1. Eat before you get on a long flight because all you get on the plane for free is peanuts, pretzels or a cookie and drink. Unless it is an international flight which includes food about 2 hours or so after you take off. But beware, if you don't eat before you leave you take the chance of flight delays and if your flight leaves at say 10:30 pm and then keeps being delayed and then the food places in the airport closes well, you see what I mean. We ate at T.G.I Fridays in the Atlanta airport and it was very good and we only had a 20 minute wait to get in with a group of 11. We thought it would take about an hour to get us all sitting together! This was before our flight was delayed and what a blessing because we would have been starving all night with no food vendors open at the airport.
2. Make sure an airplane is at your gate (sunrise in the Atlanta airport). Although, this was not our plane but what a beautiful sunrise and skyline after a very long night trying to catch some shut eye.
3. If you are going on a long, long flight, pack a blanket, pillow, cell phone & charger, movies to watch, snacks, make-up (for da women), toothbrush, eye coverings and ear plugs or just bring everything from home like I do. If your flight is delayed, quickly stake out your own little home away from home area! We basically took over one corner section of the gate! The girls pulled the seats out away from the walls thinking that the carpet would be cleaner behind the benches.
4. Wear long pants (no matter what season it is), long sleeve shirt and warm socks! Even with a jacket we were freezing, in the airport and on the plane. Even me with all my hot flashes, so you know it was cold! We made 2 friends that hung out with us in the Wheatley corner at the airport, the business man (I can't remember his name) in the black t-shirt by Angie and the preacher man. They were just like one of the family.
5. Plan on delays! If a crowd appears, mosey on over and be ENTERTAINED! The ring leader for our almost riot was the bald man in the Levi jacket. Note, Taurean is in the blue hat and striped shirt and was just watching all the fun. You can almost see a red jacket Delta agent who did not know how to handle a crowd. He said things like "Hey, back up and give me some room or I'm going to cancel this flight"! Well, that really helped and he was a Spanish speaking man trying to speak in English and was VERY hard to understand. They finally got 2 other red jacket Delta agents to help settle the crowd. It was VERY entertaining.
6. If you are flying for 12 hours, you might want to take a sleeping aid on the flight and also see if you can buy a strap that holds your mouth closed when you sleep, this is a Wheatley problem (I'm counting the preacher man as a Wheatley). The above picture is of our little preacher man who befriended us and became like one of the fam (see, he brought his own blanket). Airplane food can be very tasty (I did have one chicken meal that was good!). If you are on a 5 hour flight, no free food for you but, you can buy a sandwich or salad for $8.
7. Keep a positive attitude!
8. If you sit at an emergency exit on a over seas flight, be prepared for cold. Also, you get free movies on overseas flights, $6 for a movie in the states. On an over seas flight it's nice to sit about 4 rows from the airplane bathrooms, but not right across from them. Sorry Ang and Vince and Liz and John. They had great leg room seating on an exit row but it was noisy by the bathroom all night and very cold.
9. Travel with someone you love so that on delayed flights you can have them watch your carry-on's while you go to the bathroom a number of times.
10. Ice cream is $1 at the Tel Aviv airport and John was buying for everyone!
11. If you have a delay, take notes of how the airline handles it and...
12. If at all possible, FLY WITH FAMILY - it's the ONLY WAY TO FLY!