Whether you’re going home to be with family, or just trying to escape the festive chaos, travelling during Christmas can bring out the Grinch in us all; whether it’s the thought of missing your slot at the dinner table, or struggling through the busy crowds.
Spare a thought for your fellow stressed flyers, and the travel industry workers giving up their holiday to make sure you have a pleasant journey -it’s traditionally Christmas to give back a little. Here’s how you can make everyone’s lives a little merrier this season.
Help those less Organised
So you organised your belongings, printed off your boarding pass at home, and left your bags at the check-in desk – all at a mind boggling pace. However we can’t all be seasoned travellers, and there’s always bound to be a few people stuck without a clue – staring at the touch screens. This can be a stressful start to anyone’s festive travel plans, so why not lend your expertise for five minutes and help them on their way? Small acts of kindness like this are guaranteed to get you on Santa’s nice list.
Put a Smile on People’s Faces
Spending the day telling people to remove their belts and “stand here” must get pretty mind numbing, especially during Christmas time when they’d likely rather be sat in front of the TV watching Home Alone and stuffing their faces with mince pies like the rest of us. Try putting a smile on the face of an airport staff member with a cracker joke for example: “What do snowmen wear on their heads?” – “Ice caps!” If stand up isn’t your forte, then make sure you are listening to them and following their instructions. They won’t have to waste their breath telling you twice, and you’ll get through to Duty Free faster to do your last minute Christmas Shopping.
Don’t Hang Around the Gate
We all know the gate lurker, ready to pounce as soon as it opens regardless of whether or not their row is the one actually boarding. Crowding round the gate can slow down the boarding process for everyone involved, so go and grab a pumpkin spice latte and chill out with Bill Crosby. When your flight number is called, wait your turn patiently in the queue – your fellow passengers will thank you for it.
Keep your Shoes on your Feet
We’re sure you wouldn’t remove your shoes and start walking around a public bus, (we hope), so for the sake of pleasantness, keep your feet firmly within your shoes for the journey. If you’re concerned about cabin pressure and your feet swelling up, then make sure you travel in comfortable footwear and go for walks around the cabin to keep your circulation going. Leave the high heels for rocking around the Christmas tree.
Ditch the Diet Coke
Of course you can still order one, but pouring any fizzy drinks at high altitude is tricky due to the increased cabin pressure playing havoc with the bubbles. A flight attendant could serve three other passengers in the time it takes to get you your carbonated fix, so be considerate of your fellow flyers’ hydration needs when you order your refreshments.
Help Families stay Together
No one wants to be alone at Christmas. Help families stay together by offering your seat to groups that have been separated by automated seat selection. They’ll be able to discuss Christmas lunch plans or watch an inflight movie together, and – you never know – you might be offered a sly upgrade for your random act of kindness.
Don’t Hurry to Vacate the Plane
You might be buzzing with excitement when the plane comes to land, but pushing through people to leave the plane first won’t get you very far, and will also serve to irritate everyone around you. Removing your luggage from the overhead before the seatbelt light has been turned off is only going to result in a public shaming from the cabin crew, or you’ll end up whacking somebody on the head. Wait your turn and avoid injury and embarrassment.
Help Others to get Their Luggage off the Carousel
So you elbowed your way to the front of the carousel and succeeded in heaving your baggage off the belt. If you spot someone struggling with theirs, don’t leave them to it – help them retrieve their luggage. You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and you might make a friend.