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07 October 2015

The Best Flight Tips You Must Know Before You Fly Again

A couple of weeks ago, CB and I flew to Virginia to visit my mom. CB reads The Chive religiously, and saw an article with some tips on flying that we wanted to try out for this flight. Little did we know that not only would they work, some were mind blowingly successful. Somehow, I even stumbled on a few new tips of my own during this flight. It's safe to say this was one of the best, most successful flights. Below are the tips and tricks we used on our flights. 

The Best Secret Flight Tips for Flying

1.  If You Booze, Tip Your Flight Attendant
This past trip we took was on Virgin America. The results were mind blowing and I'm not being dramatic. 

We ordered two drinks off the touch pad at our seat, one vodka orange juice for me and one jack and coke for CB. When the Flight Attendant brought the drinks, I saw CB take out his wallet, handing him a couple of bucks. The guy's demeanor totally transformed. Not that he was even remotely rude before, he just was REALLY REALLY REALLY eager to accommodate us, "Can I get you all anything else? Another can of seltzer? Another coke? More Ice? Anything at all, please don't hesitate to ask." 

The Best Tips for Flying

We ordered two more drinks from the touch pad a little later. Another jack and coke for CB, and a glass of wine for me. Out came the flight attendant with the half bottle sized wine, rather than just the glass, and two jack and coke mini bottles rather than just one. At this point, all we had tipped was two dollars. 

The Best Tips for Flying

Because we were on vacation, and amused, we ordered one last round. I switched back to vodka soda (I jump around a lot, so sue me), and CB ordered another Jack and Coke. Out comes, you guessed it, more than we ordered. Two vodka mini bottles and two Jack mini bottles. CB gave him a 5 dollar bill, and come to find out he totally cleared out our tab that we had paid for on the touch screen. The two of us were feeling REALLY REALLY GOOD for only $7. SEVEN DOLLARS! WOW! 

Moral of the Story: Tip your flight attendant. 

2.  When Flying With A Friend, Book the Aisle and Window Seat. 
This worked for us going to Virginia and heading back to Dallas. When we initially booked our seats, I booked the window seat for me, and the aisle seat for CB. The reason we did this is in the event the flight isn't full, it is possible no one will select the middle seat and you'll have the whole row to yourself.

Plus, someone will always be willing to switch seats with you if they're in the middle and you're on the aisle or window. No matter what, you'll get to sit together... might as well try and get the whole row!

3.  Forgot Your Headphones? DO NOT buy them from the airport convenience store.
I got to the airport and realized I forgot my favorite Frends headphones that I spent an entire weekend in NYC shopping for. I went to that Hudson News store that every airport has, picked up a pair of earbud headphones... $35!! They wanted $35!?! ACK!

I know I've seen certain flights sell headphones before, so I went and asked the lady at Virgin's front counter if they'd be selling headphones on this flight. She said I could buy them from her, or on the flight for just $3. I said, "Oh! Perfect! Yes, I'll take a pair." 

I started to reach for my wallet and she goes, "You know what, I really don't care. Go ahead and just take it  for free!" 

They were decent headphones too. I mean, certainly nothing I'll cherish for years to come, but certainly good enough for the rest of the weekend.

4.  Electronic Device Dead? No Problem. The Majority of Planes Now Have Outlets Under Your Seat. 
On the flight back, my phone was totally dead and I couldn't find anywhere to plug my phone in at the airport. Why airports don't have more plugs, I'll never know. I didn't stress though, because all Virgin planes (and most American planes, which I fly for work) have power outlets under, or in between, your seat.

The next time you're flying, reach under your seat to see if there is a power or USB outlet! I believe you'll find either power or USB outlets on the following airlines: Virgin, American, United, Delta, Air Canada and certain Jet Blue flights.

5.  Scan, Print and Email photocopies of your Driver's License and/or Passport. 
The last time my mom visited me, she had a scare where she thought she lost her Driver's License. Luckily, she found it, but before you leave you should make photocopies of your identification, as well as emailing yourself a digital copy. If something terrible were to happen, and you lost your ID, this could seriously help. This might not be ENOUGH to get on the plane, but it will certainly put you in the right direction to proving your identity and getting through security.

I'm hoping these tips weren't your everyday, run-of-the-mill tips you've heard before! What are some other tips that you've used when preparing for a flight, during a flight or after a flight?! I'd love to hear them and add them to my list! 
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  1. Wow. Good to know! I'm flying two weeks from tomorrow (Thank GOD!). This will be great info to have!

  2. That booze trick is GENIUS.. I really love to fly Southwest but they need to step up their outlet game and the last time I flew from Denver to LA both flights didn't have WIFI and it was the worst. Ugh Southwest, rude.

  3. That's awesome about the tipping... that is honestly one person I don't usually remember to tip, but I definitely will from now on!

  4. tips and generally being nice go a heck of a long way!
    i'll log this away for my next flight.
    although i'll have to tell shitler because i typically drug myself into a coma in order to fly.

  5. My husband and I normally fly Southwest, so we can't preselect our seats, but we try as hard as possible to sit on the aisle and the window so we don't have another person sitting with us. Great tips!

  6. This is all great advice! And thanks for the tidbit about tipping your FA - when I was one, I'd always use the money to buy coffee and donuts for the whole crew. Such an awesome treat for us poorly paid regional airline folks. You're my new favorite passenger!

  7. Awesome tips, I never would have thought of tipping the flight attendant but what a good idea!

  8. Wow! I fly every other month for work and usually fly Delta. I had NO IDEA they had outlets on the planes. Also, I never would have imagined that tipping the flight attendant would help that much! Good grief!

  9. Wow, who knew tipping could be such a game-changer? I've taken more flights this year than I can count, and these tips are all definitely useful. Thanks Sarah!

  10. I had NO idea that flight attendants accepted tips. That's good to know!

    And power outlets on the plane? Clueless!

  11. I never heard about tipping your flight attendant. That is a great idea though!

  12. Love the tipping idea & that you got so much booze for $7!

  13. Dang I've never heard about tipping your flight attendants! That's brilliant!

  14. Didn't think about making copies of identification. Going to Vegas in a month. Can't wait!

  15. I fly a lot. Here is one: Sometimes don't use the TSA Pre-Check line even if you are TSA-Pre. Oakland (the one I fly out of) is horrible if you are TSA-Pre. They might have 30 people that are TSA-Pre in line but the regular line is shorter.

  16. I'll definitely start tipping my flight attendant, ha! And hey, why didn't I think about the in-flight headphones last time I left mine at home! I fell for the rush and panic to Hudson News myself. Damnit.

  17. Great tips! I never EVER buy stuff at Hudson News.... WAY too expensive.


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