Top 7 Flying Fails


March 5, 2020
Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Heathrow Airports Limited

As a result of a heated discussion at the Destination I Do office, here are some of our team’s biggest pet peeves when it comes to traveling. Travelers beware – avoid these common mistakes and faux pas at all costs!

  1. Recline with Care: To recline or not to recline? Our general answer is “no” for flights under four hours. If you must recline, remember to be conscious of whether the person behind you is eating their in-flight meal, working on a laptop or are already struggling with legroom.
  2. Sensitivity to Smells: This may sound like a joke, but we’re serious as a heart attack! Buying stinky food or wearing lots of strong perfume are major no-goes before boarding a flight. Keep the sensitivities of your fellow travelers in mind.
  3. Own Your Overhead Bin: Overhead bin space is more valuable than ever, so stick to the rule of keeping one bag under the seat in front of you. Also, avoid storing your carry-on in someone else’s bin space at the front of the plane. There’s nothing worse than sitting at the front of the plane but being forced to stow your bag in the back. After landing, you’ll have to swim upstream or wait for everyone else to deplane.
  4. Know Before You Go: Take the time to learn the security restrictions specific to the airports you’ll be traveling through. They can vary vastly and you’ll be glad of your pre-security prep.
  5. The Armrest Custody Battle: If you’re seated on an aisle or at a window, it’s courtesy to give the middle seat passenger primary custody of the armrest. It’s also perfectly acceptable to prefer the armrest down – this keeps everyone in their own personal space.
  6. Avoid Crowding the Carousal: It’s common practice in the U.S. to stand as close to the luggage carousal as humanly possible – short of climbing on and going for a spin. Just imagine if everyone stood a few feet back. Not only would you be able to see your luggage coming, but you would have the space to safely lift if off the carousal.
  7. Use Honey, Not Vinegar: As the saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” In other words, just be nice! Kindness can take you far, so keep this in mind the next time you’re considering losing patience with a flight attendant, fellow passenger or gate agent. You never know what people are dealing with and a kind word might be just what they (and you!) need.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do’s Fall/Winter 2019 issue. You can order a copy here.

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