Atlanta Trip: Flying Tips

Hey, I thought I share some travel tips I have. Just so to keep the integrity of this blog, I am throwing some, well, eating related stuff too … how does that sound?

I’ll start with some pre-flight planning. Traveling on long haul flights is very uncomfortable unless you are in business or first class. I normally travel on economy and my flights to Atlanta takes at least 5 hours if I have a direct flight.

So, to me, getting a good seat is a big deal. My preference is always windows, followed by aisle seats. I don’t mind the middle seat but I NEED at least an armrest. I make it a point to logon to the airline’s site and then select my seat. You can change your seat even though you have been assigned a seat already on your e-ticket.

What then is a great seat? There’s a good website called seatguru (http://seatguru.com) where they have almost all the seating configurations of every airlines’ aircraft. The beauty of this site is that it tells you the good and bad of each seat so, you know what to avoid and why. Check it out … you will like it.

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To me (and per seatguru too), the best seats are the ones by the emergency exits. Some airlines does not allow you to select those seats through the website but there is a trick … you can call them to put you on that seat. The reason is because they wanted to make sure that you are able to assist in emergency evacuation if required … basically you need to understand English!! The other advantage for this seat if, of course, when it comes to evacuation, you’re the first one off.

See the picture below. The best seat is in this row and the row behind this. I like this row because I have an extra tray space. I normally take out both my camera and notebook and magazine on flight. With drinks and snacks too, you can imagine how cluttered my tray normally is. The seats too have more legroom. It is because they need wider space to help evacuation. Legroom is not a big factor for me really because, well, I don’t have long legs.

BTW, avoid seats that cannot recline … for example, the seat just in front of emergency exits cannot recline and so does that last row of each section.

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Airlines do not provide any headphones for inflight movies. They charge up to $5 for a crummy pair of earphones. I bring my own noise-cancellation headphones. This one is neat … it folds up nicely for travel but the best thing is the noise cancellation feature. Even when I am not using it to listen, I could use it to dampen the ambient noise from the plane’s engines.

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