25 Things I Have Learned About Air Travel:
25. Never think that 2 hours is a long enough layover for Heathrow. You might lose your luggage, and you will definitely have to run. Regardless of what you might think, running through Heathrow is much more difficult than it looks like in Love Actually.
24. Meal service is a privilege, not a right. So is in-flight entertainment.
23. Try to plan your bathroom breaks. It really sucks when there’s a line outside and the captain has turned on the fasten seat belts sign to begin the descent, and you had a lot of apple juice. Also, the bathrooms are dirtier at the end of the flight.
22. Drink a lot of water. You might have to go to the bathroom more, but that’s okay because you’ll be moving, which is good for you, too.
21. In fact, get an aisle seat. Then you can get up and go to the bathroom whenever you like and don’t have to sit in agony because the person beside you is asleep.
20. Don’t watch all the good movies on your first flight. You’ll have nothing to do on the other one(s).
19. Never ever call someone an idiot, even if they are.
18. Never ever buy expensive liquids through Duty Free or another shop at the airport or on the plane – Security doesn’t give a darn; they’re not letting you pass through.
17. Getting a row to yourself in Economy is rare, but when it happens, oh baby, it’s wonderful.
16. I’m not sure how, but all the girls traveling that are my age always look gorgeous, even when they’re running through the airport in their PJs. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I always ended up traveling for more than 24 hours total.
15. There aren’t many places to sit in the Frankfurt airport. You might end up on the floor.
14. At some point, you will have a flight cancelled. Or you will miss a flight. Or your luggage will get lost. Or you will arrive and discover that due to some error, you bought a ticket for a flight that doesn’t exist.
It will happen. You must accept this.
13. Always make time to buy the waffle cookies in Amsterdam. They’re worth it.
12. Remember that you are voluntarily allowing yourself to be locked into a metal tube and flown high above the earth with strangers. Play nice.
11. If the people who designed your plane were trying to be cool and original by using purple, pink, and blue lights for inside the cabin, for the love of God, drink a lot of water, try to sleep, and do NOT watch Shutter Island. You’ll get a migraine.
10. Wear comfortable, slip-on shoes. (Thank you so much, Mr. Richard Reid.)
9. Take your shoes off and remove your liquids and computer while still in line at security. You don’t want to be That Guy/Gal who holds up the line.
8. There’s always someone who decides to fart right when everyone gets up out of their seats and stands all close together waiting to disembark the plane. And he will fart a lot.
7. Check your itinerary very carefully.
6. Never ever buy a book at an airport. You’ll be overcharged for a novel that only looks appealing because it’s recently been made into a movie, so it has a really glossy cover with beautiful people on it. While you know you’ve heard about it, you can’t remember what you’ve heard because your brain is filled with departure times, annoying flight attendants, and luggage costs, so you end up buying the novel, and it turns out to be the trashiest piece of crap that you’ve ever read. You’ve never wanted to physically hurt a fictional character (or 2, or all) so badly before in your life, and while you’re opposed to book banning, you really feel like this book should be removed for the fact that it offends good literature. You can’t believe your reading it, but you’ve only got three chapters left and another flight to go, so you might as well keep at it. However, you want to hide it in a brown paper bag, and you want to scream at every person who walks by that you have a B.A. in English and that they shouldn’t judge your intelligence and education just because you’re reading this incredibly stupid book, and quick somebody get me something by Dickens or Fitzgerald or one of those incredibly depressing Russian authors so I can feel better about myself.
I still resent The Other Boleyn Girl.
5. Be prepared to have people stare at you and tease you if you decide to wear a cowboy hat in the Heathrow airport.
4. Canadians are nice; the British can be snooty; the Germans are Germans.
3. In Denver, pay really close attention to when your flight boards. They’re the quickest I’ve ever seen, and they aren’t that helpful when you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the 1 announcement they made.
2. The O’Hare airport is terrifying, but it’s got a tunnel filled with pretty, pretty lights, and it can make you feel just a little bit trippy.