Flying High

(January 02, 2016 )

WRITTEN BY ASHLEY GARLAND

Long gone are the years when flying was a classy event. These days, travelers face long lines, tight security, crowded planes, frequent delays, and meager meals as they travel from point A to point B. It’s no wonder airline passengers can be a cranky bunch or that they seek comfort by sporting sweatpants when traveling.  

 But it doesn’t have to be like this. With a bit of advance planning, you can bring the class back to traveling. And you can do it in a way that allows you to be both chic and comfortable en route. Here’s how.

DRESS SMART
 You can find ways to dress for comfort and still look like a stylish traveler. To start, set aside anything that qualifies as loungewear and find some clothes that fall into the business casual category. Just know that business casual doesn’t have to be stiff or fussy. Men can try a nice sweater or a button-down shirt and casual jacket with jeans or slacks, and women can opt for a loose blouse or tunic and dark jeans that have a bit of stretch for comfort. The key is keeping your look simple. Remember that the more you wear, the more you’ll have to take off in the security line.

MAKE YOUR MANNERS MATCH YOUR LOOK
 Most airports are full of disgruntled customers complaining about flight delays and seat assignments. You don’t have to be one of them. Instead, make a point to follow the rules of good etiquette when you are checking your bags, going through security, queuing up to board, and entering and exiting the plane. And remember to practice patience and gratitude in your interactions with airport workers and the airline staff. The way you treat others speaks to your character and lets you lead by example among your fellow passengers.

GO GOURMET
 Even though airports are stepping up their dining game, your best bet to eat well while flying is to bring the food yourself. After all, the pricey snacks you’ll find in the small markets and on board commercial airlines don’t exactly cater to gourmet tastes. Instead, you could bring a customized snack box from a company like Graze, load up on nutritious nibbles at your gourmet grocer, or pack a complete meal at home. (Use something like a bento box or collapsible lunch box to tote your food with ease.) Pack foods like fresh fruit or vegetables, trail mix, or grain salads that taste great at room temperature and don’t contain liquids that will raise red flags at security.

PACK A PROPER DOPP KIT
 If you have trouble keeping your look together while you travel, you need to get a well-stocked dopp kit or cosmetics bag together pre-trip. Designed to fit in a purse, briefcase, or carry-on bag, these small kits contain travel-size toiletries and a few necessities to help you polish your look on the go. You can pack your kit to suit your style, but consider including a few staples such as basic makeup, facial cleansing cloths, lip balm, moisturizing lotion, a small hairbrush, hand sanitizer, and mints or gum.   

CREATE QUIET
 From the chatter of fellow passengers to announcements on the overhead PA system, airports and airplanes are filled with background noise. If you want to block out all those ambient sounds, utilize earbuds and play a soothing soundtrack or your favorite podcast. Or, if noise really grates on you, pack a pair of earplugs or noise-canceling headphones in your carry-on and use them when noise levels get too loud. 

First-Class Flying
There’s nothing classier than flying first class. And though it’s not always possible to earn a business class upgrade, you’ll give yourself a better shot at flying with more legroom, amenity kits, hot meals, fancy wines, and more if you try these tips.
Use Frequent-Flyer Miles. Frequent-flyer miles have another purpose beyond earning you future upgrades and flights; they’re also often the factor that determines who earns free upgrades. When an airline overbooks coach but has seats available in first class, they’re more likely to upgrade passengers than bump them from the flight. Most often, it’s the passenger who has earned the most miles that snags the special seat.  
Be an Early Bird. Arrive at the gate early to increase your chances of getting moved to business class. Your first stop should be the check-in counter, where you can volunteer to get bumped if you aren’t on a strict schedule. If you get bumped, you’ll likely earn perks or cash. And if you stay on your original flight, there’s a chance the airline could thank you for your kind offer with a new seat assignment.  

Source: Homes by Design

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