Why vegans don’t get upgrades and ten other expert travel tips from cabin crew

As the world’s most frequent fliers, cabin crew have travelling down to a fine art.

We’ve scoured the web to find some of the most useful tips flight attendants have offered to keep your next trip running smoothly – from preperations, packing and precautions, to passing time at the airport.

1. Keep your luggage labelled – inside and out

Writing for MailOnline Travel, flight attendant and author Neil Jackson offered a handy hint to ensure your luggage doesn’t go astray.

“Before you fly, use a marker pen and write your name, home city and email address on a sheet of A4 paper. Get it laminated in a print shop and put it inside your suitcase to identify it, if your baggage tags fall off.”

2. Copy your passport

While you’re at the print shop, Jackson says you should make several photocopies of your passport – one for your hand luggage, one for your travel companion and one to leave with someone you trust as home.

“It sounds like overkill, but cabin crew have photos of their passports on their phones as well. They even email the pictures to themselves as a final fall-back.”

While you’re leaving the copy of your passport, give them a copy of your travel insurance policy too – then they’ll know who to contact if you end up in any trouble.

3. Choose your seat wisely

While most passengers choose seats at the front of the plane, so they can disembark first, flight attendants say you’ll get better service at the far end of the aircraft.

“The reason is simple: We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way,” a flight attendant with 2.5 years’ experience wrote for Oyster.

“This can cause a problem since planes often don’t have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.”

“For passengers sitting near the back of the plane, however, it’s much easier to slip in that second mini bottle of wine.”

If you’d rather not be seated near a baby, choose a seat that’s located far from the bulkheads – these are the only places where a bassinet can be secured.

4. Don’t order a special meal unless you have to

If you want to improve your chances of an upgrade to the pointy end of the plane, forgo ordering a special meal. According to Neil Jackson, vegetarians hardly ever get upgraded, as there may not be a suitable meal for them up front.

5. Arrive early for last-minute deals

Some airlines offer deals on upgrades on the day of a flight, Celessa Dietzel, a flight attendant with three years’ experience, told Business Insider – including first class seats, sometimes.

“So be in the boarding area good and early during boarding, because this is when you’ll hear the announcements for last-minute upgrade purchases you might be able to get,” Dietzel said. “It’s not for every airline, but it does happen.”

And make sure you’re dressed for the potential upgrade – don’t change into your pyjamas until you know where you’re sitting.

6. Consider your clothing





While delayed flights are annoying for everyone, don’t take your frustration out on the crew – according to mentalfloss.com, they might not even be getting paid yet.

“Our pay starts when the forward entry door is closed,” DiValerio says. “That means every time we are boarding or deplaning or the flight is delayed due to weather, mechanicals, or medicals, we aren’t making money.”

As we all know, a little kindness goes a long way.

“We’re just as anxious to get on the move as you are,” DiValerio says. “If it happens to be the end of our trip, we too have families waiting for us at home, parties to get to, holidays to enjoy, and funerals to attend.”

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