However, a sizable portion of travelers will hop aboard a flight to see family hundreds or thousands of miles away. Those who choose air travel have additional health and comfort concerns those who stay on the ground won’t face.
As reported by Fox News Health, there are 11 things you can do or avoid on your upcoming flight and all future flights to make your visit much more enjoyable and safe. (Related: This Thanksgiving, let’s say ‘no thanks’ to the tyranny of the American Police State.)
- Don’t drink the water aboard the flight. As one flight attendant told Business Insider earlier this year, “Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane. They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea.” But why not? Because, a prior EPA study that found 1 in 8 planes could not pass water safety standards. The 2004 study is disputed by the airlines, but you really should just take bottled water on board with you to avoid any problems. Also, if onboard ice is made from tap water, skip that too.
- Lay off the Diet Coke. You should anyway, just because soda — diet or otherwise — is one of the unhealthiest foods you can consume. But if you have to have one, think twice before ordering: Flight attendants don’t like serving it because it takes too long to pour, thanks to its extreme foaming properties.
- Wear shoes at all times. Earlier this year Men’s Health talked to a pair of flight attendants who told the publication to never walk around without shoes. “Every bodily fluid has been on the floor,” one of them asserted. They also said flight attendants appreciate and accept tips.
- Get up and walk around. You don’t want to sit the entire flight, especially if it’s more than an hour or so. Aaron Day, M.D., a cardiology fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says that sitting in a small airline seat can make it more difficult for blood to circulate from your legs to your heart, and this is especially true the older we get. If you can’t stand, then try at least stretching your legs during the flight.
- Just say no to alcohol. When you drink at altitude, you can feel much more intoxicated far more quickly because there is less oxygen than when you’re on the ground. Also, drinking too much could get you into trouble and you don’t need that on a flight to see family and friends, especially.
- Never eat directly off tray table. As much as ground crews try to keep planes clean between flights, they don’t often have time to concentrate on those drop down trays. In fact, they have been found to contain nearly 10 times more bacteria than the flush button in the lavatory. Yuck!
- Just avoid soda, period. Beverages that are carbonated can make you feel much more bloated, which can lead to uncomfortable cramping. Those are the last things you want to experience on a flight.
- Skip the unhealthy airline food. If you’re not really all that hungry, don’t partake in the food served during the flight. Eat something before you take off or bring along some healthy food or snacks with you. Chef Gordon Ramsey, after working for airlines for a decade, doesn’t ever eat airline food.
- Best to keep your feet and hair to yourself. As Fox News noted, this is just self-explanatory. It’ll make for a more enjoyable flight.
- Carry-on courtesy. Most everyone will need some overhead compartment space so minimize what you carry on board. Also, try to keep it close to you and make sure you keep hold of things you’re going to want or need during the flight (snacks, computer, reading material, etc.).
- Never be rude to your flight attendants. Almost nothing negative that happens on flights is their fault, so don’t take things out on them. They’re doing their best to make you comfy.
Read more of J.D. Heyes’ work at The National Sentinel.