Learn from the professionals
No matter how many times you’ve flown the friendly skies, you haven’t done it as much as a flight attendant. And that means you likely have something to learn. The flight attendants we spoke with know a thing or two about what it takes to stay healthy, rested, and happy on a flight – as well as how to be a considerate traveller. If you’re engaging in any of the following behaviours, it’s time to change things up so you can have a better travel experience every time you fly.
Staying glued to your seat
“When the seat belt sign is off, walk throughout the cabin to get the circulation going in your legs,” says Emirates cabin crew member Lauren Guilfoyle. “And remember to stretch a few times throughout the flight to get your muscles loosened up and the blood circulation going.” Not only might you start to get stiff and/or stir-crazy if you don’t get up, but you could also be endangering your health. On a long flight, in particular, a lack of movement can put you at an increased risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially deadly blood clot, according to the CDC. Simply getting up and moving around can reduce that risk.
Stuck against the window with a sleeping seatmate on the aisle? No worries. “When seated, motion each letter of the alphabet with your foot to get the blood flowing and avoid ankle swelling,” Guilfoyle suggests. “Circulatory exercises will keep your cheeks looking rosy and make you look more awake when you de-board.”
Falling asleep unbuckled
A domestic flight attendant we’ll call Suzanne says that neither she nor her colleagues would ever “fall asleep with our seat belts off.” Why? She poses this rhetorical question: “Do you want to hit the ceiling?!” before noting her frustration at passengers who get mad at her for “having to poke them to wake them up and make sure their seat belt is on.” You never know when the plane will hit turbulence or experience some other unexpected emergency, so it’s always best to be safe while you snooze.