Preparing for a trip can be an arduous process, however, once you step foot into the airport you now must be conscious and respectful of other passengers. Most people try to respect others personal space, however, there is always that one person who feels they are “special” and should receive preferential treatment. Whether you are in first class, business class, or coach we all breath the same air, are on the same plane, and have the same objective which is to safely arrive to our destination.
The airline crew has a process to first board those who may have additional challenges, such as those with small children, elderly persons, and the physically challenged. The crew then seats those in the order of priority,this includes first class and priority seating. The first-class passengers tend to take this opportunity to get situated on the flight and order beverages prior to takeoff. All other priority passengers get acquainted with their seats and secure their carry-on(s) in the overhead bins. Finally, we have all other passengers who line up to get onto the plane in hopes of finding an overhead bin for their carry-on(s) baggage.
During the boarding process often the aisles become congested, due to the amount of people trying to board, passengers putting luggage in the overhead bins, and getting seated. From time to time you have individuals who struggle to secure their carry-on(s) in the overhead bins. If you see this happening, don’t hesitate to ask if they need assistance or if you find yourself struggling don’t hesitate to ask another passenger to help you out. I have done this in the past (and will still need assistance from time to time) and anyone I have asked for help had no problem to assist me in my time of need. Be mindful of other passengers and quickly step out of the aisle, so they may get to their assigned seat and prepare themselves for take-off.
Once everyone is seated then the flight crew steps into action to prepare the plane for take-off. This is the time when all passengers should be seated with their seat belt on, tray closed, and your seat in the upright position. All electronics should be off or on airplane mode and put away until the flight reaches a safe altitude. After the plane takes off and it reaches a safe altitude the seat belt light will be removed, and you are free to use electronic devices. Please be mindful, if you do not need to get up, please stay seated. During this time the flight attendants typically begin preparing for food service and people frequently walking about the cabin can create a challenge for the flight crew to do their job.
During takeoff the plane attempts to climb into the sky, the thrust of the engines pushes the plane forward exceeding the drag pulling it back. This creates a lift force greater than the plane’s weight, which powers the plane higher into the sky. During this time your inner ear may get air trapped in it was the atmospheric pressure changes, it causes pressure on your ear drum. As the airplane descends and the air pressure decreases, the air trapped in your inner ear will cause your eardrums to push outward. This expansion causes not only discomfort (before your ears pop), but also a decrease in hearing ability, because the pressure on your ear drums it makes sound harder to transmit. In addition, your stomach may react to the changes in g-forces and you may experience a slight floating feeling. This feeling may make you feel queasy and/or nausea to the point you may become sick.
Be mindful during take-off it can be challenging time for infants and small children. If they are exhibiting discomfort by crying they may be suffering from the effects of the plane taking off. If this happens, do not get upset with the child and/or parents rather have some understanding of what the child is going through. Teenagers and adults who experience this phenomenon can minimize their discomfort by chewing gum, yawning, or taking medication to reduce and/or eliminate the effects of the floating feeling.
Parents attempt to alleviate the impacts of pressure changes and g-forces on their children, however, it can cause varying levels of discomfort. I have personally experienced women travelling with their children where the child cried the entire flight and the poor mother looked exhausted by the end of the flight. Please have some compassion when on a flight with children who may suffer from airplane effects. Nowadays, people have noise cancelling headphones to drown out the sounds while listening to music or watching a movie.
Again, be mindful of the hundreds of people who may be on your flight and the challenges they may be experiencing. If we help one another out, we all can have an enjoyable flight.
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