Let’s face it: travel can be stressful. Airline flights will usually be a lot more tolerable when crew members go above and beyond to create a pleasant experience. That said, this can go both ways. An unruly passenger can derail their own experience by making it much more difficult for flight attendants to do their jobs, while a well-behaved and amiable traveler has the power to ensure their flight goes smoothly. In many cases, it really does come down to your own expectations and behavior throughout boarding and the flight itself. In today’s post, we’ll talk about just some of the ways you can make a great impression on flight crew members — and therefore, improve your own experience when traveling.

Be Kind and Courteous

Air stewardess check passenger ticket in airplane cabin smiling

This might seem too simple, but you’d be surprised by how few travelers keep this in mind. A little bit of kindness goes a long way, particularly when interacting with flight crew members and other passengers. Be sure to smile and say hello, get settled in your seat quickly, take off headphones when flight attendants make the rounds, listen carefully to safety information, and clean up after yourself. On a separate note, don’t ever try to make physical contact with a flight attendant, snap at them, or address them in any way that could be considered rude. Though these tips may sound like common knowledge, too many passengers forget to follow them.

Check Heavier Bags

Traveller woman open overhead locker on airplane

To take full advantage of airline deals, some passengers may be tempted to save money on luggage by bringing a small suitcase or large duffel bag as a carry-on. While forgoing a checked bag could save you some money, you’ll end up frustrating your flight attendants if your baggage is obscenely heavy. In some cases, your flight attendant may not even be allowed to help you due to safety concerns. As a general rule, don’t carry on a bag that you can’t easily lift up to the elevated storage bins. You can test how heavy your bag is before you leave for the airport by lifting it up and seeing if you can set it on the top of your refrigerator. If you can’t lift it, check it. You may even be able to do so for free at the gate, depending on your carrier.

Follow Instructions

airline safety demonstration on screen, light symbol on aircraft, seat belt and non smoking sign, flight Attendant

Whether flying internationally or domestically, one thing you don’t want to do is be a nuisance who refuses to comply with directions. In almost all situations, when a flight attendant instructs you to do something — like sit down, fasten your seatbelt, and listen to the captain’s message — it’s for your own safety. Do not assume you know more than the flight crew. In terms of airline flights, they’re the experts. One of the fastest ways to annoy a flight attendant is to ignore what they’re trying to tell you. Believe us: your airline flights will be much more enjoyable if you simply listen to safety procedures and not make a fuss. If you’re traveling with kids, you should encourage them to do this, as well.

Although 96% of American workers say vacation time is important to them, that doesn’t mean that flying is always a breeze. For some passengers, flying will never exactly be fun. But it can be a lot more pleasurable for both you and the flight crew if you keep these tips in mind every time you get ready to board.

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