‘A ONE-HOUR LAYOVER IS NOT ENOUGH ANYMORE’: A FLIGHT ATTENDANT’S TIPS ON SURVIVING TRAVEL NOW
Twenty years ago, my life was at a crossroads. I applied to every airline and became a flight attendant a few months later. My new job was a great experience that brought me a new and exciting way of life.
However, I still need to sign up to see what summer travel is like.
More than any other event in my life, the pandemic has altered flying than any other. Covid-19 has changed the way we board and enter planes since 9/11. It caused strain and made everyone anxious. It made politics a part of a realm it shouldn’t have been.
The airlines attempted to save as much money as possible during the initial stages of the pandemic. Many employees were furloughed and allowed to retire early. We now have a shortage of employees. After the mask mandate was lifted, passenger numbers grew faster than airlines could handle. We are now short-staffed and overworked. Ground crews are also needed. Ground crews are often overlooked but essential for a safe flight.
An unknown fact is that flight crews are limited in working time. Generally, this is 12-16 hours. It is illegal to fly more than this, and it is unsafe. It doesn’t matter where you are. If your flight crew is delayed, we will be done. Your flight could be canceled due to the need for backup crews.
Summer is notoriously difficult to fly in, but this summer is even worse. Every week there have been thousands upon thousands of cancellations and delays, and no relief exists. Many have missed important events such as weddings, cruises, and international connections. These are natural emotions, and I can’t help but cry.
It’s good for your soul. It gives us a chance to recharge and re-center. Sometimes, you need to feel the sand between your toes, breathe in fresh pine trees, or take in the sounds and sights of a new place to remind yourself that you are still alive. The key to a successful summer is to travel smart. Plan and be prepared to take as much stress from traveling as possible. Here’s my top advice based on over two decades of experience at 30,000 feet.
Get there early
Leave the day before you go on a cruise. Consider it part of your vacation. Explore the city from a hotel. Enjoy a delicious dinner and a glass of wine while you enjoy. Slowly wake up, make some pancakes and coffee, then head to the boat. It’s worth spending the extra money for peace of mind. Recently, I was on a delayed flight. Eight people from a family missed their connecting flight to Rome. It was the only flight that day. They had planned to go on a cruise, which they will now miss. It is a good idea to get travel insurance.
Fly direct whenever possible.
You don’t have to worry about your next flight if you’re delayed. Book the most extended layover if you are unable to avoid connecting. You’ll only be adding stress to your flight and increasing the likelihood of it being canceled. One hour is not enough. Not a chance. Three hours is the safest time in most cases.
Fly as early as possible.
Rarely do the first flights cancel. Thunderstorms develop as the day heats up, and flight crews reach their limits later in the afternoon. Traffic builds at busy airports. This might lead to an early alarm at 3 a.m., but there are more options for rebooking a different flight if the flight is canceled.
Get the app for the airline you’re flying with
These apps provide valuable information. These apps will save you time and prevent you from waiting in long lines to get help if something goes wrong. You can track your bag and your incoming flight, and sometimes you’ll be able to tell if a flight has been cancelled before the crew. If necessary, the app will help you to rebook a flight.
You should think twice about the cheapest airfares
There are always full flights. You may not be able to sit with your family if you purchase the cheapest seat. When you buy your ticket, it will say so. The flight attendants won’t arrange the plane for you to sit together, unless you have opted to save money by using a third-party website. Be aware that if there is a flight that is sold out, no one will offer to take their seat. The family who used a discount website to save money will be the first to be bumped.
Do not be “that guy”.
Wear a sweater
This is a secret of flight attendants: Sometimes we keep the plane cold in order to avoid heat. Heat can make it worse for people who suffer from airsickness. We don’t want anyone using those sick sacks.
Do not tell a flight attendant that they look tired
We know and we are. We may even be compelled to ugly cry in the galley.
Be nice. All airlines have the same goal: to get you there. Keep positive. At least you’re not at work.
Kristie Koerbel, a long-serving flight attendant, has shared her tips on Facebook.
Are you thinking about a vacation or some simple armchair travel? Here are some suggestions.
Destinations to Explore
- 52 Places: Why do we travel? Do you travel for food, culture and adventure? The 2023 list contains all these elements and more.
- New Zealand – A road trip in South Island, the country’s most beautiful and intimate dining experiences, and breathtaking views.
- Kyoto: With tourism returning, Kyoto must figure out how to cater for the masses without allowing tourists to take over the city.
- Hawaii: How farm stays can be more fun than just sitting on a sandy beach with a mai Tai.
- New York City An action-packed weekend in New York includes bites from local history, prime people watching and some Manhattan glamour .
- Mexico City. Few places can conjure Mexico City’s combination of vibrant style and outstanding gastronomy as well as bustling street life.
- Trip advisor, Yelp and Trip advisor are fighting back against Third Parties who pay writers for posts applauding or panning locations they have never been to.
- You can reduce the possibility of serious, often costly, security incidents by having your child’s passport, birth certificate, or any other document.
- Some discounts and deals are available for older travelers who want to save money. These are some of the perks you should look for and the pitfalls to avoid.
- Are you planning to bring your pet along on the flight? These tips will make your experience enjoyable.
- When traveling, the right equipment can make all the difference. Wire cutter recommends both the best carry on luggage, and the gear that you must have.