In Flight

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Here are some efficient tips to help your experience on the plane once you board the aircraft.

Stowing Overhead Bags. Board early to be sure and get valuable overhead space if you are carrying on bags. Obviously, don’t try and board until your section is called since it irritates those of us who follow the rules. But be prepared when your section is called to board. Keep your eye on the bin space as you walk to your seat, looking toward the back. If it’s starting to fill, then go ahead and stow your bag a few rows ahead of your seat (and remember the seat number where you put it!). Generally, you can find overhead space until the last few passengers board. The most I’ve seen is 5 checked bags that didn’t fit. And please be sure your bags aren’t too big! I use the TravelPro 22″ expandable suiter rollerboard. The Efficient Traveler also knows that the overheads in the front of the cabin (first class) are generally narrower and filled with equipment. I like to make my seat choice after the first few rows because of that, particularly in the smaller regional jets that dont have overhead space until the 3rd or 4th row. Please be considerate of others and observe the “one overhead and one underneath the seat in front of you” rule. To save room for others (do unto others…), don’t place your bag ‘sideways’ if possible; always try to stow your baggage with the wheels ‘out’ (facing you) to help it fit.

Headphones. Some airlines sell headphones, some give them away; and that seems to change depending on the need for profits. For movies, some airlines still have the ‘dual’ plug-ins, some have singles. My IPod headphones work just fine in the seat; you might need to get one of the 2-prong adapters for some airlines, so I always carry one in my bag just in case. For long cross-country or international flights, I use Bose Noise-canceling headphones. They are expensive, but well worth it if you can afford it. I’ve tried the cheaper ones, and as usual, they really just don’t do the trick. It’s really amazing how much noise there is on a plane.

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