TRAVEL

7 Ways YOU Can Make Flying Better For Everyone

02/10/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Feb 10, 2015

Flying sucks sometimes, it really does. Being trapped in a vessel the size of a preschool classroom with strangers, dangling together at 35,000 feet for hours is REALLY not a recipe for happiness or joy or unicorns.

It's no wonder we get so feisty when we travel.

But guess what? Flying doesn't have to be one crazy rant and in-flight fight after the next. There are ways to be a passenger who is courteous and tolerant of others... and heck, there are even ways to be a passenger who makes the flight better for everyone. (What a concept!) Here are a few ways to make your plane a better place.

1. Give a gift -- it doesn't matter how small -- to your fellow passengers.
It could be a smile. It could be piece of your cookie. It could be a spontaneous Christmas present.

2. Try speaking flight attendant.
Did you know that flight attendants have their own language? Learn a few terms, then bust them out mid-flight to give your crew a laugh.
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3. Resist the urge to make flight attendants do everything for you.
They are trained in emergency evacuations, not changing diapers.

4. When you hit a delay, get creative.
Tears are NOT necessary. When drama ensues, channel your energy into a chat with your seat mate... or just recruit a barbershop quartet to sing a BIG song that will make everybody smile.

5. And if a spontaneous sing-along happens to occur, just go with it.
The best passengers are the ones who roll with the punches and don't plug their ears -- just ask the cast of The Lion King.

6. If you're bringing a baby onboard, pack goody bags for his or her new "friends."
Parents of noisy newborns have been known to hand out cute little packages with earplugs, candy, drink coupons and the like.

7. Be strategic with your snacking.
Nobody wants to sit next that dude on an airplane -- avoided potent foods like tuna. Healthy snacks like trail mix, however, are relatively odorless and can act as a conversation starter, a bribe to swap for the window seat or just a way to get chatty passengers to be quiet.

Happy travels!

  • 1 Tuna Salad
    Debbi Smirnoff via Getty Images
    Need we explain? Tuna salad is one of the most distinctly awful foods to bring on a plane.
  • 2 Chili
    Paul Poplis via Getty Images
    We love chili as much as the next guy, but we don't need to smell it for four hours after somebody else eats it. Meaty or vegetarian, the spices can give off an overpowering aroma that will linger in the air and may ruin chili forever.
  • 3 Clam Chowder
    David Bishop Inc. via Getty Images
    You're joking right?
  • 4 Egg Salad
    Debbi Smirnoff via Getty Images
    If you want the whole plane to smell like a rotting dumpster, by all means! Enjoy your egg salad.
  • 5 Yogurt
    f.Olby via Getty Images
    This is a tough one, but the smell of yogurt can be nauseating if you're not the one eating it. Do us all a favor and eat it before you get on the plane.
  • 6 Onion Rings
    Anastassios Mentis via Getty Images
    This may seem like an unlikely contender, but if you've ever smelled the intense odor of deep-fried, breaded onion on a plane before, we think you'll agree with us.
  • 7 Hot Dog
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    That's just rude.
  • 8 Ranch Dressing
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    The creamy dressing will start to smell like feet sooner or later. Please, spare us.
  • 9 Endless bag of chips
    Fuat Kose via Getty Images
    A few chips is fine. A few chips can be great! But the incessant hours of crunching that come with a super sized bag of chips can really wear on the passenger sitting at your side.
  • 10 Seafood of any kind.
    Matthew O'Shea via Getty Images
    Seafood is wonderful. Just not on a plane.
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