Travel mistakes: We are all guilty of making them. No matter how many times we fly, drive, cruise, or hop a train, there will always be mistakes to be made. While some of these happen by breaking unspoken rules while traveling, others are just blatant accidents that we realize later on were probably not the best course of action.
With travel picking up again in 2022 - finally - the lack of traveling in previous years has likely caused a little rust to form on the mistakes we always knew to avoid before. When traveling via plane, especially, it might not be as second nature as it once was - thus, the travel mistakes are made.
Here are the biggest ones to avoid before boarding a plane in 2022.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Boarding & Storing Luggage
There's plenty of time to board that plane, right? Wrong! Just because it seems like planes take forever to take off doesn't mean that passengers should take longer than ten minutes to find their seats. According to My World Sites, the faster passengers are seated, the faster the plane can take off, which means the flight remains on time. For those without connecting flights or time restraints, this might not seem that significant - but the other passengers won't quite see it that way.
- Pro Tip: Familiarize oneself with their assigned seat, and figure out before boarding where each bag will go, whether it's overhead, under the seat, or in the storage bin. Additionally, rolling luggage can be rolled in front rather than behind in order to get down aisles faster and not be in the way of passengers behind the luggage roller.
When storing luggage, there's some time-saving that can happen here, as well. The overhead compartments are usually roomy enough to hold three small suitcases or one to two average-sized suitcases. However, some passengers also put their personal belongings such as carry-on, purses, backpacks, or even jackets up there, which is not the intended purpose of an overhead bin. Not only does this take away storage space from the passengers surrounding, but it's also improper use of plane storage which can lead to some hot tempers.
- Pro Tip: Determine beforehand what's worth bringing on the plane. Is it necessary to bring a winter jacket aboard? Can a backpack be stored underneath the seat? Can large purses be swapped out for a fanny pack or a smaller clutch?
Takeoff, Landing, And During The Flight
When it comes to what not to do during takeoff and landing, the rules are pretty clear:
- Avoid using the bathroom
- Don't continue using one's phone
- Refrain from hitting the 'call' button
- Avoid messing with the air vents right away
- Try not to take an extraordinary amount of time getting situated (there will be time for this after the 'buckle seatbelt' sign flashes to 'off')
It's not the end of the world if any of these things are done; however, a flight attendant will likely be coming around to correct them. In the case of using the bathroom during takeoff and landing, though, this could actually be dangerous in the event of an emergency. The best way to avoid it? Use the bathroom before getting on the plane - chances are, there's an airport bathroom pretty close to the boarding area.
During the flight, the rules are a bit more lax thanks to everyone settling in for the long haul. Occasionally, passengers will want to do things such as switching seats, especially if there are some empty rows to the back or near windows. While it's not a mistake to inquire about switching seats, it is important to avoid getting one's hopes up for doing so. Typically, it won't be an issue to swap an assigned seat for one nearby that's empty, especially if it's out of the way of other people. However, passengers shouldn't be coveting seats or searching desperately to switch - once seat tickets are purchased, that's about it.
- Pro Tip: Seat Guru is a great resource when it comes to figuring out exactly where a seat is located. When in doubt, there's usually an additional fee that travelers can pay in order to pick out their seat, or set of seats when purchasing plane tickets.
When exiting the plane, the same rule typically applies when it comes to a quicker pace. Many passengers might be waiting for connecting flights which means that the smallest inconvenience could lead to a holdup.
In the event that we are the ones who need to rush to a connecting flight, it's not impolite to explain this to other passengers in order to get ahead of the line. As long as it's done in a kind, gracious manner (and not one that's panicked), most passengers won't have an issue stepping out of the way in order to let someone else through.