Wednesday, December 05, 2012

how to fly and deal with airports

Over the past few years I've done a fair bit of travelling. I am on country # 46, nowhere close with regards to The Plan, but it's fair to say that during the last few years I've taken on average 20 international flights a year.

Most of these flights aren't long-haul (plus 8 hours) ones, but at least four on average, are.

Fuck.

But airports and flying go hand-in-hand with travelling, and if you're serious and cancer when you say rhythm is a dancer about seeing the world as much as you can in the time you have got, flying becomes part of the process.

Lots of people hate flying. A few of them have a fear of flying. I do. Turbulence, taking off and landing makes me mental and screechy and I sweat like a glazed ham.

This doesn't override the need to see another country, though, so I try to deal with it. Most people hate flying because it's mainly a fucking drag.

I've been through a few airports now, and have fully streamlined the process. For those of you who are ill-tolerant to flight travel, you have to follow the rules and embrace the process.

Here's how:
Don't wear clothes that fuck you over.

It sounds fairly obvious, but there are always twats that decide that Airport Day is the day to load on the jewellery, wear the belt, don the boots, wear shit that takes ages to put on and off.

I get why you'd want to look good when you get to the other side. I did a long distance relationship for a year; so I do get it.
But you don't need accessories. Take it all off.

Smalls

Get yourself one of these or these. Don't use them unless you're going on a trip. Take out the miniature bubble bath and other shit you probably won't use, and instead add a toothbrush and mini hairbrush to the bag.

Add miniature versions of your makeup (you can buy these in Duty Free very often.) Trust me, you don't use that much shampoo when you're away. Most hotels stock their own anyway.

Say hello to your new travel toiletry bag, containing liquids under 100mls, which you can therefore carry in your hand luggage if you need to.

No need to pack your toiletries, just grab the bag out of the cupboard when you need it. Not only does it sail through security, it also makes your luggage that much lighter.
And you only use it when you travel.

Shoes

Unless you wear trainers or pumps, most of the time, you'll need to take your shoes off through security. Therefore, only wear trainers or pumps.

Don't fuck around

Coins in pockets, mobile phone, shit everywhere. CONSOLIDATE.

If you want to be fast, you need to wear clothing without pockets/take the crap out. The people behind you think you're a dick and it's slowing you down.

Don't be an amateur.

Don't check in your luggage

If you're going somewhere for more than a week, then check it in. Otherwise stuff everything you have into a suitcase that can be carried on board as hand luggage.

You have no idea how much time this will save you if you add it all up.

Think about it. Twenty flights a year. Waiting for luggage, worst case scenario, 45 minutes.

45 minutes x 20 flights.

That's FIFTEEN HOURS YOU'LL NEVER GET BACK. WAITING FOR A BAG.

Optimise or wait. 'Sall I'm saying.  

Book a seat as close to the front as possible

This is a no brainer, but the closer you are to First Class, the better the turbulence (it's worse at the back) and the quicker you'll get out of the plane.

Be ready to select a seat the moment you check in online. ALWAYS check in online.

Never fly via somewhere.

It'll cost you more money, but if you're taking a lot of long-haul flights, flying via somewhere shouldn't even be an option.

For example, I am willing to pay the extra £400 it may cost to fly to South Africa directly. Not via Doha or Dubai, which involves a layover, more security lines,  x-ray machines, and more shit.

If there was ever a time to go by the 'convenience is king' thing, this is it. It'll cost you, but you won't age as quickly.

Fly to an airport with the closest and easiest transport links into town.

Again, this might cost you - but this is about streamlining your flight experience. So that you don't hate it and never want to do it again.

I live closest, for example, to Gatwick Airport. Getting there is easy. One train, 20 minutes. Therefore, I try to book all of my flights out of Gatwick.

If I'm leaving straight from work, I'll book my flights out of Heathrow, as that is easier.

Stansted, Luton? Where and what the fuck are those places? Oh that's right. Airports that are in Essex and Hertfordshire. (ie, closer to Manchester than London.)

Streamline. Optimise. Fly.*
(If I owned an airport, that would be my jingle.)

9 comments:

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An Aussie in Africa said...

Amen sister. Seriously. Why is long ass flight day the day to wear sky high stilleto heels for some girls? That is something I will never understand.

po said...

Lol I love the way they call them London-Luton and London-Stansted airports, and the poor unsuspecting tourists actually think they are in London. Stansted is so far from anywhere.

Kate said...

I have my toiletry bag packed and waiting, along with my 'first aid' bag (with all the things I usually need, but often forget) and a little tupperware with tea and coffee (the number of places I've had endure revolting coffee at means I now take my own. And a travel mug, so I don't have to refill those stupid little tea cups five times to get my caffiene fix.)

MamaMeeA said...

I'm with you on most of this stuff, Peas, but I'll suffer the turbulence at the back of the plane, thanks.
Have you ever looked at footage of crashed aircraft? Ever notice how the back of the fuselage is usually the only part of the wreckage you can still identify?
Your chances of surviving a crash are much better in the back...

Peas on Toast said...

Aussie - I know right? Heels in economy is nothing short of ridiculous. I did it once and it was the worst slog of my life. Never again!

Po - its hilarious! 'London to Marbella' sleazyjet specials which is actually 'Manchester to Marbella in an air coach'.

Kate - love love love the idea of bringing spare coffee! So true, coffee is usually dodgy in sketchy hotels, so this is a great idea.

Mama - that is true to an extent, but! Chances are you'll be severely injured if not half dead. At least in the front its a quick death!!

Peas on Toast said...

Aussie - I know right? Heels in economy is nothing short of ridiculous. I did it once and it was the worst slog of my life. Never again!

Po - its hilarious! 'London to Marbella' sleazyjet specials which is actually 'Manchester to Marbella in an air coach'.

Kate - love love love the idea of bringing spare coffee! So true, coffee is usually dodgy in sketchy hotels, so this is a great idea.

Mama - that is true to an extent, but! Chances are you'll be severely injured if not half dead. At least in the front its a quick death!!

Monty said...

Spot on. Best to get your own aeroplane.

The Python said...
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