Travel in style like a pro

Fly like a pro

Changes in air travel amenities don’t mean that your trip has to be less enjoyable. Here are some tips for a better experience from someone who flies for a living. See you in the air.

  • Flight attendants love treats. A bag of quality chocolate ensures you’ll be treated special. From comped beverages to pillows, better seats or even first-class meals, this small gesture pays off big-time.
  • Take an empty bottle through TSA and fill up at the filtered water station nearby and avoid paying $2-$6 for water.
  • Use the airplane bathroom on your left. Flight attendants steer people to the one on the right, leaving the left cleaner and less funky.
  • Avoid fees by declaring Fido an “emotional support animal.” It’s very hard to prove otherwise. Gate agents can only take your word for it, but check with the airline first.
  • An in-flight cocktail hurts your body as hard as two or three drinks on the ground. Chase it with water and pace yourself.
  • Federal regulations say you cannot consume your own alcohol on board. That being said, I cannot tell if that is coffee in your mug or a gin and tonic.
  • Use a foreign carrier for international flights. There is less nickel-and-diming. Plus, there are better bag allowances, free booze and amenities for children.
  • It’s colder at exit rows, so wear a cardigan or a hoodie. Wear it backward so you can pull it off without hitting your neighbors.
  • If you’re traveling as a couple, sit at the window and aisle in a row for open-seating flights. People avoid the middle seat, giving you the row to yourself.

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A version of this was previously published here.

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