When you travel for a living, not as backpacking nomad, but to please customers in the air at least 80 hours per month, then you definitely have some insight into what works and what doesn’t. Everything from seating placement, to jetlag. We have compiled a short and sweet list of 10 hacks coming straight from the source, your hard grinding flight attendant.
These are by far not all the hacks and tips you can find online, but it’s easier on the eyes rather than reading through 100’s of tips. Who knows, we just may compile a list of amazing tips and hacks on a single post.
Want more attentive service from flight attendants?
The majority of passengers are more likely to choose a seat towards the front of the aircraft so that they can embark and disembark first, have storage in the overhead compartments for their carryon, and on long flights have a better chance of getting their preferred meal, however, if you choose a seat towards the back, especially on long haul flights, then you’ll tend to receive a more attentive service from the flight crew.
Why you ask?
Well, it’s fairly straight forward: Flight attendants don’t like answering a call from the front of the plane, because that means they need to bring a certain item to a passenger only to show everyone else on board the item that was requested. And this causes issues, at times, because planes don’t have an unlimited supply of alcohol, earplugs, toothbrushes, pillows, etc. For those sitting in the back, its easier to simply slip a pillow, blanket or so without much hassle.
Need to iron your clothes
This travel hack is more for the women, however, men if you dare or find a flat iron in your hotel room with no iron in your room, then this hack may work for your business shirts as well. This isn’t meant to be a flat out ironing solution, its just to quickly touch upon your creases and flatten out your clothes if you’re in a rush and do not have an ironing board or iron.
Simply use a flat iron.
A hotel bed is not always a hotel bed
Depending on the country and hotel as well as the service personnel, which you won’t be able to tell. Let’s rephrase that previous sentence. In other words, if a hotel is really trying to cut corners, one of the best places to know is the hotel bed. Even if your just staying one night, one flight attendants hack is to always check that there is a crease in your sheets from being folded. If your hotel sheets don’t have creases, meaning you can’t see the lines on the flat sheet because the sheet was not just recently opened from being folded and coming from a stacked pile, then chances are that someone has already slept in them.
Go see the front desk.
Need a dark hotel room?
In case you have jetlag, or simply can’t sleep when there is light around, then a great hack is to use the clips on the pant hangers in your hotel room closet. Most rooms will have these types of clips on hangers for business travelers. Simply take them off and clip the curtains together in your room to make it completely dark. This way no light will shine through and you can enjoy a good sleep.
Got a cold?
One flight attendant mentions that if you have a very bad cold, you should not fly. From experience, she mentioned that it can damage your eardrums and you may lose your hearing. (Note: We have not researched this so have a google at it.) Nonetheless, this flight attendant mentions that it happened to her and that she was not able to hear anything for a week. Along with that it significantly hurts. All in all, if you have a strong cold, avoid flying, not just for the sake of your ears or your well-being, but for the health and well-being of those traveling. No one wants to catch your cold while you sneeze up the entire cabin. Respect your surroundings and environment and do to others what you would want them also do for you.
Babies on planes
Let’s be fair. No one can be upset at a baby flying and crying. It is what it is, and whether you like children or not, you should respect the little ones. Nonetheless, a tip from a flight attendant in regards to lower your chances of actually sitting next to a baby is to choose a seat that is further away from the partitions or technically called bulkheads (the dividers between toilet/kitchen areas and the seating spaces on planes). This is because those areas have the possibility to attach a bassinet for babies, hence, that is probably where families or small kids under the age of one will be. Choose a seat further away and you should be good to go.
Now we know this topic cannot be summed up in two sentences, however, one flight attendant swears by having a bedtime ritual regardless of what timezone you find yourself in. She recommends dropping (avoiding) any electronic device at least an hour before you plan to go to bed, enjoy a cup of tea and grab a book instead. This will usually do the trick for her, and perhaps for you as well. In case she doesn’t fall asleep, she recommends getting up, moving around a bit and then trying again, rather than just lying in bed and staring at the ceiling.
Here’s a great travel hack from a flight attendant that goes hand in hand with our post on packing here. This person recommends calling the hotel or checking online to see if they have a washer/dryer available at the hotel. Some hotels have costly washing services, so if you want to pay for that, that works as well. Otherwise the washing/dryer combinations are great because you can quickly do your laundry and have fresh clothes, basically eliminating a few days worth of clothing you would otherwise need to bring along.
Space in your carry-on
One flight attendant definitely recommends rolling your clothes up when you pack to save space in your suitcase. He is often gone for several days, sometimes even weeks and in order to save space in his carry on he likes to roll them up rather than stack and/or fold them. It’s much easier, takes out the wrinkles in most cases and saves space.
Do not miss the opportunity to get a free meal. Most hotels, if you have breakfast included in your room rate, will have breakfast available for you in some fashion. All you need to do is ask. Especially if you know that you will not be able to make the breakfast hours because your flight leaves earlier, just let reception know upon check-in and typically you’ll receive some sort of sack breakfast to go that includes water, fruit, some sort of sandwich or so. Nothing all too exciting versus a good continental breakfast, however better than running on an empty stomach.
Now while we know these are random tips and hacks, we decided to compile a short list solely from flight attendants. There are many more and if you happen to be a flight attendant, or part of a flight crew, or just an avid traveler, we would love to know your tips and hacks you utilize along the way. What else is there? Let the community know and feel free to share this article on your social media using the buttons on the left below.