Saturday, March 21, 2009

In-flight consolation


Our guests come from as far as Australia and we try to ease them quickly into their vacation the minute they exit Departure Gate at Malta International Airport. The fact stays that we have no control over the quality of their journey from the country of origin. Austin Hill, editor of travel blog has kindly come to the rescue with a list of things that make his travel more relaxing:

Soundproof Earbuds
I initially starting using these to keep out the airplane noise and to keep me entertained. My skullcandy earbuds work great for these purposes, but I realized over the last couple of flights I've taken that when I leave them in the entire flight, my ears never needed to "pop" when I landed. I'm not sure exactly how this works, but it's left me a happier, more comfortable flier.

I may be one of the few guys on the plane with an eye-mask, but I wear mine proudly. It's the only way to sleep on a red-eye flight full of freaks who don't need to sleep.

Saline Nose Spray
My big nose (see photo above, yes, that's me) gets dry on flights. It's annoying, so I make sure to not leave this out of my carry on. It keeps me sane and from getting sick once I land.

A hand to hold
Despite the fact that I'm a fairly seasoned flier, there are sometimes when I need a friendly hand to calm me during turbulence or rough landings. Luckily, I usually have Kelly beside me to lovingly calm my nerves, but the times when she's not there make me grateful for when she is.

Speaking of hands, on a recent flight to Austin, we had a rather inebriated first time flier who was nervously chatting with her row-mate. Eventually, she got so worked up that she flat out asked him if she could hold his hand to calm her down. Luckily, he was quite the gracious and understanding guy, and agreed. That simple act was enough to transform her from a nervous wreck to a quiet sleeper. I think everyone on that flight owes that gentleman, and his helpful hand, a giant heaping serving of gratitude.

My notebook
For some odd reason, my mind seems to kick into high gear on an airplane, and I need to place to dump my ideas. If it weren't for my notebook, I'd be a scatterbrained mess, plus I'd lose all those great ideas. Is it just me, or do other people ever have this happen to them, especially when you're trying to sleep?

Air traffic control
I have an unnatural obsession with listening to air traffic control. I love hearing pilots chatting with each other and with the guys on the ground. Alongside the mundane altitude changes, course modifications, and weather updates, you can catch funny jokes, regional accents, and be prepared for any bad weather before the plane starts bumping around. Plus, there's part of me that likes to know that there's a world outside the metal tube I'm in. Thanks, United, for channel 9.

If anyone wants to contribute their list of hand luggage contents, go to and don't forget to list them here too.

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