How to Enjoy Long Airplane Flights While Being Safe
Read a book, shop and more using Amazon's Kindle Fire
Play Video Games, Read Books, Watch Movies
In today's high tech society, there is a wide variety of electronic devices at your disposal for entertainment. For example, instead of the reading a hard back book, you may elect to use the Kindle Fire or other electronic books.
Your cell phone is also an option to play fun mobile games such as My Tiny Horses: Little Pony Racing, which is a fun horse racing game available at the app store that will keep you competing in cyberspace against your friends. My Tiny Horses: Little PonyRacing is available for IOS devices and is playable on your iPhone.
Some airlines offer free movies to watch. If not, you may elect to use your laptop computer, phone or other mobile device to access movies. Be sure to wear your headphones so as not to disturb your seat mates.
How to be Safe on Airplanes
It is important for your safety and the safety of others to always report suspicious packages or suitcases to airport security officials immediately. You can remain anonymous and do not have to give your name or identify yourself.
My family and I reported a suspicious suitcase at the airport not too long ago. We were at the baggage claim area when we noticed a lone black suitcase without anyone standing near it. We waited for a few minutes to see if anyone would claim it, but no one did. After a few more minutes, we reported the suspicious suitcase to the security official who took it away immediately, no questions asked. My point is -- do not wait for someone else to report it. If you see something that looks out of the ordinary -- report it yourself.
Airplane Check-In by Phone
More often than not, people use their phones now to display their boarding passes. I am leery about this type of airplane check-in. With all the technology capabilities available, I think using mobile devices for check-in, while convenient, may not be the best way to show a boarding pass. There's always chances for breaches, hacks, malicious viruses and much worse.
In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise was able to circumvent security and make his way through secured areas. In my opinion with technology advances, come the chance for someone to try to circumvent or override security. Some of these security breaches we see demonstrated in the movies can possibly happen in real life. Unfortunately, in my opinion, displaying boarding passes by way of cell phones could very well be one of the avenues for security breaches to happen.
Airplane Flight Itinerary
You should always check your flight itinerary before you board the plane to become familiar with your flight durations, the lay-over locations and times, as well as the expected date/time to reach your destination.
Even if you have your itinerary printed in hand or on your phone -- when you reach the airport, alway check the departure and arrival screens to be sure your flight has not been delayed, cancelled or changed.
Board the Correct Airplane
When you pass through security screening and are now through the gate, be sure you board the correct plane. If you are unsure where your flight is boarding, ask one of the airport attendants behind the desk where your boarding area is. Some people may ask their fellow travellers, but it is best to get the information from the people who should know -- the airport attendants.
Before the airplane departs, the flight attendant will repeat numerous times its destination. This is done to ensure you have boarded the correct airplane.
Scanning your boarding pass is not a sure-fire way to make sure you are on the correct plane. For instance, sometimes planes stop during layovers, and allow passengers to get off and back on again before it takes off to its destination. During this time, it is possible for you to get back on the wrong plane. You may have seen cases where people have actually left the plane after being seated because they had inadvertently boarded the wrong plane. Don't let that person be you!
On some airplanes, you can select your preferred seat when you make your airplane reservations, whether it is a window, aisle, or middle seat. By the way, the middle seat tends to be the most undesirable seat due to the lack of adequate space and having to squeeze past someone to take a bathroom break, or just to get up and stretch.
You may prefer the exit row seat because of the leg room. However, a disadvantage to the exit row seat is sometimes there are only two seats instead of three. Because of the vacant space beside you near the window, the person sitting in the window seat behind you can stretch out their legs. When you look to your right you see someone's else legs beside your seat -- which could be uncomfortable to look at for some people.
Get an exit row seat if you do not mind the responsibilities that go with sitting there. There are age limits for these seats as well, i.e. you must be 15 years or older to sit in the exit row for some airplanes.
Neck Discomfort During Airplane Travel
On long airplane flights, you may choose to use the curved type neck rest designed especially for travel. Make sure you get the right fit because some may cause neck pain instead of preventing it.
You may decide to use the sterilized travel pillow provided by the airlines. Before your neck becomes stiff, you can place the travel pillow behind the lower back part of your neck, and tilt your head backwards over the pillow for comfort. For even more comfort, you can tilt your seat backwards as well. Just be sure to bring your seat back to its upright position when instructed to do so by the airline staff.
Airplane Travel Blankets
You may avoid using the airplane travel blankets, especially if they are not enclosed in plastic. However on long overnight flights or if it is cold in the plane, you may choose to use the travel blanket for warmth.
My advice is If you are offered the blanket by the airplane attendant -- accept the blanket just in case you may want to use it later. If you do not need the blanket, it fits neatly in the seat pouch in front of you. Remember, if you are cold on a plane, you can ask for a blanket; however, this may be a benefit to first class customers only and not to you if you are traveling coach.
Some people are not too keen on using an airplane restroom and try to avoid using them entirely because of its small size, germs, etc. The bad news is on long flights, sometimes you do not have a choice but to use these facilities. The good news is using the airplane restroom gives you a chance to get up and stretch. In fact, an advantage to taking bathroom breaks on an airplane is if you have been sitting for awhile, this gives you the opportunity to move around and exercise your muscles, especially your leg and back muscles.
Remember, on airlines you cannot stand by the laboratory area and wait in line for your turn. You must stay seated until you notice the restroom is free to be used. You may notice some airlines are lax about people lining up in the aisle, but it is best to stay seated until the restroom is unoccupied and available.
For long flights, you may choose to use the restroom facilities at the airport before you board the airplane. If you do use the airplane restroom, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before returning to your seat to avoid germs as much as possible. You may want to have some baby wipes or other sanitized napkins like Wet Ones handy to keep your hands germ-free.
Sitting for a Long Time When Traveling by Plane
If you have been sitting for a long time during your plane flight, you need to move around. The one thing you do not want is the possibility of blood clots, or something else happening due to sitting still for a long period of time. Even if you just reach up and adjust the light or the air flow, do that for movement.
A common problem is lack of blood circulation in your legs due to non-movement. Try to move around to prevent stiffness in the first place. You can change your leg positions, maybe stretch them out in front of you as much as possible, being careful not to block the walkway if you are sitting in an aisle seat.
You can do this simple exercise to keep your blood circulating properly. Move both feet around, either with your shoes on or off, and try writing your name in cursive with both your feet, wiggling your toes at the same time. Your feet movement will help with your blood circulation. You can also stand up and walk down the aisle and back to your seat -- when it is safe to move around the cabin.
Wear Seat Belts During Airplane Travel
For your safety and the safety of others, please use your seat belts while on the plane, when in flight and even when the plane has landed and is moving to its hangar. Always check the seat belt signs and listen to the pilot or airplane staff if you are not sure if you can unbuckle your seat belt.
As a rule of thumb, just keep your seat belt fastened whenever you are seated on the plane. You never know when there is going to be unexpected turbulence and the pilot or airline staff may not have time to give you advance notice.
Remember, the fun part of any trip in addition to getting to the destination, is enjoying the journey. The next time you are on an airplane flight, be happy not only when you get to where you are going, but be joyful on the way there too. Do as the airplane attendant always tells us: "Enjoy your flight."
Safe and happy travels!