Travel Tips for Turning Around Travel Nightmares

Cabin Interiors-2.Honeywell_media_webDreading traveling for the holidays? Why not turn a potential negative experience into a positive one by not being one of the people who most travelers think makes travel a nightmare.

We’ve all seen the annoying ones on the plane…the seat kicker, the carry-on-smelly-food passenger, the person in front of you who lowers their seat into your lap, the loud drunk.

In a survey of air travelers, Honeywell Aerospace puts the peeves up against hard stats. Many of those surveyed said they would skip time-honored traditions and even part with their gifts just to avoid the hassle, including:

  • Fifty-seven percent would give up watching their favorite holiday parade to dodge flying.
  • Thirty-one percent would give up one of their holiday presents to avoid braving the holiday airport rush.
  • More than one-quarter would give up connecting with loved ones from afar on social media (27 percent) or taking pictures of holiday festivities (27 percent). 
Over 1000 travelers surveyed

The research, conducted by Kelton, global insights and strategy firm, surveyed 1,041 adults in the United States who have taken a flight at least once in the last 12 months and looked at pre-boarding as well as the flight.

  • Nearly three in ten would most want to avoid “the arguer” while dealing with the challenging baggage and security check lines, while others say this about “the line-cutter” (17 percent) or “the disorganized traveler” (15 percent).
  • Plug your nose. The No. 1 in-flight passenger attribute Americans most want to avoid is “the smelly traveler” (41 percent).
  • Emitting unpleasant smells is also the quickest way to become the most unwanted airline seatmate, with passing gas (64 percent) and not wearing deodorant (60 percent) considered top passenger blunders.

However, an interesting fact is the air on the plane is actually refreshed 25 to 30 times an hour according to Bill Kircos, Honeywell Aerospace communications VP. “This is more often than a train, hospital or office building,” he said. 

No Exemptions for the Little Ones

Children also face impatience from fellow passengers. Although children might not be aware of what’s going on around them, other passengers sure are. Of those surveyed, 37 percent of Americans believe children should have a designated section of the aircraft on flights lasting more than two hours. In fact, 40 percent of women feel this way, compared with 31 percent of men. They also agree on some potential solutions when dealing with impatient or tired little ones on a flight:

  • Seventy-two percent consider confronting a fellow traveler who was not stopping their child from kicking their seat.
  • Twenty-nine percent who have done something in response to a child issue on their flight have been so bold as to ask a parent to reprimand their child.
  • Forty-five percent think all passengers should get free ear plugs in the case of a screaming baby.
Tips to Fly A Friendly Sky 

Start by not being the problem. Think about how your actions affect other travelers. Be the solution or at least not the source of the problem.

Some travelers who feel they need to correct a situation have taken action, according to the survey.

  • Many have taken direct action by asking a flight attendant to fix the issue (43 percent) or confronting a passenger who was causing a disturbance (27 percent).
  • Two in five (40 percent) have asked to move to another seat, escaping the situation in a civil manner, and 30 percent admit to taking a sedative or sleeping pill to dull their own reaction to the disturbance.
What can you do? 
  • Don’t kick the seat in front of you.
  • Think about how far your seat is reclining into the person’s seat behind you. Would you want the person in front of you to recline as far?
  • Don’t drink too much.
  • Bring extra food and toys for your children to keep them occupied.
  • Offer to move YOUR seat if your kids are annoying.
  • If you are going to bring a smelly pizza onto the plane, at least offer it to the passenger next to you.
  • Know you are going to get up frequently during the flight? Offer to take the aisle seat.
  • Don’t want to look out the window and would rather pull down the shade? Offer the seat to someone who does want to look out.
  • Don’t assume you own both arm rests. Share.

So as you head to the airport, remember to roll with the punches, take the ride in stride, enjoy the flight and the holidays.  And don’t kick the seat in front of you.  Happy travels!

Photo:  Honeywell Aerospace

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