The 12 Rules of Airplane Travel

Let’s admit it. When we were kids, airplane travel was an adventure. A great experience that only occurred once or twice a year. And only for family vacations to San Diego, Florida, or Knotts Berry Farm in LA. It was an event.

Where did that go? My three boys; 15, 13, and 7 still stand in awe of the whole process. We plan, we pack, we drive to the airport parking spot, drag our 9 bags for our family of 5 to the counter. Jack, my youngest, under the burden of his Lighting McQueen plastic backpack full of everything his mom could think of to keep him busy on the plane.

And then the arrival, deplaning into the new land of adventure, usually in a rented mini-van, with at least 5 days ahead of non-stop beach, Mickey, and eating out.

That’s the way it should be, right? But we all know those days are over, and airport in the 20-teens is now closer to the Greyhound bus terminal.

In the interest of making everyone’s experience better — the group of my friends who make up 40SomethingMan have come up with a set of rules.

If the world will follow these rules — air travel can be what it once was — a pleasurable, enjoyable experience.

1. Check your bags. Period. Automated luggage carriers mean airlines don’t lose luggage anymore. Check your bags.

2. You will need to show you ID and boarding pass to the TSA agents. This happens each and every single time you fly. Please don’t be surprised and have to spend precious time finding these items in your carry-on bags.

3. If you are on time — walk to the side of the corridors and make way for the late travelers. They are probably running late between connections.

4. Dress for travel. You are an adult. Leave your pajamas in your checked luggage.

5. Moving walkways and escalators — same rule — hug the right side and make room for the guys trying to catch their plane.

6. Keep your phone conversations to yourself. We get it — you’re bigtime. but we still don’t care.

7. Que up according to your boarding number. If you are standing in line — there are plenty of seats available on the aircraft. Just wait your turn — you learned this skill in kindergarten.

8. Checked luggage means you can board quickly and deplane even quicker.

a. Carry on — overhead luggage adds 15 seconds to each traveler. 15 seconds x 60 passengers = 15 additional minutes you just helped add to the boarding and deplaning process.

9. Be nice to the flight crew. They put up with buttholes all day long.

10. When deplaning — stay in your seat. Jumping up and crowding the aisle doesn’t do anything but make everyone else uncomfortable. Again, wait your turn.

11. If the flight is less than 90 minutes — don’t recline your seat. It screws the guy behind you.

12. Middle passenger gets the armrests. She already got the short stick by having to sit between you and the fat guy. There is no discussion on this rule.

Good luck and good travel. Brought to you by 40SomethingMan.

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