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  • Kristan Higgins

Up in the Air

Updated: May 4, 2022


Next week, I’m heading to Orlando for the national conference of Romance Writers of America! Yay for the conference! Boo for Orlando in the summertime! If you see me being carried off by a huge mosquito, please alert the authorities. That being said, if I am attacked by an alligator, I think I’m all set (thanks, Evil Boxing Trainer!).

Anyway, I have some air travel tips gleaned from a zillion hours spent on airplanes over the past few years.


Wear comfy clothes on the plane. Don’t wear pajamas. You’re not four. Leggings, ballet flats, a shirt, a sweater, because it gets cold up there at 35,000 feet. Plus, what if you meet Captain Sully or Tom Hardy on the plane? You don’t want to look like you need a keeper. (Also, if you see Tom Hardy on your plane, you have my permission to do as you wish). That being said, you fashionistas (gazes in mirror) should go easy on the accessories. You don’t want to have to take off your necklace, four bracelets, and that fabulous belt in line, because the people behind you will be forming an angry mob.

I’m pre-checked, so I get to glide through like a boss. If you’re not prechecked, and sometimes even if you are, remember that you have to take off your shoes. You might want to wear socks. Think of how many feet have been on that same floor.

Knitters and crocheters, be prepared to surrender your needles. I know, I know, you were going to make the most beautiful blankets in the world for Beyoncé’s twins during the flight. Write them a poem instead.


Read and obey the TSA liquids policy. Again, remember the angry mob forming behind you as you plead your case for taking your hairspray with you. Do bring hand sanitizer (3.5 oz or less!) and antibacterial wipes. You won’t be sorry. They don’t clean the plane between flights anymore. I’m not sure they ever clean the planes anymore.


Know where the life vests are. Miracle on the Hudson, anyone? Also, I’ve found that watching movies featuring airplane crashes greatly reduces the chance of an airplane crash. This is my theory, and I’m sticking with it. I’ve watched Cast Away five times on airplanes. Not one crash yet.

Help with bored babies. It’s hard to fly with kids. I can’t tell you many parents have blessed me because I played peekaboo with their little ones. Sometimes, because I am a baby whisperer, I’ve even offered to hold the baby, which causes the child to coo in delight and then fall instantly asleep on my shoulder. (This is the talent of mine that will get me on the survivors' bus during the apocalypse…forget the “writing of the bad date scene.”) Beyoncé and Jay Z, please take note.


Be nice to the flight attendants. Yes, we’ve seen the videos of those horrible people who punch passengers. 99.99% of flight attendants aren’t going to hit you, kick you, threaten you. They know their reputation has suffered greatly. That being said, if you do see someone getting roughed up, by all means, make a stand. Be helpful. Imagine that the person being dragged off the plane is you, or your kid, and do the right thing.

Say hi to your seatmate. You don’t have to become their best friend (cough), but say hello. Civility is dying in our country. Let’s do our part to bring it back.


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