This is the beginner course. This is the basic knowledge for anyone planning doing air travel. In fact, this should be required reading, given some of the experiences that I’ve had over the years. The reason for the 101 in the title is exactly this…this is literally the barrier to entry and if you plan on *not* following any of this advice, you probably don’t need to be hopping on a plane any time soon. So students, open your textbooks, put your phones on vibrate and no talking. Here we go:
Check your airline’s luggage restrictions before you head to the airport
On the airline website, they will have the specific requirements for what you can carry on, the weight limit for your bags, the types of items allowed (or not allowed), etc. Where I’ve been burned on this before is specifically with the carry-on sizing. It’s always a good idea to pay attention to this and just make sure before you get to the airport. There’s nothing worse than being “that person” at the ticket counter or, even worse, boarding the plane, who holds everyone else up. Not just that but, having been there before, it’s a quick way to get flustered as you try and figure out what you’re going to do.
Another good thing to pay attention to is the number of “carry on” vs. “personal items” allowed. This is particularly important because it can vary widely between airlines. Some of the budget carriers can be very stringent these days on allowing a personal item.
Along those same lines, it’s never a bad idea to weigh your luggage before you take off. Knowing if you’re close to the weight limit will save you another headache once you get to the bag check.
Don’t take your shoes off on the plane
Hard to believe I have to say this one. Yes, it can make *your* trip more comfortable. But c’mon guy, really? I was on a Dubai to Delhi flight one time a few years ago and the lady behind me took her shoes off and I am still traumatized. Don’t take your shoes off on the plan. One more time, louder for those in the back.
Don’t be a jerk
You thought this course was just going to be some blogger venting. Or maybe you thought it was going to be some real ‘pro’ tips like bringing a powerblock charger. But you’re wrong on both fronts. These are the basics, remember? And this one is an important one. Nothing about being on an airplane suddenly makes you entitled or gives permission to be a jerk. You’re literally inside a metal tube with 200 other people and being nice can go a long way. I had a young man give up his seat once for my young son to sit with me and it made all the difference on a long flight. Just like in life, it can be the littlest things that make a difference.
I’ve been on a plane in the dead of winter with a heavy coat on only to sit on the tarmac for 45 minutes with direct sunlight blasting from the window in front of me onto my chest. I heated up *real* fast and wanted to get out of there. On the flip side, I’ve been on when the plan is freezing cold too. They do their best, but wearing layers can save a lot of discomfort during your flight. Good advice from my old man who puts on 3 layers every morning just because he can.
Hope you enjoyed our entry-level class. Pretty obvious stuff but hopefully this helps. More to come!