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11 Rules to Fly By

By Nicole Pierick
On November 30, 2018

Photo by Sydney Meyer

As the semester draws to a close, many of us will be traveling home. If you are like me, you don’t have a car and flying home for semester break is the easiest. There are so many great things about flying, like free drinks and snacks, which shorten the trip. I mean, you can turn a seven-hour drive into a one-hour flight. Who wouldn't want that? However, there are a few downsides. Okay, one main downside -- the other passengers. Here are some tips to help you have a great and easy trip without bothering other passengers:

1. Pack only what you need

Sure, you’re going home for a month and that is a long time. But you will not need that many clothes. Be honest with yourself – you’re going to end up wearing the same five shirts and pairs of pants just like you do that school. You do NOT need to pack your entire closet. Lugging a heavy suitcase around an airport is definitely not worth looking cute.

2. Keep electronics and liquids on top

Security is going to be busy. If you pack your electronics and liquids on the top of your clothes, the whole security process will go so much quicker. Plus, the TSA agents appreciate when you get in and get out instead of digging through your bag and holding up the line.

3. Get there early

It's an unwritten rule to get to the airport two hours early. This gives you time to get through security, find your gate and avoid any last-minute panic attacks.

4. Grab a snack

If you listen to my advice about getting there early, you then have two hours to wait, plus however long your trip is going to be. They do give you snacks on the plane, but sometimes a child’s size bag of pretzels is not going to hold you over. There are plenty of delicious places to eat in the airport, if you’re willing to pay for it. I usually stop at a Starbucks for a coffee and piece of coffee cake. Yum!

5. Chill out until you’re ready to board

Get to your gate early, then sit down and relax. Listen to what the person at the gate is saying because they will give you all the information you need. I usually read a book or get on social media at this point because what else are you going to do?

6. Bring headphones. 

Even during an hour-long trip, you will want to listen to music or watch a movie. Nobody wants to hear your music blaring out of your phone or hear parts of your movie while they are trying to enjoy their flight.

7. Do not recline your chair.

There have been multiple times where I am simply trying to enjoy my flight when the person in front of me decides they want to recline their chair. All of a sudden, all I can see is the top of their dandruff-filled scalp. Not only that, then I feel as if my knees are in my throat and I can no longer use my table tray, so I am left glaring into the aisle screaming obscenities in my head.

8. If you bring a child, keep the yelling to a minimum

Yes, obviously you cannot tell your child to be quiet and expect immediate results -- we all know that. However, pacifiers were invented for a reason -- use them. There is nothing worse than boarding your flight to a crying baby who shows no signs of stopping. Not even your headphones will drown out that sound. Also, yelling at your child to be quiet is not going to work. I mean, I get it. I’m 21 and if someone starts yelling at me, I get emotional too.

9. Be quiet in general

Some passengers are lucky enough to fly with someone they know. Great, you guys can have a conversation, but I do not want to hear it seven rows up. Nobody cares that the person from your high school just got engaged or that you’re just so totally excited to get home.

10. Be patient

Whether this is with the staff or trying to board/exit the plane, BE PATIENT, THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU. The flight attendants work long days and nights and they should not have to put up with your attitude. They are there to make your flight go smoothly. When you are boarding the plane, understand that people are trying to find a seat just like you. It may take a little longer than you would like, but I assure you, the plane will not take off if you are still standing in the aisle holding your luggage. When you are exiting the plane, the people in the front of the plane exit first. If you find yourself in the back row of the plane, just stay seated; it's going to be awhile before you get off.

11. Be nice

Odds are, you are going home to spend time with your family. Remember that the people in the airport are currently working instead of spending time with their families. They are working to provide a safe and enjoyable trip. Like I said earlier, the world does not revolve around you. BE NICE TO OTHERS!

So there you go. I have provided you with tips about how to fly; you’re welcome. Now, have a great trip! Be polite in the airport and your experience will be enhanced tenfold. Spend time with your family, work, hang out with friends, do whatever it is you are going to do on the semester break, and have fun while doing so. If you are going home because you’ve graduated, congratulations! You made it! In fact, we’ve all made it to the end of the semester. This month-long break is exactly what we need to recharge. Have a great trip, a great break, and we will see you back here in January!

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