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Flying for business? Here’s what you need to know!

Follow the tips in this article and your business trip on a commercial airliner will go very smoothly!

First and most important, remember to take your ticket/boarding pass, picture I.D. and passport, if required. You will be boarding by row or section, based on where you are sitting. This is where your patience may be tried. Be careful that your carry-on bags don’t knock a fellow passenger unconscious. On board, quickly put away your bags and get out of the aisle. Pretend that you are at work with your wonderful co- workers. Smile at airline personnel. Say, “Hello” to your row mates; nod and smile. Be respectful regarding working on the plane. Make sure that your laptop and paperwork are not in your neighbor’s lap. If you are seated next to Chatty Cathy, just say, “Please excuse me, I need to work now.” Remember to smile.

As a consideration to fellow passengers, never wear perfume on an airplane. This is a very small space and there is generally enough sneezing, wheezing and coughing going on. Gentlemen, as a matter of common courtesy, please remove your hats, caps and hoodies in this enclosed public space.

When on business, I always travel in a business suit and pack needed essentials and toiletries in my tote just in case my checked luggage is delayed. When traveling to a speaking engagement, I mail seminar hand-outs to the location ahead of time, or I take them with me in carry-on luggage. Never check needed materials or your laptop. Most importantly, take along a snack of your choice. Even if you are flying First or Business Class, you just never know how much time you may spend waiting on a runway and whether or not you will be offered anything to eat or drink.

On overseas flights and cross-country flights, in First and Business Class, you may have a seat that can be tilted back into a bed. Make sure that the passenger seated directly behind you is not eating or about to take a sip of hot coffee when you decide to recline your seat. If you are traveling coach, try to book an aisle seat that has an empty middle seat next to it. The bulkhead seats and those next to the emergency exits have the most leg room. If you sit by an emergency exit, it will be your duty to open this door if required to do so after an emergency landing. Make sure that you wish to and are physically able to do so should you take this roomy seat.

You or your travel agent must book your seat well in advance of your trip so that you will be as comfortable as possible. You do not want to wind up in a middle seat or in a non-reclining seat. The non-reclining seats are usually found in the back of the plane, near the restrooms. Besides the discomfort of a non-reclining seat, sitting near the restrooms means that you will be subjected to a constant parade of fellow passengers waiting in line to use a toilet. They will all be waiting directly next to your seat.  Don’t let that happen to you. Book early and have a comfortable flight.

Excerpts of blog taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, PhD

— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”

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