'Jetiquette' Airline Passenger Tips From AAA for Calm,
Courteous and Safe Thanksgiving Travel
November 26, 1997 8:30 AM EST
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- With the recent concern over airline
travel safety due to aggressive, drunk or abusive passengers, AAA recommends the following
"jetiquette" tips for civilized and safe air travel during this busiest travel season
of the year:
* Be alert to potential disturbances -- At the ticket counter or in the aircraft,
watch out for passengers who appear to be making unreasonable demands, use loud or
abusive language, or demonstrate inappropriate behavior. Remember, however, that other
passengers may already be stressed during this holiday -- it doesn't mean that every
anxious person is a threat.
* If you're sitting next to an abusive passenger -- Since you're confined in an aircraft,
it's not about "fight or flight." If you feel threatened, do not ring your call button
to complain. Stay calm, quietly gather your small valuables, walk over to the flight
attendant and explain the situation. If the flight is full, you will not be allowed
to move, so do not ask the attendant to switch you with another passenger.
* Alcohol, coffee and soft drinks -- Cabin air is pressurized, re-circulated and very
dry, and you cannot easily exercise. At 30,000 feet, your body processes alcohol and
caffeine, including many soft drinks, differently from on the ground. Remember that
alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks dehydrate, so consider ordering water or juice as
an alternative or as a side beverage.
* Airline crew are well trained to handle on-board disturbances -- These skilled professionals
are responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers, and they have ample experience
in handling disruptive passengers. At a recent airline training seminar, one international
flight attendant reported that more than a third of all the attendants had experienced
some form of aggressive passenger behavior, ranging from head-butting a first officer
to throwing objects at the crew to riding the beverage cart. For this reason, airline
personnel carry police-style handcuffs and will not hesitate to use them if they perceive
that other passengers are threatened.
How to Reduce Your Own Travel Anxiety:
* Take public transportation or have someone drop you off at the airport -- To reduce
stress and arrive on time, AAA strongly advises air travelers to take public transportation
or have someone drop you off at the airport. The public transit hotline for San Francisco
or Oakland airport passengers is 817-1717 (any area code); San Jose travelers can
call 408-321-2300 (press 0 after you connect).
* Arrive Early at the Airport -- For domestic flights during holiday travel, AAA recommends
you arrive at least two hours before flight time, (three hours for international).
If you must drive, allow plenty of time to find a parking spot, as the lot may be
full and you would need extra time to find an open lot.
* Carry-on Luggage -- Try to bring only one carry-on luggage item, but no more than
two (check with the airline for policy). Do not overload your carry-on luggage; it
could injure or irritate other passengers as you go down the aisle. Never leave your
luggage unattended -- it's not just a smart idea, it's the law. Put your heaviest
item under the seat, not in the overhead, due to shifting of contents in flight.
* At the Gate -- Have your ticket and photo identification immediately available.
It saves waiting time for everybody, and reduces stress. Never make weapons jokes
at the security checkpoint; you could be subject to immediate arrest.
* Traveling with Children -- Bring aboard books, games, drawing materials, music (with
headphones) or toys to keep them occupied. Don't bring multi-piece toy items that
can fall onto other passengers or under the seat.
* Travel Comfort Strategies -- Consider bringing neck pillows, eye shades or ear plugs
to make your flight more comfortable.
The AAA affiliate for Northern California, Nevada and Utah serves nearly four million
members with an array of automotive, travel and insurance services. SOURCE AAA
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