The Little Things About Air Travel I’ve Learned As A Flight Attendant

The little things you don’t think about.

1. Don’t check a bag if you don’t have to. Packing cubes will become your best friend trust me! You can easily pack 1-2 weeks worth of clothes inside a carryon. It’s totally worth leaving that one pair of shoes at home if it means less time in line, saving $$, and more time for Starbucks. But, if you have to check a bag I suggest purchasing hard sided luggage. Your bags go through a lot (if only they could talk) so get something sustainable.

2. When traveling with strollers find one small enough that fits in the overhead bin so you do not have to check it. I have seen so many different strollers from large to small. Lately I have seen one small enough to be rolled down the aisle and compact to fit in the overhead bin. The people who handle luggage work very hard to get strollers to the gate quickly but sometimes they have other priorities. If you know you are in a hurry look into a stroller that can fit in the overhead.

3. Download the airlines app. This is great for inflight service to watch movies, shows, and track the flight. My favorite feature is the ability to check in on the app and pull up my itinerary at anytime. The Southwest app also allows you to book hotels and car rentals directly through the app, so all your travel information is in one place.

4. Don’t buy the wifi if you don’t absolutely need it. In my opinion the wifi is unreliable. It works most the time but other times it does not. We are unable to fix the wifi during the flight, it is a whole process that does not involve the crew. If you do need wifi ask the flight attendant when you first get on the plane if it works or not. Download your movies, shows, work before the flight.

5. Expect disruptions during bad weather seasons. Until we can get ahold of Mother Nature, for now, we cannot control the weather. Trust me we do not like getting delayed or cancelled either. Weather disrupts our plans too but we all have to roll with it.

  • Book early morning flights to give you more options throughout the day.
  • Try to book direct and fly during the week when there are less people.
  • Give a day or two in your itinerary for cancelled flights.
  • If you can try to book hotels with a cancellation policy.
  • Check the weather of your destination frequently the week before.

6. Pay attention to connections before you buy your ticket. Sneaky plane changes happen that can be easily missed. Or sometimes there might not be another option. Be sure you look at how much time you have in between flights and where your next gate is. When booking it is tempting to book the flight with the shortest layover because why wait 2 hours when you can wait 45 minutes? But if your first flight is delayed even a little and you are sitting towards the back of the plane and of course your next gate is the furthest from where you came in so you are now sprinting to your gate.

7. Get to the gate in plenty of time. Did you know we can leave 10 minutes early and get you to your destination 10 minutes earlier? Boarding starts 30 minutes prior to departure, if the flight isn’t full or people get out of the aisle quickly we can leave. So probably get to your gate 40 minutes before… just a thought.

Drop a comment with your travel tips or message me privately if you have any questions or just need to chat. Safe travels!

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