‘I’m a Flight Attendant, and These Are the 5 Things I Would Never Do When Traveling’

Photo: Stocksy / Seth Mourra
Don’t walk around barefoot, don’t ignore the safety briefing, don’t be rude to cabin crew, and don’t clap when the plane lands. Whether spoken or unspoken, these are just some of the cardinal rules you should obey (for your safety and just basic social cues) while on a plane. The pandemic really affected the travel industry, but as things open up and get back to normal, former and current flight attendants like Kat Kamalani are taking to TikTok to share their tips for traveling.

5 travel mistakes you never want to make

1. Never get on a plane without snacks

This is pretty straightforward. As someone who’s constantly hungry, this is a rule that I’ve followed for years. Only recently was I on a flight that was grounded for hours, and those snacks came in very handy in avoiding hangry territory. As Kat says, you never know what’s going to happen.

@katkamalani Oh and please dont walk around with your shoes off ?♬ original sound - Kat Kamalani

2. Never drink the hot water on an airplane 

Whether it be hot water or even tea or coffee, if it’s not bottled or in a can, it’s a no from Kat. “Those water tanks are never cleaned and they are disgusting,” she shared. She added that the water tank is the same for coffee and tea, and even the flight attendants rarely drink from it. While it’s a no-no for Kat, a seasoned colleague had a different view. “I’ve been a flight attendant for 22 years. I’ve been drinking the hot water for 22 years and I’m still alive,” they wrote.

@katkamalani Just promise me you won’t ? #flightattendantlife #travelhacks #traveler #cleaninghacks #influencers #foodhack ♬ original sound - Kat Kamalani

3. Always obey the flight attendants

While Kat didn’t go into any more detail, fellow flight attendant, Tommy Cimato, revealed that simply paying attention during the safety briefing could save your life. “In the unlikely event of something happening, if you paid attention, you’re 80 percent more likely to survive,” they shared. Pilot Britney and her colleague further elaborated in another TikTok clip and reminded viewers to “not be rude to flight attendants as their here for your safety.”

@pilot_brit What else do you think people should never do on planes? #pilot #pilotview #femalepilot #fyp #foryoupage #airlinepilot #avgeek ♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] - Elliot Van Coup

4. Never travel without looking up alternative airports, flights, and accommodations

Initially worded incorrectly, Kat corrected her tip in the comments and confirmed you should always look up alternate travel plans. A recent survey by Bankrate found that 8 in 10 travelers had experienced travel problems this year alone, with the most common inconvenience being delays and lengthy waits. By having a sense of your surroundings and alternative plans, you might be able to avoid major issues.

5. Never divulge too much personal information to people sitting next to you on the flight

While some viewers found this obvious, others were surprised by this tip. One user wrote, “‘Don’t share too much information.’ Me yesterday telling a random mom my whole life story and trauma.” Meanwhile, others revealed that they make up a new identity when flying as it’s both entertaining and safer. “Y'all don’t come up with new identities when you travel? With crazy storylines and tell them to people who sit next to you who are nosy nellies?” Another added, “I usually make up a new life and share false random but entertaining stories about my life,” to which Kat replied, “Genius.”

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