Johnny Jet, an online expert offers his secrets for traveling safe and smart this season. “Most important of all, be pleasant and helpful to everyone who works for the airlines. Being grumpy or rude won’t get you there faster,” he says. Jet averages 20 new countries per year in addition to non-stop national trips all year long.
1. Don’t wrap your far-away family gifts in your suitcase or carry-on since security has to unwrap them any-way. “Use Fed Ex ground to ship your package before the holidays, which is more affordable and reliable.”
2. Leave early in the morning to avoid weather delays. “Don’t fly through Detroit or Chicago, which get a lot of snow. Instead, choose a southern stop-over state, if you can, such as Atlanta or Dallas.”
3. Flights are going to be full, so check-in online 24 hours in advance to assure your seat assignment and print out your boarding pass.
4. Before putting your seat back on the airplane, turn around and give a pleasant heads up. “‘Excuse me, but I need some leg room,’ is usually enough,” says Jet “But a smile and some eye contact is better.”
5. Don’t crank your headphones so loud it encroaches on everyone’s listening space.
6. Be aware of your shoulder bag bumping into everyone in an aisle seat as you find your way down the plane, and apologize if necessary.
7. Say hello to your seatmate before opening a book or your computer. “You don’t have to be instant best friends, but I have met some of the most fascinating people because they sat next to me on a plane.”
8. Give the person in the middle seat both armrests.
9. “If you travel on the actual holiday, always bring one box of chocolates for the gate agents and one for the flight attendants, and you’re guaranteed service with a smile,” says Jet.