Tips for infrequent flyers


Don’t fly very often? Here are some tips from the trenches:

– Leave your two-pound belt with the stainless steel hawk head buckle at home. Believe it or not, metal detectors will beep when you put metal through them.

– Southwest has open seating. The sooner you check in online, the earlier you’ll be able to board the plane and pick your seat. If this is too hard for you to understand, fly a different airline — and stop complaining to everyone else at the gate about it.

– When you recline your seat, it takes that much more room away from the person behind you. And don’t bother trying to force it farther back than it’s designed to go: I’ve never seen anyone do that and actually end up more comfortable as a result.

– If you’re coughing or sneezing constantly, have some courtesy and cover your mouth. It’s really not that hard. (I wish the airlines would give out face masks to these people, but that’s another article entirely.)

Hat tip to the clueless American Airlines refugees who crowded my normally pleasant Southwest flight last week. I really enjoyed the wheezing man two seats over who sneezed into the air for hours, and the guy with the giant fingers in front of me who nearly broke the tray table by reaching over the headrest and trying to recline an extra inch.