22 Travel Tips for Airline Employees By Airline Employees

by Kerwin McKenzie on February 16, 2018

22 Travel Tips for Airline Employees By Airline Employees


It’s always great to get tips from your peers. So in my weekly newsletter, I asked you to give me some travel tips that I can share with everyone. Well, you did anonymously, and here they are unedited, except for clarification and correcting spelling and/or grammatical errors for readability where appropriate.

You can watch them via a video here or read them below:



  1. Never leave the gate until aircraft is pushed from gate. I received this one multiple times. I’ve gotten on flights many times using this technique. Sometimes there are delays or someone just don’t want to go anymore. So unless you have another flight to try, stick around.

    SKY Airlines Airbus A320 at the gate in Santiago, Chile Airport (SCL) SKY Airlines Airbus A320 at the gate in Santiago, Chile Airport (SCL)

  2. Have patience and be respectful to other co-workers. If you get nothing from this post, get this one please.
    • Be patient.
  3. For non-rev travelers, ask the gate agents if you can get them something, like a cup of coffee or soda. They’re stuck behind the counter and will appreciate the offer. I’ve done this one time as a revenue customer, when my flight was cancelled and the agent could not leave the area; they really appreciated it.
    • Bring candy and be nice to the customer service desk agent and the gate agent.
    • Offer to buy a cup of coffee for your gate agent.
  4. Surprisingly, one of the best things that people forget is that employees remember who is nice to them. Not like “huggy super” saccharin nice or demanding, but if you’re pleasant and optimistic, while still treating them like a professional, It will help you out more often than not. Absolutely! And this goes both ways.
  5. Always have a backup plan. Indeed.
    • Always have a place A, B, C and maybe D. If you don’t get on the first flight you wanted.
  6. I’m sure it’s harder when travelling with family or others but I always say, if you can’t get to where you planned go someplace you haven’t been. Very true and we have so many choices.

    Cargolux Boeing 747 landing in Luxembourg Cargolux Boeing 747 landing in Luxembourg

  7. Whenever I fly Thai International, TG, I check the aircraft.  They fly the A380 from CDG to BKK to NRT and I travel to BKK often.  I have never not made the flight with the A380. The larger airplanes usually have a higher no show, so bear that in mind.
  8. When non-revving on Southwest Airlines, Tuesday and Wednesday morning first flights are you best chance. This is typically true for most airlines.

    Southwest Airlines (WN) Boeing 737 Max Interior Southwest Airlines (WN) Boeing 737 Max Interior

  9. If you must reach your destination on the day you are flying, do not book yourself on the last flight of the day. Seriously, why would you do this?
  10. If possible start with the first flight of the day no matter how ridiculously early.
 Yeah, you will be better off and won’t have to possibly spend an extra day. Most people hate waking up early. Who makes a 5:50a flight though? Geez! Schedulers :-).
    • The early bird flight is the most likely to have the passenger load fall off from planned.
  11. Pick nonstop flights but if that is unsuccessful go to the Flight Information Displays and find non-hub obscure connection cites and don’t tell anyone. Sneaky, but true. This page helps you decide on where to go and you can also use the Flight Schedules on Passrider.com.
  12. Travel with a nightlight. Never thought of this one.
  13. Take a clothespin with you to clip the drapes together in a hotel. A cool tip, I sleep with the drapes open though :-).
  14. Earplugs! I love airplane noise, but not everyone does. Plus if you’re rooming with a snorer like me you’ll need them :).
  15. I buy tickets inside Europe with points from AMEX. I use AMEX for my daily purchases and accrue points that I can use on these tickets and avoid the headache of having to stand by. AMEX Platinum is expensive but you get your money’s worth and more with all the perks they give you during the year. I can definitely agree with this tip as I use the card and all its benefits to the maximum advantage. Yes, passively earning points is the key. The AMEX Platinum gives you more than the soon to be $550 per year charge. Gold with Hilton and Marriott means early checking and late check out. Not to mention Priority Pass access and The Centurion Lounge access. I could go on and on…

    Ireland Countryside Ireland Countryside

  16. I have downloaded the following apps to my iPhone and keep them there.
    • Sygic and Sygic Travel, these two apps give you information about the city you are visiting, restaurants, places to see and will download city maps in your smart phone.
    • Rome2Rio, will let you know how to go from point A to B.
    • Boingo will help you with free Wi-Fi. Note: It’s only free if you have the American Express Platinum card.
    • Currency will help you to know how much is the US dollar against other currencies.
    • World Map, you need to have geography knowledge when you travel.
    • ID90 in case you need a discount at last minute.
    • The Weather Channel, it is important to get information about the weather of the places you are in or headed to.
    • TripAdvisor, I like to read reviews of restaurants and places I visit.
    • Smart Traveler, in today’s world you need to register and leave the information of where you are going so that you can receive emails if there is danger where you are or will be visiting. This has help me a lot.
  17. Don’t be discouraged by load factor at a major hub. There’s always miss-connection chances that open seat for us Space As. You can see some additional options here.
  18. Dress nicely, be polite and adhere to your airline rules and regulations. This really important, don’t put the gate agents in a bad position, just ’cause you don’t want to follow the rules. They are there for a reason whether you agree with them or not.
  19. The most useful thing you can keep in your on-board bag should be TIME. Always plan for failure – a 5 PM departure WILL strand you in Denver and a 30-minute connection in Atlanta is a suicide run. Leave early, know the “next flight” possibilities. It will keep you from sleeping in the airport. Also, have a hotel in each hub that you like (for cleanliness and $) in your cell-phone contacts ready to go just in case. Keep a sense of politeness and optimismLeave room in your schedule for stuff to happen and for backup plans. Really solid advice.
  20. Look at waiting in the airport etc… as part of the process of your adventure! Go with the flow. Too often I see people freakout over this. It’s the name of the game.
  21. Be flexible. You have the world at your fingertips. Pick another place or another routing. I tell you about 89 Things To Do As An Airline Employee Before You QUIT here.

    89 Things To Do As An Airline Employee Before You Quit 89 Things To Do As An Airline Employee Before You Quit

  22. Check in for your flights 24 hrs ahead and make sure that you sign up for flight notifications. All the airlines have this ability; well most of them. Use the Apps they provide. Some will also show you where you are on the standby list.


Feel free to add more below and click the Share button and share with your fellow passriders.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Barb February 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Great list of suggestions. I would add that I typically take and carry a hotel business card from where I’m staying. that way when in a foreign speaking country, I can show the taxi the card to get back.


avatar Kerwin McKenzie February 20, 2018 at 7:36 pm

I’d agree. Our fellow employees did good here and your suggestion is a great one too.
Just used this on a recent trip as English is not widely spoken. Used it a lot in China. Although I always wonder what it says :-).


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