Flights and airports are not always associated with comfort and pleasure, unless you are the owner of a private jet. There are many tips and tricks that can make your flight to any point in the world comfortable and easily accessible. For example, a simple combination of keys on the keyboard can help you buy cheaper tickets and a special sticker will allow you to get your luggage faster and avoid a line at the airport.
We at Bright Side have collected travel secrets from flight attendants and experienced travelers that you can easily use during your next flight.
1. How to handle luggage
- Many travelers believe that a “Fragile” sticker can help them protect their luggage from damage during their flight. Also, this sticker can help you get your luggage a little bit faster. The thing is that bags with these stickers are usually placed on top of other bags which means that they will be one of the first to arrive to you.
- Here’s another piece of advice from people who travel a lot: Almost all passengers have dark bags. So in order not have to spend a lot of time looking for your baggage, buy a bright-colored bag that you can easily tell from the others.
2. How to pack your things correctly
- Fill all the space in your bag so that your things can’t freely move around inside. Heavy objects should be placed near the sides of the bag and the most fragile pieces should be in the center.
- Glass objects should be wrapped in cardboard instead of cloth. For example, you can use an old shoebox. Unlike soft towels, the thick carton can protect the fragile item better if the bag is dropped or placed under something heavy.
- Before your flight, take a moment to snap a few pictures of the insides of the bag. This way, it will be easier for you to prove that something went missing, if it happens.
3. How to save money when buying tickets
- The combination of Ctrl + Shift + N can help you find cheaper tickets because it allows your computer to enter the incognito mode. This way airline websites won’t be able to record your search history and won’t try to offer you tickets at a more expensive price in order to make you feel like the flight cost in increasing by the minute.
- Another cool trick to use on the websites of airline companies is to buy tickets in the language of the destination country. It might be a little more difficult, but for some reason prices go up a little if you use the version of the website in your native language.
- And one more extremely important rule that passengers who travel often always follow is that they buy tickets on Tuesdays after 3 p.m. It is also better to book them 6 weeks before your flight. The busiest times are Friday evenings and Monday mornings, so the most expensive tickets are sold at this time.
- Sometimes, buying tickets with a connection in a city you need to stop at can be much cheaper than a regular direct flight. For example, you are going back from the US to Europe through Helsinki and the final destination for your tickets is Stockholm. But a direct flight from the US to Finland may be more expensive than a ticket with an additional flight to Stockholm.
4. How to choose the right place on the plane
- Aisle seats irritate a lot of people because the armrest can’t be lifted and standing up may be inconvenient especially with the seat table down. Some planes actually allow you to lift the armrest if you press a secret button. Flight attendants know about it, but they are not likely to tell you because it’s been made stationary on purpose in order to help them avoid hitting you with the food cart.
- Experienced travelers recommend booking seats 11 and 12 because superstitions keep many people from booking seat number 13. There is a good chance that there will be nobody in the seat next to you or in that row.
- If you are traveling with another person, it is better to book a window seat and an aisle seat. There is a chance that the middle seat will remain free because it is usually the most uncomfortable one. And if the plane is completely full, you can easily switch places with your neighbor and sit with your friend or partner. Of course, if the airline rules allow this.
- If you are planning to sleep on the plane, then choose the window seat so you can lean on the wall. But before you do that, remember which side you usually sleep on in your bed. If you sleep on the left side, choose the right side of the plane and vice versa. It will be much easier for you to fall asleep this way.
- You can choose a comfortable seat on the plane using different services where you need to enter your flight number and the departure airport. The plan will show you which seats have more space for legs, what they will feed you, and other useful information.
- It is better to enter the plane at the very end of the boarding. This way, you’ll be able to choose any free seat that could be a little bit better than the one on your ticket.
5. How to get some bottled water on board
If you don’t want to buy regular water at the airport for a lot of money, there is an unusual way to get water through without breaking the safety rules. You can freeze a bottle of water at home and if the ice doesn’t melt, you can get the water inside through the customs. The official website of the Department of Homeland Security of the US gives an official recommendation about this. But it is better to just take a regular plastic bottle with you and fill it with water from a drinking fountain after going through customs control.
6. How to avoid lines at the airport
- Many travelers that fly often have noticed that if you are in line for customs or passport control, it is better to choose the leftmost line. Most people are right-handed and they often subconsciously turn right whenever they can, so there is a huge chance that the left line will be shorter and move much faster than all the others.
- In order to not spend too much time going through customs, put all your small items in your jacket, instead of in your pants pockets. You can quickly just remove your jacket and put it through the check. And the risk of losing something by accident will be significantly reduced because most things that people lose, are lost in customs.
- In order to speed up your experience at the customs control point, put your laptop and the liquids in your carry-on bags through last. Customs officers always ask passengers to take these things out of their bags so they can check them. Watches, jewelry, and belts are also better placed in bags or jackets while you are in line.
- Many travelers share their stories of how easy it was for them to find a charger in the lost and found at airports. And they didn’t even lose their chargers! According to airport rules, if you lost something and haven’t come back for it for 90 days, this thing can be given to someone who needs it.
- If you were unable to find a power outlet at the airport, you can try to charge your phone from a huge TV that can be found in almost any airport. On the other side of a TV, you can find a USB connection and plug your phone into it. Charging will work only if the TV is on. You can use the same lifehack at hotels if you lost part of your charger but you still have a cable.
8. What you can do if you are stuck at the airport at night
- If you don’t want your flight to be delayed, it is better to choose the earliest flight from the airport. You can get this information from the airport or the airline company. When you choose a flight with a connection, you have to remember that there should be enough time for the airport services to transport your luggage from one plane to another. Try to choose flights with at least one hour of time between your connections — this way the chances of losing your luggage are lower.
- But if you still missed your flight or you have to spend the night at the airport for some other reason, there are special services that can help you find the best place for sleep in almost all the big airports in the world. You can also get information about the location of medical services, power outlets, shower rooms, and rooms for children.
9. How to connect to the internet for free
In many airports, a Wi-Fi connection is given for free, but in very “greedy” places that try to charge you, you can try and get closer to the business lounge area and access their network. Here, travelers share network passwords from airports all over the world, so you can try and find the right one.
10. How to get the business class advantages
If you want to get business class service when you have an economy class ticket, you have to be polite and nice to the flight attendants, use their names when talking to them, and smile at them. Flight attendants say that they are happy to move people to business class for free if they like a certain passenger and if they have a free seat.
11. Why you shouldn’t touch your face
Planes are usually very dirty, according to the flight attendants themselves. It is easy to catch a virus or something like that, so we recommend not walking barefoot on board, not eating anything that fell on the tray table, and not touching your face.
12. How to overcome jetlag
- Experienced flight attendants recommend choosing a flight so that it arrives at the destination in the evening, at about 4 p.m. This way, you will have enough time to get to the hotel, take a shower, have dinner, and go to bed.
- If you are going to fly East, 3 days before the flight, try to go to bed and wake up earlier than usual. When boarding the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination to make your brain start to get used to the new time while you are flying.
13. How to get free tours
Find out in advance if the airport you are going to have a long connection at offers free sightseeing tours. For example, if you have come to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, you can go on a free bus tour around the city. There is one condition that you should take into account: the time before your next flight should be at least 6 hours but no more than 24 hours.
14. Why is “cassole” the magic word?
Do you want some more food on the plane? Ask for another cassole. This is the name for the box of hot food (usually made of tin foil). When a passenger asks for a cassole, flight attendants realize that this person travels a lot and they know that there are always additional cassoles on board. So, most likely, they will bring you another one.
What tips would you give to someone who is traveling by plane for the first time?