5 top tips to stay sane on a budget airline

5 top tips to ensure a bearable flight

Come fly with me: 5 top tips to ensure a bearable flight

Today is an exciting day. I’m off to London for a week to have some much-needed family and friends-from-home-time. I’ll be blogging from London and the surrounding area, bringing you photos and reviews of things that I see and do.
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As I write this post, I’m flying thousands of kilometres above the northern coast of Spain in a big orange steel tube (I’m sure you can guess the name of the budget airline that I’m travelling with). I firmly believe that I am on a plane with the rowdiest passengers – both adults and children – I’ve ever shared a journey with. I thought I’d make good use of my time at the airport and on the party-plane and put together the first of our new feature, Love Speaking’s top tips.

This time we’re looking at 5 top tips to ensure a bearable flight with a budget airline. It’s worth pointing out right now that I’ve added many of the tips below after realising that I hadn’t taken them into account myself. So I hope this post helps you out next time you’re travelling, even if it’s too late for me!

1. Remember your passport or ID card

Make sure you’ve got your own one and not someone else’s, and DON’T leave it until the day before you are due to fly to double check that you left it where you think you did. I almost missed my own big brother’s wedding (for which I was ironically Best Man) due to foolishly leaving everything to the last minute, as always. Don’t be as stupid as I was!

2. Ensure that you print your boarding pass off before you get to the airport

Budget airlines will make it more difficult to print off your boarding pass on-site than completing a Rubik’s Cube, just so that they can charge you an extortionate amount when you show up at the desk with no boarding pass.

3. Take earphones with you on your trip

I didn’t pick mine up today, and boy do I regret that move. These will allow you to restore a sense of inner calm. They will be necessary for blocking out irritating conversations, hushing screaming babies and ignoring incessant and aggressive mid-flight adverts for electric cigarettes, charities, etc.

4. At the airport, expect your departure gate to change at least three times

Bear in mind that you will not likely hear anything about these gate changes (at least not at Madrid-Barajas airport…), so prepare for ten minutes of hectic and sweaty gate searching.  Make sure you check the flight information board at an obsessive rate – every 2 minutes should be enough.

5. Last but not least, expect to be treated like a mixture between a naughty school child and a sheep.

This has bothered me for a long while now. I know I’m not the only traveller who gets angry at having to fit all my belongings into one tiny piece of hand baggage, to then sit on a plane with next to no space to move. When did it become OK for companies to treat their customers in this manner?

Now that we’ve covered our top tips to ensure a bearable flight, take a look at the vocabulary below and put it into practice the next time you travel!

Useful vocabulary related to travel:

Many Spanish native speakers confuse these words, so watch out!

Journey (noun): an act of travelling from one place to another. E.g. an eight-hour train journey

Trip (noun): a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure. E.g. I went on a trip to America.

Travel (verb): make a journey, typically of some length. E.g. we travelled thousands of miles.

Business trip: a journey made somewhere and back again for business purposes in one’s working capacity. E.g. I’m going on a business trip to Berlin.

Cabin crew: the members of an aircraft crew who attend to passengers.

Duty free: products in airports that are free of customs duties (tax free).

Shuttle bus: a shuttle consisting of a bus that travels between two points.

Immigration: a government department dealing with applications from foreign citizens who wish to live in a particular country.

Landing card: a form that non-EEA citizens are required to complete on entry to the United Kingdom.

Customs: the place at a port, airport or border where travellers’ bags are looked at to find out if any goods are being carried illegally.

Customs officer: is a person whose job is to look inside travellers’ bags to make certain they are not taking goods into a country without paying taxes.


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