Air travel is not as glamorous as it once was. Long lines, tedious security processes, shrinking seat sizes, more seats filling up the plane, tons of carry-on bags cramping space and simply more people traveling. Just because air travel has lost its luster, it doesn’t mean you should. Here are some keys to help you check your attitude at the terminal door and make travel happy for you and those around you.
We all have the same goal, to get on the plane and to our destination. Many of us are exhausted, bleary eyes, nervous or excited about traveling by air. Your sighs and impatient toe tapping in response to the mother of three children trying to get everything into the security line buckets or at the older person exiting the plane and double checking their seats to make sure they hadn’t left anything behind or struggling to get something out of the overhead bin won’t make them move any faster. Turn these frustrating moments into something positive by offering to help struggling passengers or offering a smile that shows you empathize with them. It will calm you and spread goodwill that can become infectious.
If you’ve planned accordingly, patience won’t be a problem. Allowing yourself enough time to get to the airport, ticketing, security, and to your gate is a great way to start your trip. Avoid airport traffic and driving in circles at the airport ramp by choosing an offsite airport parking lot with shuttle service to the airport. You’ll get door to door service, help with your luggage and the lot is small enough that you won’t lose your car in the airport parking ramp.
While you are in the airport shuttle, you have time to organize yourself for the ticketing, security, and boarding process by making your ID handy, having your boarding pass ready, making sure you are following the TSA 3-1-1 guidelines by doing a quick carry-on assessment, or simply making a last phone call to take care of business or say one last goodbye to your family before your trip starts.
If you can accomplish patience, politeness will follow right behind. People like their space and with cramped airplanes, being aware of your seatmates to be sure you aren’t hogging the elbow rest or more of the space than you need. Try to put your carry-on bag in the bin directly above your seat and make room for others. Wear headphones when playing video or audio on your computer or device so you won’t disturb others. Treat other travelers with respect as well as the flight attendants. It is their priority to make sure everyone is safe, not to be your servant. Short but sweet, remember the Golden Rule, treat others as you wish to be treated!
Patient, prepared, polite are words to live by when you travel to make things go smoothly. If you do it right, most people will follow suit. A good attitude is just as contagious as a bad attitude!