A Flight Attendant's Secrets
Most airlines scatter a few blankets around the cabin, but usually there's only one for every five or 10 seats. So grab one early, while boarding. Or better yet, don't: "Those blankets don't get cleaned very often," Deveny says. "I prefer to bring my own layers."
Hydrate. The atmosphere inside an airplane has zero humidity, and flight attendants usually can't hand out water if the plane is stuck on the tarmac, waiting for takeoff. Deveny carries an empty water bottle that she can refill at will once she clears security. Just remember those limited bathroom breaks.
Pack headphones. If you're traveling alone, chances are good you'll be sitting next to a stranger instead of an empty seat. Headphones in your ears signal pretty clearly that you're not in the mood to hear about Suzy's dance recital. A book or laptop at your fingertips might do the trick as well.
Keep your kids nearby. With fuller planes, families traveling together are more likely to get split up. And flight attendants can't force passengers to change seats. "Once on board, your luck at changing seats will depend on the kindness of your fellow passengers," Deveny says."I wouldn't chance it."
Checking in early might help get the seats you want. If that doesn't work, Deveny suggests this tactic: "Approach your child, who will inevitably be seated in a middle seat on a full airplane, and exclaim, 'Here's a bag, honey. Let me know when you need to throw up again.' There are usually no guarantees in life, but this has worked for me every time."