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12 ~*Insider*~ Travel Tips From Flight Attendants

The online check-in counter is there for a reason.
PHOTO: istockphoto

1. Always, always bring a pen.

If you are flying internationally, you have to fill out forms to enter a country. We cannot accommodate 400+ passengers who borrow pens from us.

2. Make sure to wear shoes that are easy to remove. 

When you get screened, you have to remove your shoes. You don't want the people behind you waiting, right? Let's be real: Madaming masungit sa airport. 

3. Bring your medicines because they may not be available in the country you're visiting. 

Keep a small emergency kit on hand when you travel. Not all airlines will be able to give you medicine on board. If you have asthma or a health condition that requires you to take medication, for your sake and everyone else's, do not pack it in your checked-in baggage. Remember that we do not have access to the cargo area. We can't get it for you even if we want to.

4. Drink ~a lot~ of water.

During a long-haul flight, make sure to drink some water because the aircraft is being depressurized, so the air tends to be dry. And if you need to drink more, don't hesitate to ask.

5. If you're someone who drinks a lot of water, pack your own empty water bottle.

We'll be happy to refill it on board. It's a lot easier than having you ring the call bell every 15 minutes.

6. When going to cold countries, take only one heavy coat with you and just use thermals to keep yourself warm.

This will give you more space for things you've shopped.

7. It's better to sleep during the flight so you can adjust to the time difference.

Passengers who can't sleep should at least stretch while seated. You can also try taking a walk along the cabin to avoid muscle cramps.  

8. Always check in online.

You don't have to queue at the counter. There is a special online counter, which is never ever full. And always weigh your luggage before you leave the house to avoid surprises.

9. When packing your carry-on, make sure you are within the weight limit.

More than that, make sure you are able to carry it on your own. We will assist you but if we think it's too heavy, we will have it tagged and checked. It's for everyone's safety, including your own. There is a possibility that the stowage bin might open and the bag might fall on you or someone seated next to you. It would be terrible if it fell on a baby's head.

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10. Always check your email in case there are changes to your flight schedule.

What's worse than finding out when you're already at the airport? (Nothing.)

11. Buy the highest fare of economy seats for international flights.

I know it costs more, but if the economy class cabin is overbooked, the highest fare for economy are usually the first ones to get upgraded to business class for free.

12. Always pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag.

There are times when your checked-in bags get left behind because of bag tags from previous flights or even when you check in late. When this happens, your bag usually takes one to two days after your arrival to get to you.