THE BLOG

Your Plane, A User's Manual

12/27/2012 07:05 am ET | Updated Feb 26, 2013

Flying during the holidays can be a stress-filled adventure even for the most seasoned traveler and especially those who only travel during the holiday season. I teamed up with Shawn Kathleen, the flight attendant behind Rants of a Sassy Stew, to put together the top 10 flying tips from flight attendants.

We want you to be comfortable, but we also want other people to be comfortable. The soul of air travel is, thus, compromise.

Can you count to 50?:
If you can count to 50 you should have no problem finding your row. Most domestic airliners have 35 or less rows and just like you learned in kindergarten everything begins at one. Believe it or not many passengers walk to the back of the aircraft to ask a flight attendant where row 3 is. First class wouldn't be called "first" if it was in the back, it'd be called "last class." Know Where You're Going before getting on board.

Remove Your Boarding Blinders:
More than likely you won't be the only passenger on board so standing in the aisle to unzip and comb through your luggage in search for a magazine and your iPad will result in a traffic jam of epic proportions. Pack accordingly and be prepared to get out of the aisle as quickly as possible. Make sure the items you plan on using inflight are easily accessible and not shoved into the bottom of your bag.

Power Tripping:
It's not a power trip for us, it's a simple power down for you. Just do it. You know what we're talking about. The time has come. Just. Turn. Them. Off. Hey, you! Not airplane mode... OFF. Thank you. If you start to experience traumatic withdrawal symptoms, we have an app..I mean.. first aid kit for that.

Focus On Time:
Not a lot of time! Just like you learned in tip number two, you're probably not the only person on board. The passengers in the back of the plane are slowly dehydrating as you as you enlist the flight attendant to become your personal menu by naming every single beverage available on board. Have a realistic choice in mind (chances are you're not going to find diet root beer, cream soda, Mountain Dew, RC Cola, Hi-C, Tab, Cherry Coke, YooHoo, coconut water, Squirt, pineapple and guava juice, or Tang on board).

The Diet Dilemma:
If you're thirsty, you better think long and hard about ordering a Diet Coke. In the amount of time it takes for the foam to subside after the flight attendants pour a glass you could have drank five bottles of water.The lesson to be learned here, if you want a drink as soon as the flight attendants reach your row, choose something else.

Back to Bathroom Basics:
Accessing the lavatory is not as difficult as one may think. Typically a door with a knob..you know..just like the kind you have in your home, is operated by turning said knob. Yes, it is, in fact, that easy. Many passengers can't seem to figure out how to get in the bathroom. Rubbing both hands on the door, tapping the door and pulling the ash tray doesn't work. Moreover, flushing the commode is as easy as pushing the button labeled "flush." That's right, there isn't a bathroom attendant to do your dirty work.

Take A Back Seat:
If you are seated in the back of the plane, it isn't necessary to jump up and stand in the aisle as soon as the seat belt sign has been turned off. If there was a fire, trust me, you'd be the first to know and we would get to use that fun inflatable slide thingy. You may want to buckle down and rest those dogs for a few more minutes while the 100 people in front of you hang from the overhead bins like monkeys and start deplaning. You won't be moving for a while, enjoy the show.

Dirty Deeds:
If you feel the need to leave us special gifts such as your clipped fingernails (toenails too!), soda bottles, half-eaten sandwiches or dirty diapers, we will have you paged to come back to the aircraft and retrieve your belongings. The flight attendants are constantly making their way throughout the cabin during your flight while holding large trash bags. This is where your trash goes. Kindly utilize this service.

See the Signs:
Before you ask a flight attendant or gate agent: "Which way to baggage claim?" just look up! As you walk out of the jet bridge the large sign that says "Baggage Claim ->" follow it! Airports are well equipped with signs.. everywhere.. that'll lead you to the destination of your choice.

Unity:
We're all in this together. Air travel can be a stressful, cramped, and wallet-emptying experience but in the end we're all flying at 500MPH in an aluminum tube trying to get from point A to point B safely and without tearing our (or your seatmate's) hair out.

By following the tips above you'll be rated as an A+ passenger by your flight attendants and will quickly realize that's the key to being treated like a rock star.