People are sometimes confused about seat numbers, sit in the wrong seat or claim a seat that’s not theirs. This is quite a common issue and it always boils down to the same action: check boarding passes. As a prepared passenger, you’ll not sit at the wrong place but it could be that someone thinks you’ve taken their seat.
So after showing your boarding pass at the gate, have it in your pocket or keep it in your hand. And when you’re sit down, simply clip our boarding pass in the clip holding your tray table. This is a much better place than in your pocket or even worse in your jacket in the overhead compartment.
Doing so, you’ll always have your boarding pass at hand without having to stand up or do contortions to extract your boarding pass from a pocket. After take-off, put it back in a pocket with the other items that should always be with you on board.
The are five items that you must ALWAYS carry on you when you’re at an airport or on board an airline flight. And I really mean on you, not by you. Not in your hand luggage. Not in the overhead compartment. Not even in your coat if you plan to get it off.
Hand luggage are someone stolen in terminals or taken by someone else by mistake. In case of an aircraft evacuation, you can not take any luggage with you so you could end up with what you have on you and nothing else.
These items are kind of a “survival kit” that can take you through the most critical situations but also get you in dire trouble if you loose them… Continue reading
I believe in good preparation and understanding of the airlines and airports. These are the key to easier, smoother, stressless travels. I’ve seen too many people at airports go to the wrong gate or fighting for the wrong seat. Gate and seat numbers can look similar but if you know a few rules, you won’t run into such issues.
Actually, I’ve even seen people disputing to get a seat in a train, one arguing that we were in car number two and the other arguing this was car number five. Can you guess why? The member of “team car two” misread the “2” indicating this is a second class car with the car number. Silly but real. And despite the many jokes on this topic, people who don’t know how to fasten their seatbelt are allowed to flight.
So let’s have a look at your typical boarding pass and see what we can learn there… Continue reading
I was late. The evening traffic to get to Boston Logan Airport was just horrible and most of my time buffer was already lost when I eventually did reach the terminal. The TSA checkpoint was not overcrowded but it did consumed the rest of my buffer anyway. I printed my boarding pass the evening before at my hotel, too early to have a gate information.
This was only my third trip to the US and everything was fine so far, except that now I was late for my flight home. So I was standing there, knowing that my flight was already boarding at an unknown gate. My eyes were scanning the screen, searching for the departure time noted on my boarding pass. Standard procedure, right? I rapidly got the feeling that something was wrong. Times were like dancing in front of me but I could not find any logic, any sequence, let alone finding the much needed information: the gate I had to be to… now.
It felt like an eternity and I was almost ready to ask some ground staff but all of a sudden, my brain clicked and I found my flight on the screen so rapidly… It was like a Eureka moment and I started smiling and walked swiftly to my flight, which I boarded last. What was wrong with the way I looked after my flight? Continue reading
I like flying to Amsterdam for many reasons and this is actually my favourite city in Europe and not only because of the very touristy red light district. Schiphol airport is nice to fly through, with only one negative point: some restaurants close hours before the last fly even starts boarding.
But what I like the most there is the way late passengers are called over the PA system. The usual “Mister John Doe, travelling to Dallas with American Airlines flight 22, please come to A45 immediately” is replaced there by something different, which cracks me up each and every time. Continue reading
I can pack my suitcase for a ten days business trip in ten minutes. This will include formal and casual outfits adapted to the seasonal weather at my destination, sporting gear and everything I could possibly need during the trip. This became such a routine over time that I really don’t worry much about this anymore but I have to admit getting to this point was not always easy.
Like all travellers, I had painful moments, ranging from forgetting toothpaste or aftershave to trousers and jackets not matching each other. On one trip I even forgot to take socks! Like many things, developing and applying a routine consistently makes things easier.
This is not only about what to pack but also about how to pack it. Nobody wants a clothes explosion when opening their suitcase at the hotel, or even worse, at security checks if this is hand luggage. So here are my tips for packing your suitcase in an efficient and safe way. Continue reading
I like to fly the airlines. But today I’ve no flight planed and I’m very happy with it. It’s snowing and this is one of the major cause of air travel disruptions. When it is snowing, airports must de-snow their runways and taxiways, which reduce capacity and flights have to be delayed or cancelled. Airplanes must be sprayed with de-icing fluid before take-off and this is also a bottleneck as airports often reduce their equipment to the minimum.
The worst snowpocalypse I personally got caught in was in Munich, Germany. The airport shut down shortly after I landed and my connecting flight was cancelled. It was one of the hundreds and the waiting line for rebooking was as long as the terminal. Luckily, thanks to some airline status, I could go in the one hour long queue instead of the six hours long one. No joke, that rebooking queue was so long that people from benevolent organisations started to handle water and sandwiches to people in the queue.
Even the short queue was no fun but there are a few things you can do to be prepared for a snow day flying the airlines: Continue reading
I like to book my airline tickets myself. I know exactly what I know, I know how to do it quickly so there is no reason to delegate this to anybody else. Usually I do it online and sometimes from a coffee shop or an other place where I’m for work or privately. And I don’t like when the process fails.
The last flight I booked is to Dubai with Emirates. After quickly checking the price from competitors, it was clear that Emirates is the airline of choice for this route, not to mention the comfort on board. The booking process ran seamlessly and I even received the confirmation from my bank that my credit card got charged. But on the last confirmation page, the dreaded red error line appeared: “There was a problem with your booking, please contact us rapidly”.
I thought to myself “here we go… again” and I called the hotline from a comfortable but very public seat at Starbucks. After ten minutes of waiting time (!!), I got an operator.
The guy on the line was polite and he rapidly found my booking but this took a few minutes. To find the payment, he requested my credit card number. Not just the last numbers but the full number. I hesitated… Continue reading
Like it or not, airline flying is a collective activity. This even increases as the price of your ticket decreases. Get an amazingly expensive first class ticket and you’ll get some privacy, make a trade-off with an expensive business class ticket or be cheap and very collective on an economy class ticket.
But please, whatever you choose, remember that you’re not alone on board and show respect to your fellow passengers. Don’t leave your common sense at the gate and you should be safe. Actually, this post should not even exist but to give a few ideas: Continue reading
Basically, as long as the flight you want to be on did not leave the gate, you have a chance to get on, even if you’re booked on another flight. Even if you’re booked on a different airline. Even if you’re booked to another destination.
You don’t believe me? Then have a look at this boarding pass!
How did I get this change?