Let’s fly: How to survive air travel

I remember reading somewhere that if you’ve never missed a flight then you’ve wasted too much of your life waiting in airports. Fair point, maybe. But I have to agree, after a few recent flights, that arriving much much earlier than needed – giving over to what might first feel like inconvenience – can create some beautifully peaceful and productive time to work with.

Let’s fly: How to survive air travel

In a tone that grew more defiantly nonchalant with every update, the pilot advised us that some of our bags would arrive on a future flight. Even with routine debacles such as this it’s rare to be promised future bullshit while the current bullshit is still very much in progress. Sorry ‘bout that, folks.

Michelle Orange, on the joys of airline travel.

How To Not Get Sick On An Airplane


I get sick every time I go home for Christmas, and while it isn’t helped by lack of sleep and alcohol abuse, I’m pretty sure 75% of it is the 3-5 hours I spend on what is, essentially, a flying petri dish.

So thanks to The Wall Street Journal for these tips (which I’ve summarized):

  • Hydrate (drink water, use saline spray).
  • Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Use disinfecting wipes to clean off tray tables before using
  • Avoid seat-back pockets.
  • Open your air vent, and aim it so it passes just in front of your face. Filtered airplane air can help direct airborne contagions away from you.
  • Stay the hell away from people who look sick

The air vent thing was new to me! Now I’m off to get disinfecting wipes and some saline spray.

Update: thanks to @aweissman for this suggestion: “i do this and it almost always works: basically OD on Vitamin C before you get on the plane – right before. Use EmergenC or a similar product, drink it all up while waiting.”

See also: Daniel Pink’s travel tips. Episode #1 is about avoiding illness. I like his ointment-in-the-nose trick. And don’t forget (environ-)mental health tactics: earplugs, headphones, eye mask!

How To Not Get Sick On An Airplane