heels, no shoes, ultra-thin clothing made of plastic material, et al. won't help in this situation and may make your chances of survival even less.
  • Leave the perfume and cologne in your suitcase until you reach your destination. Some one's nose is going to be about five inches from your body and they may not want a migraine inducing dose of "eau de stench" (whether from cologne or body odor) so take pity on the poor souls who are crammed into the seats next to you and try to be as "smell neutral" as possible.
  • Consider that the entire forward section of the plane does not want to hear you chat on your cell phone until the very last minutes before take off. I don't need to hear about your liposuction, gallstones, wayward children, wayward spouse, etc. This is also my pet peeve in public restrooms, public transportation, or other locations where others can easily overhear cell conversations.
  • Be patient. We are all trying to get to the same place so cutting the line to get on the plane first or having your lap belt off and bags out of the overhead as soon as the plane's landing gear touches the tarmac is unnecessary.
  • Travel light. Yes, the baggage rules are becoming more restrictive every day but bringing three unwieldy carry-ons and a small animal with you is annoying to everyone else.
  • Do: dress comfortably but appropriately, wear good shoes, carry on only one bag, bring your own food, drink, and entertainment, dress in layers, and keep your ID, some cash, and a credit card in a zippered jacket pocket in case you need to exit the aircraft in an emergency.

1 comment:

  1. One suggestion on clothing is this: Avoid synthetics. In the event of a fire, nylon and similar man-made fabrics can melt to the skin. Cotton, etc., will give you a degree of insulation instead.
    Also, try for leather-sole shoes. They won't melt and stick to a burning floor deck.
    I don't want to sound too paranoid, but these things could give you an edge in escaping a burning plane.