Who gets to use the arm rests when you are assigned a middle seat? How do you deal with the guy on 12D who talks untiringly? What do you do when a sweet bored angel keeps on kicking your seat?
Air travel can all be glamorous but nowadays it is also a good test of patience. Flights are all stressful with all the security check people need to go through add to that cramped seating, anxiety when flying, and all the flight delays.
How do you cope with a stressful travel? You need a ton of flexibility, courtesy, and patience. A dose of humor will do you well too. You will not have any control over the long lines through security checks but how you react to your seatmate, the environment, or any adversity should be well within your control.
Before discovering new places and new cultures, we need to deal with the stress of getting there. We came up with some tips to help you deal with the stress of air travel with more civility and less stress.
This is obvious but we list it on top to put emphasis on what is often undervalued. Arriving early gives you more space for patience. Take note that your stress level rises when you are trying to catch up with the tick of the clock.
Be calm when you get a bad news at the gate
Snapping at someone who can pull some strings or simply one who is there to help you will not do you any good. It will not get you anywhere faster.
Pack and dress with the avoiding delays and security checks in mind
As a traveler we should know about the current policies and procedures implemented at the airports and by the different airlines. It is never an excuse if we still go with large bottles of drinks which can cause a delay for everyone behind us. Wear footwear that you can easily take off for security checks. Also keep in mind things in your luggage that needed to be checked easily accessible.
Do as much as you can so you will keep the queue moving. You don’t want to be the cause of the delay. Tempers will be in check when things are moving efficiently. Also be patient to those people who may be new to the procedures.
Do something yourself to control the environment you’re in
When you are not in control of the environment you can bring some things with you so you can make things better. Have a shade handy if you want to take a nap. Bring some headphones so you can listen to some music. Don’t forget earplugs in case you want to block out the conversations you don’t want to hear.
If you are taking a phone call, try to step away from other people. Keep phone calls brief if you are in security lines or while the plane is still taxi-ing after landing.
The issue of the armrest for the middle seat
These armrests are a shared property. If you are a window or an aisle passenger, be generous enough let the passenger in the middle seat claim the armrests first.
Do not recline your seat as soon as you go on board. The person behind you will need some time to get comfortable. It will be safest to adjust your seat once you are cruising on air so you will not cause anyone any discomfort. It is just a matter of consideration and remembering that you do not want to violate the personal space of the passenger behind you.
Matter of personal hygiene
It will be very difficult to be next to someone who smells like spoiled milk for long hours in flight. Make sure that you take a shower before your flight. Also take it easy with your perfume or cologne so you will not trigger the allergies of other people.
Traveling can be difficult for adults, more so for children
I wrote a post that gives parents flying with kids some tips to keep the children busy. If you are not on the parents side though, accept the fact that crying babies can be part of your travel package. Bring some earplugs if you think you will be more patient when things are really quiet. If a kids keep on kicking the back of your airplane seat, speak to the parent politely and show that you understand how traveling can be tough for children.
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