So you MUST take that five-hour long haul flight to get from that meeting to see Aunt Bessie for the holidays ?
And you are dreading the day - - - three hours early for security, is my bag 49 or 51 pounds, TSA gropers gloved and ready, confiscated water bottles, and all the rest of it. The flight itself? Five hours in an over-stuffed aluminum cigar tube, breathing air thinner than in Denver, and drier than a desert!
Well, I can't really help with those facets of you flight, but here are five, proactive steps you can take to minimize the discomfort, germs, and intrusions that seem to be part of modern air travel. Please don't comment that I've excluded safety issues- those are up to your flight crew. Or the hints about walking around and drinking plenty of water- no fizzy or caffeine-filled ones- just water: that should be a given for flyers these days. These are merely five simple steps you can take- and which are often overlooked- to make the situation a little more bearable. Happy Landings!
Sanitize your area
Let’s face it: despite any attempt at cleanliness, airplanes are still test tubes of grossness! In fact, tray tables alone were found to have an average of over 2,000 germs per square inch, as tested by microbiologists. And that is only part of the battle. . . . . .
Pack some individual sanitizing wipes and use them to clean your tray table, armrests, seatback TV, seatbelt latch, remote control, air vent - every hard surface you touch during your flight!
And don’t forget to bring a couple when you use the plane’s closet, er, I mean washroom.
Position your air vent - AWAY from your face
If you have traveled by plane before, then, you know how tight the flight cabin is, and how high your chances are to catch a cold or other contagious disease from your fellow passengers! Improve your odds of not getting sick from recycled air by using the air vent above your head in order to blow the germs away from you! Make sure you set the vent to low or medium and then aim it in front of your head until you feel the airflow on your lap!
Chew some gum
Chewing some gum during take-offs and landings will help your ears better handle the air pressure changes during these times of rapid altitude change.
Gather in-flight essentials from your carry-on BEFORE you settle in
To avoid constantly getting up and down during the flight, make sure that you take out all your in-flight essentials from your carry-on bag before you stash it in the overhead compartment. Or, simply carry these items in your “personal bag” most airlines allow you carry at your seat.
Put on your headphones
Ok- you are all settled in! Swabbed the area? Check. Air vent is blowing germs away from you? Yup. Chewing some gum? Good. All your essentials ready? Check and double ch------ WAIT! ! ! ! All this planning is at risk if a noisy/nosy neighbor is the type who wants to have a five-hour chat as you fly over the Continental Divide.
If you hate starting conversations with strangers and prefer to have a calm flight experience, then, the best way to gently alert fellow flyers that you enjoy your peace is by donning your headphones and turning on the music or inflight TV (or even just enjoy the silence) before the flight even takes off.
Have a good flight! Give our best to Aunt Bessie!