June 16, 2024

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Traveling Around the World

Travel Hacks to Avoid Bothering Flight Attendants

Flight attendants play an important role in ensuring the safety, security, and comfort of all airline passengers. Between preparing the cabin for takeoff and liaising important updates with the pilot and passengers, they serve as emergency responders in the air. Above all, flight attendants warrant your consideration and respect before, during, and after takeoff. 

At Travel + Leisure, we aim to offer travel guides, inspiration, and tips to guarantee the safety and comfort of travel professionals, such as airline crew members, who work tirelessly to ensure our comfort. In fact, one of our contributors delved into the minds of flight attendants to compile a list of what passengers do that annoy flight attendants, and ever since, I’ve been dedicated to finding solutions for these easily avoidable flying faux pas.

I’ve gathered a comprehensive list of accessories that you should consider adding to your travel bag that address common annoyances. Below, you’ll discover why you should bring a reusable water bottle onboard and a legroom hack that’ll keep you from inconveniencing others. And the best part? All of these items can be found at Amazon starting at just $11. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Ask for Water Immediately After Boarding

Do: Bring a Reusable Water Bottle 

Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle 


One flight attendant told Travel & Leisure how frustrating it can be when passengers request water upon boarding, not realizing that they “only have a few minutes to get everyone seated and buckled up so that we can close the boarding door.” If you anticipate being thirsty as soon as you sit, consider bringing a reusable water bottle like this insulated Hydro Flask one. The water bottle is a stellar choice for travel since it features a leak-proof flex cap and double-wall vacuum insulation, which means it’ll keep liquids hot or cold for hours. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Stretch in the Middle of the Isle

Do: Get an Airplane Footrest 

Basic Concepts Airplane Foot Hammock


A flight attendant expressed how frustrating it can be when people stretch their legs in the aisle. And we get it: Being crammed on a plane is far from the ideal way to start any trip. But there’s a solution to get more leg room without upgrading your seat: the Basic Concepts Portable Foot Hammock at Amazon. The footrest comes with an adjustable strap that can be wrapped around the seat tray in front of you for quick assembly. In fact, one frequent flier gushed that “they have no idea how I managed to travel without these in the past.” They continued, writing, “I usually have swelling when I fly, and this [footrest] helped alleviate any discomfort and allowed more space for my legs.” 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Demand Snacks or Food After Service is Complete 

Do: Pack a Snack 

KIND Minis Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Caramel Pack


If you sleep through snack time or refuse meal service, you might not be able to get food  later. Rather than go hungry, opt to pack a few extra snacks, like these mini KIND granola bars that are studded with nuts and won’t take up too much space in your bag. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Ask for Headphones

Do: Bring a Bluetooth Connector

Isobel Store Bluetooth Transmitter Receiver 


As important as in-flight entertainment is to a comfortable flight, it is not a prerequisite for a safe one. And with more people carrying cord-free Bluetooth headphones to watch movies during the flight, it’s a smart idea to bring a Bluetooth connector. To pair the two devices, simply power them both on and pair them to connect. It’s that easy. This device is also rechargeable and can hold up to 10 hours of playtime. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Ask for a Pillow or Blanket

Do: Pack Travel-sized Versions of Your Own

Pavila 2-in-1 Travel Pillow Blanket  


We promise you’ll become the most popular passenger if you take the time to properly prepare for your flight. This includes bringing your own pillow and blanket. Opt for this innovative two-in-one pillow and blanket set that comes with a compact pillow and ultra soft blanket. When neatly packed, it measures in at just 11 inches by 12 inches and comes with a convenient strap that effortlessly attaches to your suitcase. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Put Your Backpack in an Overhead Bin

Do: Get a Compact Backpack or Underseat Carry-on

Matein Large Travel Backpack


Overhead bin space is precious and designated for larger carry-on suitcases and duffels — not backpacks. If you’re struggling to fit your backpack underneath your seat, take that as a sign that it’s time for an upgrade. Opt instead for this $32 backpack that I refuse to travel without. It’s equipped with plenty of spacious compartments, is easy to carry, and features proactive padding for personal belongings, all while remaining compact enough to tuck under your seat. 

Amazon Basics Underseat Carry-on


Another great lightweight option that fits under your seat is this Amazon basics carry-on bag. This soft-side rolling carry-on is specifically designed to fit under airplane seats, making it an excellent option for business travel, short weekends, and more. At roughly 13.4 inches by 9.5 inches by 14 inches, this carry-on bag is designed to hold plenty of items, yet remains compact enough to slide under the seat. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: Ask Your Flight Attendant to Help with a Bag That’s Clearly Too Heavy

Do: Get a Lightweight Carry-on Instead

Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Spinner 20-inch Carry-on


Flight attendants don’t get paid until the aircraft takes off, so if they get injured during the boarding process they are not eligible for workers’ compensation. It’s important to pack a bag that you can lift yourself, and that begins with a lightweight carry-on. Claiming the highly coveted spot as one of Amazon’s best-selling carry-on suitcases, this under-$50 suitcase weighs less than 6 pounds and is a mere 20 inches in size, so it’s easy to lift. In addition to its convenient size, this suitcase boasts an organized, lined interior with multiple pockets, leaving plenty of space for your personal belongings. 

Flight Tip

Don’t: File or Clip Your Toenails During Your Flight 

Do: Wear Compression Socks to Avoid Temptation and Relieve Tension 

Charmking Compression Socks


Even though we have the utmost trust in our readers to know that you would never clip your toenails on a flight, I’ll use any opportunity to gush over how much compression socks make long travel days more comfortable. Wearing a pair of compression socks will not only wade off any temptation to clip or file your nails mid-flight, but the socks will also relieve tension by stimulating circulation in your legs and feet to reduce swelling in the air. These socks come in a convenient pack of three and are available in a plethora of colors including black, nude, and white.  

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