20 things you might want to consider before a flight

I work for Finnair’s marketing team and just recently I responded to a journalist who was asking for tips from regular flyers about some of the smartest things to do before a flight.

These I know to be very popular among frequent fliers and airline colleagues and are things I do pretty much every time I fly.

  1. If you’re planning to take Uber (or another ride service) from your destination airport, then save your hotel address in the app so you don’t have to fuss around copying and pasting addresses when you arrive (it also pays to know in advance which ride services operate at your destination).
  2. Make a mental note of where you can fill up your water bottle at your departure airport once you’re through security. Drinking water is essential on a flight and you’ll save lots of money if you don’t have to buy new plastic bottles every time you fly.
  3. If you don’t want a hard time at the security line make absolutely sure all your liquids are in a bag and easily accessible for when it comes to putting them on the tray.
  4. Never wait till security before packing liquids into a bag. It causes extra stress and hassle and wastes time.
  5. I put everything from my trouser pockets into my jacket pockets (e.g. wallet, belt, phone, passport) before arriving at the security line and then put my jacket into the tray. It’s just so much easier than scraping around the bottom of the tray for individual items once you’re through security and it reduces the chance of leaving something behind.
  6. Never leave your seat to chance. If you cannot for some reason select your seat during online checkin, then check in anyway and change your seat over the phone or when you arrive at the airport. This means you’ll be able to get on the plane whatever happens.
  7. Dress well to increase your chances of an upgrade and because you’ll feel better when you feel the part.
  8. Always ensure you have an extra layer to put on in the plane if necessary. The air conditioning can make things feel very chilly at times.
  9. Consider taking hand sanitiser. Transit points like airports are a great place to catch bugs – as are aeroplane tray tables.
  10. Always pack snacks. That means you’re in charge of your own food schedule and it’s not contingent upon airport shops or in-flight service.
  11. Be considerate towards fellow travellers about food smells and don’t bring stuff that will make other people uncomfortable (fish, garlic, onions, etc).
  12. Download the app for the airline you’ll be flying with and make sure you know your password. Many airlines now have internet available but you’ll often need to be able to log in onboard to do that. Resetting passwords will either be difficult or impossible in the air.
  13. For journeys that require you to fill a landing card always carry a pen. It’s a bit of a pain relying on cabin crew or fellow travellers and you really, really need to have filled it by the time the plane lands.
  14. If you’ve got a short connection make sure you know when that onward flight departs (and preferably also from which terminal and gate) so you don’t have to use precious time looking for an airport screen.
  15. Put an obvious identifying mark on your checked-in baggage so you can easily identify it when you arrive.
  16. Always take ear plugs.
  17. If you’re flying with a budget airline, double check everything so you don’t get stung with a charge. That includes making sure that your hand luggage adheres to their size limits.
  18. If you have a long layover buy lounge access in advance. It’s generally cheaper to buy online beforehand, rather than as a walk-in customer. Given the price of airport food, drink and internet, the 30/40 euros you spend on lounge access is definitely worth it. It just reduces the stress of travel enormously.
  19. Consider taking some essential items in your hand luggage in case your checked luggage is delayed.
  20. Know the address of your final destination if your baggage is delayed it can easily be couriered to you.