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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

30 thoughts about flying at 30,000 feet, at 30,000 feet

I thought it would be fun to do one of these lists on the plane, about flying on the plane and travel in general. It was a fun exercise, and I'm proud of myself, because I actually typed it all into the notes app on my iPhone on the last hour of my flight. I could have done 30 more, so I'll save that for another flight.

1. Use the lav often. You never know when there will be turbulence or you will circle Janesville, Wisconsin for two hours. This is especially pertinent to flying with kids.
2. Flight attendants use coffee for everything. When someone pukes
they throw coffee grounds on it. When someone lays a duece, they put a coffee bag in the lav. Let's hope they don't brew it later.
3. Always be really nice to the gate agent. They can do almost
anything for you if you are nice enough.
4. When flying to Asia, fly a 747 over a 777. Your chances for
upgrade are considerably higher due to more premium seats.
5. Netflix + mac the ripper + handbrake + iPhone/iTouch is the perfect
combo for the frequent traveller. Never take a DVD on a trip again.
6. About 50% of the people in business class drink alcohol on morning
7. If flying from Europe to London fly to London City Airport instead
of Heathrow. Its cheaper, easier, and closer to Central London.
8. You have to fly a lot to make 1K and its almost impossible without
a few international jaunts. It's not worth it.
9. Most United business class seats have something wrong with them.
Mention it to the flight attendant and they will give you a form to
get a 1000 miles or more.
10. Get a mileage credit card and use it religiously.
11. Use your miles for upgrades, not free trips. The cost difference
between classes is WAY more than the cost of a coach ticket.
12. Apply for an upgrade at the same time you purchase your ticket.
The early bird catches the worm. He who hesitates is lost.
13. Use miles for upgrades on smaller planes, use 500 mile certs on
777s. Your chances for upgrade will be better.
14. When flying internationally you need a higher fare class to
upgrade. It is usually worth it.
15. Fly in the middle of the day whenver possible. It is cheaper and
usually less crowded.
16. Save work you have been procrastinating on for your flight. It is
easier to fly with blinders on and get shit done.
17. Get a 3M privacy screen for your laptop. Don't fly without one.
Your competitor is sitting next to you or behind you.
18. Don't talk shop on the plane. Your competitor is sitting next to
you or behind you. It is a really small business world.
19. When an immigration officer asks you why you are visiting, never
ever ever say you are doing something that will take money from their
economy and give it to an American company. That is the fastest way to
end up with a rubber glove up your ass. You are not there for sales,
you are there to attend training, paying to go to a conference, or
doing something else that is putting big American dollars into their
economy. "Period. Full stop." as they used to say in Canada.
20. The Chocolate everywhere else in the world is better than American
chocolate. A Canadian KitKat is better than an American KitKat. The
exception is never buy Carlos I chocolate in Mexico. It's all sugar.
21. Avoid flying out of LaGuardia at all costs. Fly into LaGuardia,
out of Newark. Won't you ever learn? LGA is on a windy island on the
coast. The runway is too short. Once you get past security there are
no seats and the food sucks. The RCC is small and outside security. Most of all, in my experience, there is a 90%+ chance your flight will be delayed.
22. If you are flying from a city that has hourly flights to your
destination and your plane has equipment problems, go get on the next
flight. Nine times out of ten the next flight will leave before yours.
23. The best combatant for jetlag is sleep. Keep a bottle if Tylenol
PM in your bag and put yourself to sleep. Force yourself to sleep on
the plane. Learn how.
24. This goes without saying but always be super nice to your flight
attendants. It is not their fault the airline screwed you. They are
underpaid and cranky so brighten their day and they will brighten yours.
25. Remember when you used to have to pay for headphones or to use
your own headphones to watch the movie? Yeah, right.
26. British Airways has a middle class that is significantly better
than United's economy plus for about the same price. If you have to
fly coach to London buy these seats.
27. On the return from Heathrow you will get something with your
biscuits called "clotted cream" but should be called "clotted
arteries." It's like butter but clottier.
28. The jetstream is your friend. Flying East is good. Remember your
vector physics.
29. When offered breakfast in business class you will be offered the
choice of "eggs or fruit?" What they should say is "eggs and fruit or
fruit?" You get the same fruit either way.
30. Always always use when booking your seats. It is
hands down the best site for the frequent traveller.
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