While attending university, I worked as a summer flight attendant. Event planners, executives and other business travellers can pick up many travel tips from airline crews.
- Always keep your travel bag packed.
I keep currency from various countries and carry on liquids in my laptop case. A small cloth bag with clothing, a bathing suit, folding slippers, and reading material is ready to slip into it.
- Nix the jeans and pay attention to grooming.
You never know who you'll meet in-transit.
- Keep a dedicated travel outfit pressed and ready for last minute travel.
- For group or incentive travel, arrange a "crew briefing".
Review expectations, local customs and your emergency back-up plan.
- Avoid alcohol 12 hours before your flight.
Your transition will be easier.
- Arrive extra early for check-in.
Most airlines recommend a 3-hour check-in before international departures. In Beijing and on my way to Abu Dhabi recently, I arrived 3-1/2 hours early and the line was already super-long.
- On some aircrafts, front row economy seats near emergency exits have a lot more leg room.
- Get sunlight and light exercise on the first day.
This will help re-set your internal time clock.
- If breakfast isn't included in your hotel room rate, enjoy it at a local bakery and save.
- Opt for lunch as your large meal.
You'll pay a fraction of the dinner price, often for the same menu.
- If you're in Canada, make time for at least one dinner at The Keg.
You'll always find airline crews there.
- If possible, stay at an airport hotel on your last night.
Why stress yourself stuck in traffic worrying that you'll miss your flight.
- Don't trust your memory. Always double check your itinerary.
Airline crew members, what tips can YOU add to this list?