Tips for Air travellers / First time Travellers by Air.

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by JD666, May 29, 2012.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    So After having a number of trips by air, and some of them lasting 16.5 hours non stop ( Dubai to Los Angeles, over the North pole! ), I decided to compile a list of Do's / Dont's that would come handy for anyone traveling by Air.

    In no particular order -

    1) Weigh in your luggage - Get a good quality luggage weight machine if you are a frequent traveler and that too for long stints. Airlines have extremely precise weighing equipment. So remove any and all unnecessary items that you do not require. It could/ would save you a lot of money.

    2) Check in at the right time - Too early and your luggage comes out late when you arrive. Too late and your luggage comes out early, however you gotta rush thru everything while checking in. Do not be a typical Indian and arrive late at the airport. Arrive in time and have time in hand for contingencies. Always.

    3) Clothing - Should be loose/natural fabric that do not stick to the body. Synthetics stop air circulation and do not let your body breathe. Some people will find it better to wear full sleeves than half, since at cruising level, the air conditioning can really get cold / chilly.

    For a long flight, better to be in track pants, shorts rather than wearing tight jeans or tight underwear ( for men ). Your jewels need to breathe as well. And especially if flying cattle class, its just simply more comfortable.

    4) Footwear - I generally wear my shoes till the security area, and then switch to a pair of sandals / Crocs in the security area. Socks can be left on ( for those who would feel chilly ), or off. Its very important that your ankle area should not be in a bind, and should be free, for proper blood circulation. Every hour or so, or as the cabin crew service permits, try and get up and walk around a bit, even if its a few meters. This will help blood circulation. ( Prefer aisle seats to window ones, can stretch out your legs in the aisle at least ).

    5) Food Before, During and After a flight - Generally if you are flying trans continental and are going to be changing a number of time zones, your body clock is going to get messed up. Its is extremely important to ensure that your food intake ( quantity and type ) is right. Best practise that I found, Depending on time of flight, 12 - 18 hrs prior to that, no alcohol, no fatty foods ( Aloo purie, chole bhature , fried chicken ), nothing high in protein ( eggs ). Keep your meals light and simple. dal, sabzi and roti, rice etc. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. If possible, empty your bowels before leaving home.

    During the flight - 1) Most important - Avoid hard alcohol. Yep, as tempting as that bottle of Chivas or Bacardi may seem on the bar cart during service. Avoid. Period.

    Aircrafts fly at high altitudes with their cabins compressed to an equivalent altitude of 6000 feet or so ( The air pressure inside is the equivalent of the air pressure you would experience at 6000 ft ). Absorption of oxygen/ alcohol in the blood stream is low at this level. This allows one to have more drinks and not feel tipsy. However after a short flight ( 2-4 hours ), before the plane lands, and the pressure is equaled inside, Wham, your body literally sucks the alcohol into the blood stream, giving you a hit that really makes you high. ( Many would remember those drunk passengers struggling to get off the aircraft, They weren't really that high, it was the pressure equalization that did them in ).

    If at all you want to have alcohol, prefer a beer or some wine. I generally enjoy a couple of glasses of red wine with my food, which really relaxes me, and lets me sleep for an hour or so after that.

    Also remember, you lose a lot of body fluid due to the dry climatic conditions maintained inside the Aircraft. So consumption of alcohol will only elevate this loss

    After arriving at your destination, keep your meals light and high on water content. Once you know that your bowel movements, digestive system is back online, then you may experiment with the local cuisine and go gorge on that burger you've been waiting for.

    6) Drink water, lots of it during the flight. I generally follow at the rate of at least a 1 litre bottle every 2 hours. But then my water intake is higher than usual. Carry an empty water bottle with you on board ( Security can stop a filled bottle, but not an empty one, they'll generally ask you to empty it before proceeding ). Instead of calling the crew all the time for water, better to simply just walk up to the galley, and ask them to fill your bottle up for you. It may call for frequent loo breaks for long flights, but atleast you will feel fresher when you land/arrive.

    7) Aircraft meals - Prefer foods with more fibre/water, rather than foods higher in protein/fat. The protein/fat wont be digested properly or will take longer than normal to digest. Keep it light. I do go for the N.V meal, but if its not available, I dont really fuss about it and go for some fresh fruits / salad meal instead.

    :cool: Baggage consideration - I carry a backpack thats big enough to fit my laptop, sandals, a t-shirt, hand towel and a couple of other things, yet small enough to fit under the seat in front of me. I don't personally prefer putting luggage in the overhead bin, unless its too big to fit under the seat in front, or has contents that I would not be accessing for the duration of the flight. So size up your luggage accordingly. I just find it more convenient to have my stuff easy to access.

    9) Vaseline/lip balm/moisturizer cream / hand sanitizer / Wet wipes / General hygiene - An absolute essential. All of these items come handy at some point or other. You never know whether the loo handle is clean or not, or the douche before you washed up properly ( generally, nope they don't ). Don't know whose hands have been on the seat arm rests, or the grab rail in the bus taking you to the aircraft. Not being paranoid, but an aircraft interior is a great place to catch an infection. The air circulation levels are low, and you have crammed up hundreds of people in a restricted breathing space. Not all can be perfectly healthy.

    Some people go to the extent of wearing surgical masks while traveling, however that's just being paranoid. But then SARS also happened just like that!

    Just make it a habit to keep your hands clean frequently, especially before meals, and avoid touching your facial region unnecessarily. Any germs/bacteria will get transferred that way.

    No matter how tired you are, or how fresh you feel in your clothes. Dump the clothes and step in for a good scrub. Will go a long way in keeping you healthy.

    10) Wallet / Cell phones / cash - For a frequent traveler, invest in a money belt/pouch, that you can dangle under your shoulder like a sling, and can safely store all your belongings. Not only does it keep it secure while traveling, but also keeps you from being uncomfortable while sleeping / resting. Or you can always put it into your traveling bag, but discreetly.

    11) Neck pillow/support - For those looking at a lot of travel, and generally flying economy, invest in one. Actually even Business class passengers should. It made a hell of a difference for me as I found out on long haul flights. I actually could sleep / rest better. Just remember to inflate it once you have taken off, or inflate it partially. The un-equal air pressure will actually make it fill out more once your cabin is at pressurization level.

    12) Stretching exercises - A lot of these are available online, and some are even recommended by the airline during the safety video/ demo. Do try to do them. Really makes a difference. Basically your body is cramped up in the position that it is in, and is not getting any exercise as a result of it. So any and all movement helps.

    13) Carry chewing gum - Like Orbit or Happy dent or something. You will notice that your mouth taste will change over extended periods in flight. Even your breath will turn bad. And if you've had chicken or something non-veg, it would only get worse. So yes, Keep chewing gum with you in your bag. Really helps keep your mouth taste in place and saves you from bad breath. So if you finally draw up the courage to talk to that pretty girl next to you ( or handsome guy for that matter), you dont turn them off by simply or rather quite literally opening your mouth :D

    14) Emergency checklist - Hope one does not have to go thru this, but if you can remember some of the points in here, it could help you.
    - Make a mental note of the nearest emergency exits to you. Also where is the emergency exit in the opposite direction. Remember the exact number of seat rows. If you get up to stretch, count your steps till the exit. Will help in the event of loss of illumination.

    And no, you cannot smash the windows open. Even if you did, you would never fit thru them.

    - Your luggage, even if under the seat in front of you, should not be an obstruction. Also neither should be the in flight entertainment handset / remote, or the headphones jack.

    - When you come on board an aircraft, just reach below your seat and check for the life jacket. It should be present, but then generally passengers have a habit of taking souvenirs from the aircraft as well, so you never know. If there is'nt one below your seat, ask the crew for one.

    - In the event of an emergency, 9 out of 10 are going to panic and go hysterical. You have to be that 10th one. So keep it cool, firm and in check. Very important. Cannot stress enough on this.

    - Ill post a video of an emergency slide testing that we were doing here at the Airport. Its pretty amazing to see how fast you're going by the time you reach the bottom of the slide. ( Females could take note, that wearing pants would be better than skirts / shorts at such a time, The friction with the slide can actually cause skin burns as my friend found out during the test ).

    Some other misc pointers -

    - Be nice to the crew - Eye contact, smile, thank you etc etc. They are there to serve you, but not to be your maid. I remember this drunk sadarji on a recent flight. " Hellow Maidam, Pleej get 2 drinks, Both scotch, no water, only ice. One for me and one for my maidam" . He then proceeded to finish both drinks. Second time around when He tinkled for the crew, the chief cabin came, and told him that they will be serving no more alcohol.

    I once got 3 extra bottles of wine to drink on board ( small 275 ml ones ), Just coz I was sweet and nice to the crew.

    - But make sure to get a sucker down if he/she is really asking for it and throwing a lot of tantrums and attitude. Actually its not their mistake. I have come to realize its us, as Indian passengers who have spoilt our own image.

    Seriously, ask any crew that does an Indian sector, and they will simply state, worst passengers, Indian passengers. So please remind yourself to try and change that perception. Be a nice passenger. Or you could always fly Business class :p



    Ill keep adding points as I remember them. This was an idea that struck me last night.Cheers!
     
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  2. SumitB

    SumitB RAID Staff Staff Member

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    So you're keeping the best in you for our own forum? I likes :D
     
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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Hehe.. This came up after 3 beers last night. Was too tired to hammer it out on the keyboard, so did it first thing in the morning, hehe, even before going to the loo.

    And c'mon, your own forum should bring out the best in anyone ;)
     
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  4. harryneopotter

    harryneopotter NEO is my middle name ! Staff Member

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    ^ Exactly !
     
  5. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    QFT!
     
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  6. ManISinJpr

    ManISinJpr Want to resurrect.. !!!

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    I am gonna paste this article on FB !! once we go online !!
     
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  7. harryneopotter

    harryneopotter NEO is my middle name ! Staff Member

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    yeah...publishing this on fb would get us some hits
     
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  8. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    thank you kind sirs.
     
  9. vasishta.sushant

    vasishta.sushant Some title...

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    Good Good Good info there.
     
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  10. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Thank you! dont forget to use the rep button!
     
  11. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Abhi sai shuru :p
     
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  12. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Yes, repping should be encouraged on any forum.
     
  13. Luciffer

    Luciffer Satan Spawn Staff Member

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    Plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria JD666
     
  14. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    ^^ Yeah, read it at 3 am. MD-80, 153 ( including 12 on ground ). Some really gruesome pics online. Dunno what was the reason for the crash.

    Nigerian aviation industry was given a 1 rating by US ( safest rating ). This could be anything.

    And no way in hell am I flying a Nigerian carrier.
     
  15. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Someone in the family goes by the Nigerian airlines, and they said they have the worst possible management, every flight is delayed or canceled.
     
  16. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    ^^ tell em not to fly them. Emirates has flights to Lagos, stopover in Dubai. Better, safer choice anyday!
     
  17. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    The company pays :/. Will let them know.
     
  18. Stuge

    Stuge RAID Rookie

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    I wasn't worried about the above when I boarded the plane first time in my life .I was more worried about the plane being dropped from the sky and going KABOOM :p
     
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  19. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Planes dont generally fall out of the sky. Unless of the following -

    - Explosive decompression ( due to an explosive, or weakened structure or incorrect repair to the pressurized airframe )

    - Loss of a flight control surface like rudder or elevators. Still it would be controllable, however yes falling.
     
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  20. Stuge

    Stuge RAID Rookie

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    ^ I know that,but I feared that when I was just 12 years old .

    Have seen a lot of air crash investigation episodes . Airline Travel these days is very safe .
     

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