{What I do when I Fly}

Check in as early as possible. With overbooking a constant problem particularly in the U.S., the earlier you check in the smaller the likelihood you will be bumped, the higher the likelihood you’ll get the seat you want and the less stressed you will be when late getting to the airport. Many airports now accept electronic boarding passes. Just scan the barcode off your iphone or blackberry – easy and geaky. 1

Don’t check baggage whenever possible. It makes checking in online / at a kiosk way faster. This will a) allow you to sometimes get on an earlier flight (when available – though there is often a fee), b) ensure you get out of your destination airport faster and c) ensure you have all your stuff with you. Besides, you don’t need more than 18 kilograms. 2

Always select your seats if you don’t have to pay for it. Look at a map of the plane. If you get nauseous like me sit as close to the front as possible and not over the wing. If you are tall or just like your leg-space sit near an emergency exit or bulkhead. That said, this can often backfire as a) cheap airlines sometimes re-arrange the seats so the emergency exit doesn’t have more space and instead you just have less baggage options (none at the feet – same for bulkhead) and b) they always put babies at bulkheads: I like babies and they usually don’t take up a full seat but if they annoy you, don’t sit at the bulkhead on a long-haul. 3

Find out where your gate is as early as possible. I find discount airlines often post their gate locations really late which can make this a pain in the ass but people often rush through security and then relax only to discover that their flight is boarding at a gate 2 kilometers away. 4

I always steal these cards. It might be illegal.

Wait to the last minute to board once at your gate. Who wants to spend more time on a cramped plane than one needs to? There will almost always be space for your luggage and you won’t have to try and squeeze past other passengers organizing their worldly possessions before takeoff. This tip obviously does not apply to the cheapest of airlines which don’t let you reserve a seat. 5

Bring way too much stuff to do on long hauls. I hate boredom much more than the feeling that I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to. 6

Drink tons of water not alcohol unless you will be partying the minute you get off the plane. It is much less painful. Ask really nicely for a second meal – there are usually extras. 8

{What I do when I Fly}

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