Photo credit: Heather Poole
1. Book wisely. If you need to be somewhere really important, it’s probably not a good idea to book your flights with less than an hour between them. Even an hour is pushing it. An hour and a half is good. Two hours, even better. Whatever you do, don’t take the last flight out! Delays happen. So do cancelations.
2. Pay the extra fee. If you’re the anxious type and travel is stressful, pay the extra fee to sit closer to the front of the airplane and be done with it. Why start your trip out on the wrong foot and the risk a snowball effect. Because once something goes wrong, everything seems to follow suit. Better to be out a few bucks than to miss a flight! It’s worth it just to relax.
3. Check your boarding pass. Many airlines print the boarding time, not the departure time, on the boarding pass. Depending on the equipment type (smaller vs. larger aircraft), you can usually tag on another 30 to 40 minutes to your connection time. Read the fine print.
4. Switch seats. Ask a flight attendant if you can move closer to the front of the cabin on landing. Unfortunately, most flights are full these days and just because there’s an open seat up front doesn’t mean you’ll find a spot in the overhead bin for your bag too. If you’ve booked a tight connection, you might want to make sure your carry-on luggage fits under the seat in front of you.
5. Relax: I know, I know, easier said than done. Just know that while it might feel like it takes forever to disembark, the truth is almost everyone is able to deplane in less than 15 minutes. So take a deep breath and … exhale. Put in your earphones and play the most relaxing music you have. Then get ready to run. Here’s to hoping you wore appropriate shoes to sprint across the airport terminal.
The following quote originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune. We Hope You Enjoy Your Flight, but….
You asked for it: “My biggest pet peeve is when passengers order coffee when it’s beginning to get turbulent. As soon as it’s too bumpy to continue serving drinks, when we’re in our jump seats buckled up, some passengers will ring their call lights for us to come rescue them from the hot liquid. Too late! We have to play it safe too,” said Heather Poole, a flight attendant for 17 years and author of “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.”
Check out the May issue of Woman’s Day Magazine! On page 158 I offer a few travel tips….
Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a legacy carrier and author of the book “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” thinks flyers have always been cranky but notes a peculiar lack of decorum in recent months.
“I’ve caught passengers taking other people’s luggage out of the bin to make room for their own bags,” she says. “I’m not joking. They’ll pull out a bag, drop it on the floor and walk away leaving it in the middle of the aisle for the passengers behind them to crawl over.”
Though travelers have always stuffed monster bags into pint-sized spaces, Poole notes that the practice as well as the bizarre bad behavior has become more prevalent since the onset of $25 baggage fees, the first unbundling move.
Passenger accused of groping Spirit Airlines flight attendant originally appeared on NBCNews.com. (NOTE: They left out a story I shared about a pilot who was smacked on the behind by a female passenger sitting in the exit row. “Woo get some!” she yelled out for an entire airplane full of passengers to hear. So ya see it’s not just flight attendants who are getting groped, poked, and smacked.)
Heather Poole, a veteran flight attendant for a majorU.S. airline, has seen her share of passengers acting out on flights, though she says the misbehavior has changed over the years.
“Today, passengers are more likely to get aggressive with us than touchy feely in a sexual way. Not to say it doesn’t happen,” said Poole, author of “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.”
“Recently, a female passenger hit me on the butt hard as I was passing by. She (was) angry because I stepped on her toe.”
A male passenger once asked Poole if he could lick her, she said. “The answer was no. No written warning was issued.”
When confronted with a flier who seems to have amorous intentions, Poole says she stops serving alcohol and removes herself from the situation by sending in another flight attendant to deal with the passenger. Most of the time that’s all it takes, she said.
“Trust me, there are some passengers who might live a lot longer if they keep their hands off certain flight attendants,” Poole added.
[Photo credit: TheZipper]
“Does Sex Sell Airline Seats? Some Airlines Hope so. ” originally appeared on TravelChannel.com
We asked Heather Poole, a 15-year flight attendant and author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet her thoughts about marketing flight attendants as sex symbols.
She wasn’t too impressed.
“Cheap airfare is the only thing that sells tickets today,” says Poole. “That and — oh! — on-time departures and good safety records. If passengers really cared about what their flight attendants looked like, Hooters Air would still be in business. They only lasted for 3 years!”
Poole adds: “The only airlines that seem to flaunt sexy flight attendants are the ones looking to sell calendars or get “likes” on their Facebook page. There’s a reason they’re selling sex over a quality airline. Business must not be quite as hot as the crew.“
Plus, what about women fliers? asks Poole. Sexting up campaigns aren’t likely to win over this huge travel demographic.
“Do most female fliers really care how sexy flight attendants are? I don’t think so. It’s like some airlines are only directing their marketing at male passengers. Last time I checked there were women not just sitting on the plane, but occupying business and first-class seats, serious hardcore frequent fliers! They’re also flying the plane. To which I say, God Bless America! I’m so thankful I work for a US carrier. “
So what do you think? Do the marketing attempts to present flight attendants as sex symbols make flying more attractive to you? Or should airlines focus their efforts elsewhere?
[Photo credit: Heather Poole]
What’s the worst passenger behavior you’ve witnessed?
I’ve caught passengers taking other people’s luggage out of the bin to make room for their own bags. I’m not joking. They’ll pull out a bag, drop it on the floor and walk away leaving it in the middle of the aisle for the passengers behind them to crawl over. Have you ever tried stepping over a 21-inch Rollaboard? Not easy. Happened three times last month!
Recently a woman tried to stow her suitcase in that, oh, what do you call that spot? Crevice? Crack? Between the overhead bin and the ceiling? There’s like a millimeter of space there! I don’t care which airline you’re traveling on, that’s not going to fit. Then there are the recliners and the anti-recliners. One anti-recliner got upset at a recliner because she couldn’t get her tray table down. I suggested if maybe she removed the gigantic fanny pack from around her waist it might go down. She looked at me like I was the crazy one! One man actually called me over because the passenger in front of him had reclined his seat. I had to point out that, uh … his seat was reclined too!
What’s the most common bad passenger behavior you’ve seen?
[photo credit: Telstar Logistics]