You are in Customs waiting for a routine documents’ check. Minutes before, your patience wore thin having gone through the metal detector three times. Now, if you could only make it through Customs on time, you would grab a café mocha before boarding your flight. Yet there they were! Gliding by, immaculately dressed and looking as cool as ever was your flight crew.
They sailed through the security checkpoint, were led through Customs and disappeared from sight. The ‘walk through’ for flight crews is a rudimentary part of the job. The airport is their terrain and the plane, the closest thing to home. They have authority in the skies and access on the ground, key elements in performing their role effectively.
All you need to travel as cool as the crew is to know the part you play in the scheme of air travel and it involves four basic guidelines.
Don’t Misplace Your Boarding Pass
The airline industry is filled with jargons, but once you know your role you can walk on board free of minor irritations. The first guideline is to: “keep your boarding pass handy at all times;” this is usually implied and not stated. Seasoned travellers consistently make this mistake and risk getting flustered before the journey begins. You may think you have your seat number safely tucked away in short term memory but you don’t; fumbling for it in the middle of boarding or worse, sitting in someone else’s seat sets off unnecessary tension around a tight space. It delays the line and quite possibly the flight. This guideline also helps avoid situations in which you have the right seat number on the wrong flight; that’s a whole other level of problem you can’t begin to imagine.
When it comes to Luggage, Size Matters
The second guideline is: each airline has rules governing cabin luggage; know them. Knowing your airline’s baggage specifications makes walking on board a breeze. You also look like a pro when you fly light and it removes a major concern for passengers sitting underneath full overhead compartments. If your compartment is full, simply push your featherweight under the seat in front of you. Incidentally, there is no rule that insists your luggage must be placed in a compartment immediately above your head. For your peace of mind your flight crew will go to lengths to find space for you, sometimes among their stored luggage to keep you satisfied and maintain an on-time schedule.
Seatbelt and Turbulence are Part of the In-Flight Experience
Your third guideline is to pay attention to passenger safety demonstrations and seat belt instructions. If you were to ask any number of frequent flyers about seatbelt guidelines or location of their “flotation devices” many would have great difficulty recalling these instructions. Seatbelts should be loosely fastened even during cruising altitude due to unexpected turbulence. Some flight attendants wear battle scars from clear air turbulence while walking through a cabin. It presents no visual warnings in the cockpit; not even veteran pilots can predict them.
Listen to Announcements
On some airlines, the in-flight announcements never seem to stop. Most are useful information to meet your needs. Some include lost and found information including passports. Of all the announcements however, do try to listen to landing information as your final guideline. Information on baggage claim, carousel number and landing documents enable sure-footing to the outside. Before you know it, you’re on your way to the nearest golf course in Vale do Lobo planning your next stroke. While relaxing in your villa in Vale do Lobo, you’ll think back on your flight with a smirk; you nailed it like the pros.
Steven Capocci is a travel writer who always recommends ensuring you pay attention at airports to ensure that your flight to great destinations such as Vale do Lobo is made as easy and stress-free as possible.