Thousands of flights take off from airports crisscrossing the globe every day – whether you love it or hate it, flying is here, and it is here to stay. For some individuals, such as business executives, flying is part of the job that they just can’t avoid. Regardless of if you’re a frequent flyer collecting airline loyalty miles, or you only fly on vacations, there’s no denying that taking the plane can be a hassle.

Airline pilot William Matheuszik whose experience covers scheduled, charter, and cargo flying among others, explains that, for the average person, flying is now more challenging than ever. From lengthy lines and complex security checks at the airport to diminishing legroom on the plane, the inconveniences are many. “However,” the experienced pilot adds, “there are things you need to know and do to make your flying experience easier.” These things that William Matheuszik mentioned, start at home.

At Home

Planning for your flight starts from the moment you decide you want to fly somewhere. You know how the early bird gets the worm? In the world of airlines, the early bird gets the best seats, the best ticket prices, and the best on-time flights. Pilot William Matheuszik shares some of the things you can do at home to help you get a great flying experience.

  • Book early flights: Statistics show that flights that take off early in the morning are less prone to delays than afternoon or evening flights since air traffic is at its lowest at this time.
  • Choose a convenient seat: While booking your flight online, choose the right seat for you. An aisle seat suits a tall person since they can spread their legs while a window seat is perfect for long naps.
  • Do your check-in online: To avoid long queues and the stress of airport check-ins, you can easily do your check-in online 24 hours in advance.
  • Bring a snack: A healthy snack, such as a small bag of baby carrots and fruits, especially on local flights, will go a long way into keeping your energy levels, and mood, up.
  • Dress for comfort: Ditch chunky boots and tight clothes and opt for cotton and breathable clothing. Make sure to bring clothes that can be easily removed in case the plane gets too warm.

At the Airport

Now that you’ve packed your bags, got the best deal for your flight, and done your check-in well in advance, it’s time to head to the airport. William Matheuszik has a few secrets to share to help you cruise through airport checks until you land comfortably in your seat.

  • Arrive early: Depending on your flight you’ll need to arrive at the airport as early as possible. For local flights, you need to be at the airport at least one hour before the flight and two to three hours for international flights.
  • Keep your documents handy: If you have already done your check-in online then you’re ready for the security check. Keep both your ID/passport and boarding pass ready for review as you wait in line. That way you won’t waste your or other travelers’ time.
  • Empty your water bottle: Since you can’t pass security with a bottle with water in it, don’t throw away the bottle. Drink it all up and take it with you. After you pass security, go ahead and refill it.
  • Wait at your gate or lounge: A lot of people don’t know this but the easiest way to miss a flight is to wander off away from your gate or lounge. And when you leave a seat always look behind you in case you dropped something.

On Board the Plane

You’ve made it safely to your seat on board. Airline pilot William Matheuszik has these bits of wisdom to make your flight as easy and comfortable as possible:

  • Stay hydrated: Remember the empty bottle of water that you carried with your through security. Hopefully, you have remembered to refill it since you’ll be sipping from it throughout the flight. Steer clear from coffee, alcohol and soda and focus on water. Also, remember to eat that healthy snack you brought with you.
  • Empty your pockets: Nothing makes for uncomfortable seating than keys and wallets in your pockets. Remove all the bulky stuff and store it in the seat pocket or in a small bag.
  • Bring earplugs: Not all airlines offer you earplugs so bring your own. They’re handy when you want a long and peaceful nap. In addition to the ear plugs, a blind fold and neck pillow may be necessary for a flight during the day.
  • Listen to soothing music: Another way to help you get a good sleep on board is to listen to relaxing music.

Now you’re all set. Captain William Matheuszik wishes you a pleasant and safe flight!

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