Flight Attendants Share 13 Of Their Favorite Travel Hacks

Travel Help Dale Yeager Blog

For flight attendants, who often spend more than 80 hours in the air a month, traveling can become almost second nature.

So who better to turn to for travel tips and tricks than the people with extensive knowledge on the matter?

We asked flight attendants to share their best travel hacks with us and scoured the internet for more.

Here are 13 things that could help make your travel experiences easier and more enjoyable:

Get more attentive service from your flight attendants

“While most passengers tend to choose seats that are at the front of the aircraft so that they can disembark first and have a better chance of securing their preferred meal option, flight attendants know that if you’re sitting towards the back, you’ll receive the most attentive service.

“The reason is simple: We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way. This can cause a problem since planes often don’t have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.

“For passengers sitting near the back of the plane, however, it’s much easier to slip in that second mini bottle of wine.”

Iron your clothes faster

“Use your flat iron to touch up your clothes when you’re in a rush and there’s no time for the ironing board.”

— A flight attendant with 30 years’ experience 

Always sleep in clean sheets

“Don’t sleep on hotel sheets that don’t have creases from being folded; someone slept on them already.”

— A flight attendant with 19 years’ experience

Keep the hotel room dark

“Use the clips on the pants hangers in the hotel room to clip your curtains together so there is no light coming through.”

— A flight attendant with 15 years’ experience

Avoid doing damage to your hearing

“Avoid flying if you have a severe cold. It can damage your eardrums, and you may lose your hearing. It happened to me once — I couldn’t hear properly for a week, and it hurt like hell.”

Source: Quora

Avoid being seated near a baby

“While there’s no escaping (or blaming) the shrill of an upset child, you can lower your odds of sitting directly next to one by choosing a seat that’s located far from the partitions on board.

“These partitions, which go by the technical name ‘bulkheads,’ are the only places on an aircraft where a parent can safely secure a baby’s bassinet — and are, therefore, where most children under one year old will be situated.”

Source: Oyster

Fight jet lag

“What helps me sleep is having a bedtime ritual. Stop using electronics one hour before bedtime, have a cup of tea, and read a bit. Usually that does the trick, but if I can’t sleep after an hour I just get up, do something else, and then try again.”

Source: Quora

Pack lighter

“Before your trip, call your hotel and check to see if they have a washer/dryer available. If so, bring a couple detergent packs and dryer sheets in a Ziploc bag, and it eliminates two to four days’ worth of clothes, depending on your stay.”

— A flight attendant with one year of experience

Get through customs in a jiff

“Pay for Global Entry — it’s totally worth it.”

— An anonymous flight attendant

Save space in your suitcase

“My favorite travel hack is definitely the clothes-roll technique. I am often gone from home for several days, even up to three weeks, and I save space by rolling my clothes instead of folding them.”

— A flight attendant with one year of experience

Never miss out on free breakfast

“If you know you’re not going to be able to attend whatever complimentary meal they’re offering because you’re leaving before it starts or you know you’re not going to be up until after it’s over, check with the hotel to see if there’s some kind of snack or sack lunch they can provide before or ahead of time. Usually it’s just a piece of fruit, a bottle of water, and a thing of string cheese, but that’s saved my growling stomach on several occasions.”

— A flight attendant with one year of experience

Get a cheaper upgrade

“Some airlines do offer reduced-price upgrades the day of the flight — there’s sometimes even first-class flights available. So be in the boarding area good and early during boarding, because this is when you’ll hear the announcements for last-minute upgrade purchases you might be able to get. It’s not for every airline, but it does happen.”

— A flight attendant with three years of experience

Don’t miss out on the first-class upgrade if you qualify for it

“I think it’s great we don’t have to travel in suits and high heels anymore. You can be comfortable. But you can also be classy and comfortable. Check your air carrier’s rules — there are still dress codes sometimes in first class and, who knows, maybe, miracle of the day, you’ll get that cheap upgrade to first class. Be comfortable, but if you can avoid wearing your pajamas, that’s great.”

— A flight attendant with three years of experience

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