Let’s face it, air travel is stressful. A lot of the time we just want to get to our destination and out of that cramped airline seat as fast as possible. There are tarmac delays, crying babies, loud talkers, chatty neighbors, smelly food, tight carryon space, small seats, middle seats, slow WiFi, no WiFi, few outlets, dry air, germs, cold airplanes, hot airplanes, and who can forget the drama from this summer with the knee defender! First class can solve some of these problems but that’s not always an option for many flyers. So here are my tips for coping with in-flight stress when flying coach.
Delays. Delays happen, and sometimes they happen once you’ve already boarded due to things like weather, mechanical issues (that one was a doozy), and a number of other reasons. The first thing that stresses me out when there’s a delay is not knowing if I’ll make my connection. As soon as a delay is announced I immediately start looking for a plan b on my phone. I ask myself ‘what will I do if I miss my connecting flight?’ Then if I know I’m going to miss my connection I’ll have plan in place that I can quickly relay to a customer service agent. If the delay is the fault of the airlines (such as mechanical and not weather) ask for a concession such as an upgrade to first class on the next flight or miles.
Another stressor with delays is not being able to eat. After being delayed on a plane for certain period of time airlines are required to provide refreshment, but I prefer to have something that I know I’ll enjoy if I’m hungry. I usually have a couple of KIND Bars to hold me over just for these situations. I’ll also eat the KIND Bars if the airplane food isn’t looking awesome. Something is better than nothing! Be sure to also stay hydrated in the air. I always have my Contigo refillable water bottle with me on flights so I don’t dry out. But be sure you release pressure before popping open the straw with this bottle!
Noise. There are all kinds of noises on a plane. You could end up with a seat right by the plane engine, you could end up next to a loud talker, screaming baby, chatty neighbors, etc. Don’t leave home without your noise canceling headphones. Seriously. I preach this a lot because it works. Use something like these Bose Noise Canceling headphones along with a white noise app (or a classical music app depending on your preference). If you have a chatty neighbor and want to get away politely tell them you have a work assignment due, put the headphones on and hopefully they’ll get the picture.
Smelly food. Read more of this article »