Business Travel Tips from a Former Flight Attendant

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?

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