How to fly in the USA

In response to this article from The Huffington Post, I’m sharing my observations for boarding domestic flights in the USA:

  1. There is no need to check any baggage. Just bring it all with you as you board. Try not to leave anything you own at home.
  2. NEVER use the overhead locker nearest your own seat.
  3. What you cannot squeeze into an overhead locker can be left in the seat next to you (whether occupied or not), under all of the seats in front of you on either side (keeping the one directly in front free for stretching out your legs), or given to an air steward (or one of the pilots if you cannot find a steward).
  4. Nobody behind you will mind if you take as long as you need to store all of your personal possessions before moving towards your own seat.
  5. Sit wherever you feel most comfortable. The chances are that nobody else really needs that seat anyway.
  6. If moved to a seat you don’t like, it is time to speak to the stewards or pilots again. There are many valid reasons you can use for getting a better seat: you are too fat; you are too tall; your back hurts; you need to supervise your children; you need to get away from your children; you need to sit closer to all or some of your luggage; you will be sick without a window view; you told the girl on the phone that you wanted an exit row; you are a frequent flyer; you are incontinent and your fast food will eventually disagree with your bowell; etc. Tears are good too.
  7. Make sure you buy enough hot fast food to last you for at least several months, even if it is only a 30 minute flight. If you do manage to eat it and have to dispose of the rubbish, or if you lose interest in it, see #3., above.
  8. Bring all of your small children with you. After all, the flight will be full of people with nothing else to do than look after them for you. Children should not be forced to leave any of their toys at home.
  9. You can just ignore all of the warnings to switch off mobile devices until an air steward threatens you with physical violence. Then you need to take their name and their photo.
  10. As soon as possible, recline your seat fully and leave it that way for the entire flight. If anyone wants to know why, say it is broken. You may as well relax.
  11. On landing, should your flight actually manage to take off, it is OK to jump straight up and then rush to wherever you stored your heaviest possessions. No need to wait for lights to go off or announcements to be made. That would be foolish. There is a prize for the first person to stand up in the aisle. And there is a bonus for the first person off the plane.

Happy flying.


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