Starling Travel

August 15, 2013

17 Air Travel Tips from Hank Green

Filed under: Airline Travel — Laura Moncur @ 1:14 pm

The ever-effervescent Hank Green has some travel wisdom to impart on us about airline travel.

I hate to travel by airplane so much that I’d much rather drive for THREE days. Not everyone has that extra time, though, so these tips can come in handy.

Before the Flight

  • Don’t try to pack everything you could possibly need. Make some hard decisions and leave some of it at home. Get everything you can in ONE bag.
  • You’re not your best self on travel days because you’re going to be tired, stupid, cranky and smell kinda bad. You have permission to be that way.
  • Give EVERYONE else permission to be that way as well.

At Security

  • Liquids and gels go into the little ziploc bag. If they don’t fit in there, you’re not bringing them on the plane.
  • Peanut butter counts as a gel.
  • Take EVERYTHING out of your pockets when you go through security. Even a small piece of paper can look like a rocket launcher.
  • Be nice to the security people. They don’t make the rules, they just get into trouble if they don’t enforce them.
  • Don’t joke about pocket rocket launchers unless you want to eat the carpet.
  • If you wear a hoodie, you WILL be pulled aside for further screening. This is not profiling. There’s just a lot of room in that thing to hide stuff.


  • If you don’t have a big carry-on bag, you don’t need to hurry to get on the plane to make sure that you find a space. Just RELAX, wait to board until final boarding. You have an assigned seat. It’s going to be less comfortable than the one you have right now, so just CHILL.
  • When you’re boarding the plane, GET OUT OF THE AISLE!! You’re blocking traffic.
  • The people in first class look unhappy because they travel A LOT. It’s a miserable life, don’t envy them.

On the Plane

  • They won’t feed you, so bring a snack.
  • Bring an EMPTY water bottle to fill up AFTER you go through security.
  • Bring a REAL book, because they won’t let you use electronics during take off or landing.

On the Ground

  • If you have a connecting flight, check where it is FIRST thing off the plane. Even if you’ve been delayed three hours and think you’ve missed your connection, for all you know, the other plane was delayed as well. You don’t want to miss it if you don’t have to.
  • If you DO miss your connection, while you’re waiting in line to get your stuff rerouted, check online on your phone to see what could be available or call customer service because it’s better to be waiting in TWO lines if you can do two at the same time. You never know which line you’re going to get through first.

Honestly, I have a few comments on this list.

  • Packing everything for a three week trip in one tiny bag might be possible for some, but I’ve never achieved it. What are you wearing, Hank? Magic squishable clothes?

  • It’s NOT okay to be stinky on travel days, Hank. Sorry, but we are all trapped in a tin can together. We need to be clean and free from smelly perfumes to make this whole thing bearable for each other.

  • It’s sad and pathetic that we have become volunteers for strip searches. We PAY for the privilege of flying and in return, they send us through scanners that mistake a piece of paper for a pocket rocket launcher.

  • I can’t stress how true it is that they DO NOT FEED YOU. Even if you are stuck on the tarmac for SEVEN hours. Even if it takes TWELVE hours to get from Salt Lake City to John Wayne Airport, they will NOT feed you. When this happened to us, I was so grateful that I had packed not just a snack, but an entire meal for all of us. THEY WILL NOT FEED YOU!

  • After paying all that money for the privilege of being strip searched, starved and harassed about our Kindles, the planes aren’t even on time and it’s OUR responsibility to reroute ourselves when THEIR planes are late. How is that acceptable?

In the end, that three day drive across the country doesn’t sound all that bad, actually.

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