How to Fly Like a Pro

Three frequent flier pros reveal their air rituals–and share some secrets:

> Best Flying Tip

Heather Poole, flight attendant and best selling author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet: I wear headphones in case I end up sitting next to someone who likes to talk. I don’t even turn on the music.

Patrick Smith, pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know AboutAir TravelMy secret weapon against loud airport TVs has long been a little TV-be-gone device, which snaps onto a key chain and turns off TVs it’s aimed at (alas, many public TVs now shield against such tools).

Bob Albert, founder and CEO of flight review site People say not to drink because it dehydrates you. I say, of course I’ll have a glass of wine; it makes me feel good.

> Carry-On Essentials

Poole: Cold or allergy medicine to fend off blocked ears.

Smith: I bring an old pair of socks to wear over the ones I’m wearing on the plane, since I try to get up and walk around periodically.

Albert: Hotel-size moisturizer for hands and face. I use it a few times in-flight and walk off the plane feeling normal.

> Favorite Flying App

Poole: FAA Wait–one tap shows which airports are experiencing delays (and why), and how long those delays are averaging. I get more accurate information using this app than I do relaying on the gate agent.

Smith: A white noise app helps me sleep through loud talkers and other distractions.

Albert: Passbook stores digital boarding passes. It changed my life.

This piece, written by Contributing Editor Margaret Loftus, appeared as part of the “Perfect Layover” package that appeared in the November 2013 issue of Traveler magazine.


  1. Lauren Cline
    Mapleton, KS
    December 16, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the info guys. I can’t wait to use it when i have the ability to travel to far off places.