The glamorous golden age of air travel is long gone, but some savvy travelers are still champs at breezily getting from point A to point B without ruffling feathers along the way. What are their go-to habits that you can copy? These!
They rack up loyalty
Some of those passengers lounging in first class didn't pay for their pricy seat, they upgraded. No matter how much you travel, enrolling in a loyalty program is always a good idea. Why not earn credit for something you have to pay for anyway. Sometimes, just being a member will get you perks that others don't (like a free checked bag or securing a roomy seat in the exit row), even if you haven't yet racked up enough miles for a free flight.
They opt for non-smelly snacks
What's the number one way to alienate your seat mate? An innocent little tuna fish sandwich. By all means pack snacks (especially low sodium options to avoid plane bloat), but make them easy-to-eat and scent free! Remember that the air in the cabin is the air you'll ALL be stuck with for the rest of your flight, so respect it accordingly.
They cram a carry-on with essentials
I'll never forget my seat mate on my last cross country flight. He rolled in just as the doors were closing, opened his carry-on and removed warm socks, earplugs, a pillow, blanket and sleep mask and his favorite brand of tea. Then he conked out for the next six hours while I watched bad TV and wished I had prepped for the flight like he did. He made his coach experience feel first class all the way.
They're unfailingly polite and cheerful
No one likes to be delayed or inconvenienced by problems, but it happens. Do you want to be the person complaining about it and adding to everyone else's misery or do you want to be the calm, collected one who eases the mood by showing grace under duress. Try try try not to snap when you have bad travel luck. The people you're yelling at are not at fault and they might even have the power to help you solve your problem IF they feel like it. Don't alienate them.
They spend a little more when it's worth it
Wanna hop from one out-of-the-way airport to another as you zig zag your way to your designation? Of course you don't. You want to get there. So automatically clicking the cheapest ticket on the list isn't the whole picture. Make sure to visualize your day with each flight —when you'd have to be at the airport, how many times you have to drag your carry-on around Houston, when you'd finally get home at night —before making your ticketing choice. It might be worth an extra few bucks to save yourself a whole lot of hassle.
What else do you do, savvy travelers? Spill!