Worst Trip Ever? 7 Horrible Airline Annoyances

From annoying passengers to long security lines to cramped cabins, there’s a lot to complain about when it comes to flying the friendly skies. And while airlines aren’t solely responsible for making air travel an increasingly stressful experience, they do deserve a share of the blame for some airline annoyances.

In some cases, an airline makes a trip so unpleasant that people are willing to give up on the carrier altogether. Roughly 20% of passengers surveyed by research firm Qualtrics in 2015 said they’d had experience so terrible they refused to fly that airline again.

The survey of 520 U.S. adults who’d flown in the past year revealed some of the issues that were most likely to make a person switch to another airline. Turns out, most people are willing to put up with a lack of legroom, cramped seats, and delayed flights. “Gotcha” fees and a cranky cabin crew, on the other hand, are deal-breakers. Here are seven things that are most likely to make people want to break up with an airline.

7. Bad in-flight service

airplane bathroom

Non-existent entertainment options, glitchy Wi-Fi, and sad snacks are enough to make 20% of people avoid an airline in the future. First-class passengers were more likely to be annoyed by the lack of entertainment options than those who flew economy.

6. Baggage fees

Who doesn’t grumble about paying $25 to check a bag when flying? These charges are almost universal on domestic U.S. flights, yet they were annoying enough to turn off 27% of flyers surveyed by Qualtrics.

Even politicians are fed up with airlines charging an arm and a leg to carry people’s luggage. A new bill in the Senate would make it easier for the Department of Transportation to put a halt to “ridiculous” airline fees, including those for checked bags and ticket changes. Checked bag fees jumped 67% from 2009 to 2014, so this is an understandable frustration.

5. Gross bathrooms

airplane bathrooms

Dirty bathrooms were a major turn off for 30% of travelers. Women were more likely to be upset about a bathroom’s cleanliness than men, with 34% of female travelers surveyed saying a filthy lavatory would keep them flying an airline again compared to 23% of men.

Flyers aren’t just being fussy about the state of airplane bathrooms. Studies have shown that heavily used plane bathrooms are crawling with E. coli and other bacteria. Bathrooms may not even be cleaned between every flight if the legs are short, Lars Barsoe of Vestergaard Company, which produces and services airport equipment, told the BBC.

4. Canceled flight

You might settle for less-than-stellar service and grit your teeth when paying to check a bag, but canceled flights are harder to swallow. After all, you’re paying the airline to get you from Point A to Point B. So it’s hardly surprising that 30% of travelers would consider choosing a different airline in the future if their flight never took off. And though cancellations are actually pretty rare — just 1.54% of flights on major U.S. carriers werecanceled in 2015 — that doesn’t make them less irksome, especially when the airline doesn’t make much of an effort to make things right.

3. Unfriendly flight crew

Surly flight attendants got on the nerves of 34% of flyers surveyed by Qualtrics. Considering that flight attendants have one of the worst jobs in America, according to some measures, it’s no wonder they’re not all smiles. Premium flyers, who perhaps expect to be treated with kid gloves, were more likely to get upset about the flight crew’s attitude than those who flew coach.

2. Hidden fees

travelers with luggage

By now, most travelers know to expect checked bag fees, even if they don’t like them. Far more annoying are surprise fees. Getting hit with a hidden extra charge is enough to send 42% of passengers scurrying to another carrier. Depending on the airline, you may have to shell out more money if you want a pillow or blanket, have to print your board pass at the airport kiosk, or call to make a reservation by phone. If you’re not careful, the price of what looked like a bargain ticket could easily skyrocket.

1. Lost luggage

A dream vacation can turn into a nightmare when an airline loses your luggage. Nearly half of people surveyed by Qualtrics said having a bag go missing was enough to make them consider other airlines. The good news is that airlines have gotten better at keeping tracks of suitcases in recent years. Globally, the rate of mishandled bags plunged by 61.3% between 2007 and 2015, even as passenger numbers increased, according to a report by airline IT vendor SITA.

Still, some airlines are more likely to mislay your bag than others. Expressjet Airlines received the most baggage handling complaints from flyers in January 2016, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, followed by Skywest and American. Virgin America, Jet Blue, and Hawaiian reported the fewest complaints.

20 travel tips from a travel expert – AKA a flight attendant (That’s me!)

Traveling soon? Here are a few tips…

1. Always bring a sweater / hoodie on the plane. Airplanes are like movie theaters. They’re freezing!

2. Airplane mode is not off! Bring a magazine to read during takeoff and landing! I’m talking to you Kindle people!

3. Wear running shoes in case you have to run from the airport bar to the gate. Flips flops and heels will only slow you down

4. Remember you can bring food through security. Bring leftovers! Share with the crew! More water / wine for you!

5. The airplane is the perfect place to let kids watch movies & play video games THE ENTIRE flight. Just bring headphones

6. Ladies: leave the jewelry in your carry-on bag. Put it on AFTER you go through security. Do the same with your belt

7. Let it go! You can’t control delays and getting all stressed out about it will only ruin your trip.

8. Buy water! We never have enough on board for everyone. You’ll be glad you have it if your flight diverts. IT HAPPENS!

9. Eat something! Even if you’re not hungry. Calories don’t count at the airport. Plus you never know when you’re going to eat again.

10. A long line of frequent fliers (think single passengers holding computers) will go 10 X’s faster than a line with a family with a new baby in it!

11. Airlines do NOT hold planes for connecting passengers. Unless there are 20 of you going to same place. Get to know your neighbors

12. Record the sound of the overhead bins being shut. You never know when you might need to prove you’re on a plane

13. A real frequent flier knows to check the inbound flight when checking to see if their flight is delayed.

14. Always check the monitors even if you know your gate number. Sometimes gates change!

15. FYI: Anything under $500 roundtrip is cheap! Especially during the holidays.

16. Offer to buy passengers a drink in flight if they switch seats with you. It’s just a nice thing to do. Only half will take you up on it.

17. Book trips the first week of January! Everyone is broke after the holidays. Empty flights = cheap flights.

18. Traveling ANYWHERE in September is great. Kids are back in school, tickets are cheap & weather is still nice.

19. Last flight out always has empty seats because everyone tries to get on earlier flights. More aisle seats / upgrades available!

20. Use your time wisely. Delays are the perfect time to call your mother. She’ll be glad you did.

Heather Poole

17 Selfish Things Other Passengers Do to Make Their Travel Better (and Yours Worse), Ranked in Order of Pure Deviousness

17 Selfish Things Other Passengers Do to Make Their Travel BetterBY BILL MURPHY JR. -Once upon a time, they say, business travel was fun. Now it’s cutthroat. It’s not just what the airlines and rental car companies are doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to each other.

I met a guy who says he gets two seats for the price of one on long train rides. His trick is to buy beer in the station, puts a few cans on the tray table, and stare like a fake drunk at whoever starts to sit next to him. Result: He spreads out; everyone else crams in elsewhere.

We live in a sorry-not-sorry world, it seems, so I wondered if there was more stuff like this going on. I started asking around.

Here are some of the other self-serving tricks I learned about. Many are tactics for trying to get more room on airplanes, trains, and busses by encouraging others to skip the empty seats next to them. I’ve ranked them backwards, in order of how annoyed I suspect you’d be to learn the passenger in line in front of you was using them.

1. Scare off other passengers by faking a fight.

Several passengers I contacted admit to putting down bags or papers in hopes that people like you would be dissuaded from asking them to move. But some travelers use more creative tactics. Take Laura Cody, a travel blogger and YouTuber, who says she and her fiancé stage fake fights to ward off other travelers.

“We pretend to argue just loud enough that other people know what’s going on,” Cody says. “We then usually take three seats if it’s a plane (that’s not fully booked) or four seats if it’s a bus and our excuse is that we need some space away from each other for a while.”

2. Block the seat in front of them…

Several people suggest using the Knee Defender. The problem is that it’s not allowed on many flights. So some passengers use a less-obvious method.

Kallen Diggs, author of the book, Reaching the Finish Line, says he skips the controversial device and instead uses a “steel carry-on” bag that happens to fit exactly between his seat and the seat in front of him. “The tight fit prevents the person in front of me from reclining their seat.”

3. …Or recline before anyone can block them.

Call this one a preemptive recline: “The flight attendants come through and make you move your seat to its upright position,” said this traveler. “As soon as the plane leaves the ground, I lean back before the person behind me can stop me. That way you have gravity working with you. It might even break the [Knee Defender].”

4. Carry something sharp and dangerous.

This one is more of a commuter’s trick than a business traveler’s trick, but working in New York City, I can see where Meghan Calak is coming from:

“The L train that runs from Manhattan to Brooklyn it is almost always unbearably crowded,” writes Calak, who says she’s traveling the world these days but used to work at LinkedIn. “One of the best ways that I’ve found to keep my personal space during rush hour is to bring along a small potted cactus and hold it in front of me. …. No one dares bump into me.”

5. Look for stuff to complain about.

Elizabeth Aldrich, who used to fly weekly for her corporate job but now travels a lot for pleasure, has two tricks. The first Is to be on the lookout for things to complain about.

For example, she says, “if anything isn’t functioning with my seat (the in-flight entertainment doesn’t turn on, or the seat won’t recline), I make sure to (nicely) complain. Usually they will give me a drink ticket or two. Once I even scored an upgraded seat.”

6. Fib for free booze.

Here’s Elizabeth’s other trick. While just about every travel advice article suggests not drinking alcohol on flights, that advice crashes right into reality when you start asking people what they really do. For example, they like to drink.

“I am all about getting free alcoholic beverages on long flights,” Alrich says. “It’s actually incredibly easy to get flight attendants to ‘forget’ to charge you for your drink orders. … On redeyes, I casually drop that it’s my birthday … The more shameless version of this, which I have tried once, is to look sad and say you’re going to a funeral.”

7. Build a privacy screen.

I’ve never seen anything like this, but it would be kind of a weird idea to make up, so I’m going to pass it along. Sebastien Dupere, CEO of Dupray, which sells steam cleaners and steam irons, says he carries a small roll of duct tape with him.

“I tape my blanket to the ceiling to create a ‘screen’ or ‘barrier’ [against] the person sitting in the middle seat (I always sit window!). It gives me the peace, quiet, darkness, and privacy that I need,” he says.

8. Cut to the front of the taxi line.

This one is for saving time when you reach your destination, need a taxi, and find there’s a long line for the cab stand (assuming for whatever reason you can’t use Uber).

“Forget this,” says Travis Bennett, founder of Nomad Stack. “Rip the airline tags off your baggage and head to the departures section of the airport. … If security asks what you’re doing, I tell them I need to meet my wife. Now you’ve just got to hang back until a cab drops another passenger off. Once they’re sorted, say hi to the cab driver and ask if they can take you. Nine times out of 10 they’ll be more than willing, and you’ll be in a cab en route to your hotel in under five minutes.”

9. Cut to the front of the volunteers line.

One of the only times you can get something for free from an airline these days is if you’re willing to give up your seat on an overbooked flight. Often, it turns out there are more volunteers than needed.

“When … the airline offers an incentive … I will shamelessly bolt to the counter,” saysBrian Hayes, who describes himself as a 23-year-old journalism graduate working in technology public relations. “I’ve never directly cut anybody in line, but I’ve beat people to the counter right as they’re approaching it. The airline usually only needs one or two seats to be freed up, so it can be cutthroat.”

10. Be a shameless gate lurker.

Nobody I spoke to actually owned up to this behavior, which is funny because it’s one of the most common things I see people doing in airports–and that veteran travelers complain about.

“‘Gate lice,'” wrote The Wall Street Journal a few years ago, “a term used to describe passengers who clump together in front of the gate before it’s their proper time to board, seems to have been gleefully adopted by some of the road warriors who chatter on Flyertalk.”

11. While we’re at it, sneak into lounges.

Apparently, this is the practice of being “door lice” or “lounge hitchhikers,” of standing outside airline lounges and harassing members to bring you inside as a guest. I’ve never seen this myself, but was referred to a travelers’ blog that talked about it.

12. Pretend to be disabled.

This one sounds pretty horrible, which is probably why nobody who says they’ve done it was willing to be quoted. However, I’ve heard about travelers–always a friend of a friend, it seems, so maybe that’s heartening–who carried a cane or crutches after they no longer needed them. The point, of course, is to entice a gate agent to let them board an airplane early.

13. Lie, and then lie down.

I’m not sure how often this would work now, since airplanes are so often completely full. However, comedian Dan Nainan says he checks the seat map just before boarding to see if there are any rows with nobody assigned seats in them.

“I’ll go to an empty row and sit on one end and put my bag on the other and if anyone comes by, I’ll tell them the seats are taken,” Nainan says. “This way, I am sometimes the only person who gets to lie down while everyone else has to sit upright.”

14. Spill water on the seat next to you.

How bad is this? One passenger admits to intentionally pouring water on the seat next to her, just so she can discourage other people from sitting there–but making it sound as if she were only doing so for their own good.

“This is when I really want to be able to spread out,” she says. “If anyone tries to sit, I say, ‘You might want to try another seat because that one’s all wet,’ and ‘I’m not sure if it’s just water…’ Nobody wants to take the chance. Of course, once we get going I just wipe it up and spread out.”

15. Make yourself smell bad.

Call this one the Skunk Trick–intentionally skipping a shower or wearing dirty clothes so people won’t want to sit next to you. One traveler says he came upon this trick by accident, at least to begin with.

“I was with a bunch of friends for the weekend [in Las Vegas], with a 7 a.m. flight on Sunday morning,” he says. “Hung over, wearing the same clothes … People actually moved away from me.”

Removing your shoes will probably also accomplish this olfactory defense, as will bringing pungent food aboard. “It’s the only time I eat Burger King,” confesses one traveler.

16. Just be a jerk.

We hear about people who flat-out get belligerent on planes. Often, they’re treated with kid gloves afterward (see the story of hotel heir Conrad Hilton III, here, if you really want to get your blood boiling). But Eric Bowlin, a real estate investor and writer, offered this anecdote about what happened to his wife when she was coming home from a trip overseas:

“She was traveling with a 2-year-old toddler and also while pregnant. The flight attendant noticed this and began moving her to [a] row with three open seats so the toddler could lay down and [she] could have some room to recline or rest her back during the 14-hour flight.

Right before they got seated there, a man moved from another seat and took the whole row. … The attendant asked him to move back to his seat … When it was explained to him that my wife was pregnant and had a toddler, he said he didn’t care and he wanted to lay down. The worst part–the man never actually laid down.”

31 Ways To Make Your Flight Attendant Hate You

1. Pressing the call button more than once when your flight attendant doesn’t show up immediately.

NBC / Via gaiaonline.com

Trust that if they haven’t shown up, they’re busy and will be with you as soon as they can.

2. Getting so drunk that you get smelly, messy, or belligerent.

Universal Pictures / Via sarahadowney.com

3. Giving your carry-on to your flight attendant and saying, “Find a place for this.”

Via nymag.com

The flight attendant job description doesn’t include heavy lifting. Do it yourself.

4. Touching them, poking them, or tugging at their uniform to get their attention.


Especially since their butt is usually at your level. Nobody wants their butt poked.

5. And, even worse: Snapping or whistling.

Via goodreads.com

6. Expecting them to bend safety rules because you’re in a hurry to get off the plane.


7. Sitting with your limbs sticking out into the aisle.


The best way to piss someone off is to trip them.

8. Pressing the call button when they’re in the middle of serving meals/drinks.


They literally have to take the trolley back to the galley, get you what you want, and then go get the trolley back. You know who else hates you in this situation? EVERYONE.

9. Leaving garbage in your seat pocket instead of handing it to them when they’re collecting it.

31 Ways To Make Your Flight Attendant Hate You
ABC / Via miscgifs.tumblr.com

They just end up having to clean that much longer when everyone’s off the plane.

10. Being rude to them about your flight being delayed.

Disney / Via rapgenius.com

They literally have zero control over the situation.

11. Bringing a giant carry-on that takes up everyone else’s room.


12. Complaining about the food. Your flight attendants didn’t cook it, and they’re eating it too.

Paramount Pictures / Via isthiswhyimstillsingle.wordpress.com

13. Doing any bodily maintenance on board: clipping your nails, putting on/taking off nail polish, or scratching where you shouldn’t be.

FOX / Via huffingtonpost.com

Why do people sometimes think planes are exempt from the code of conduct for normal public places?

14. Leaving a mess in the bathroom.

Via giphy.com

15. Throwing your coat/jacket at your flight attendant. Literally just say please and thank you, or handle it yourself.

20th Century Fox / Via whendoiturnbackintoapumpkin.tumblr.com

16. Trying to use the bathroom in a different section.


(I.e., sitting in economy and trying to go pee in first class.)

17. Watching/playing/listening to something without your headphones on.

AMC / Via elitedaily.com

18. Trying to talk to your flight attendant without taking your headphones off: both disrespectful and inconvenient.

CBS / Via backalleysoapbox.wordpress.com

19. Hitting on them.

The CW / Via ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

They’re only being nice to you because it’s their job.

Via ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

20. Babies are babies, but if you have an older kid and you’re letting them run wild, you aren’t making anyone’s job easier.

31 Ways To Make Your Flight Attendant Hate You
Nickelodeon / Via imgfave.com

21. Also: Letting your kid hit the call button for fun.

Cartoon Network / Via econwiz.wordpress.com

22. Assuming that their job is just to be “sky waiters.”

31 Ways To Make Your Flight Attendant Hate You

Your flight attendants are rigorously trained to keep you safe, and just happen to also serve you drinks.

23. Leaving gross stuff in the seat’s back pocket.

Walt Disney Pictures / Via mashable.com

If you need to get rid of chewed gum, used Q-tips, or soiled diapers, take them to the restroom trash can.

24. Chilling in the galleys for longer than a couple of minutes. You don’t realize it, but you’re definitely in the way.

Warner Bros. / Via gifcitygifcity.tumblr.com

25. P.D.A.


Sure, you have to be on this plane for several hours and maybe you can’t resist your boo, but surely it can wait. Nobody around you needs the show.

26. Body odor.

31 Ways To Make Your Flight Attendant Hate You

If you’ve been traveling for longer than 12 hours, go ahead and re-deodorize for everyone else’s sake.

27. Pressing the call button during turbulence.

The CW / Via wanariefimran.tumblr.com

Don’t make someone risk a broken ankle because you want orange juice.

28. Using the restroom during boarding or exiting, which slows down the entire process.


If you can wait 10 minutes, you should.

29. Taking your shoes off and putting your bare feet up.


Even if your feet are perfectly fragrant and beautiful, literally nobody wants to see them.

30. Whining about the seat in front of you being reclined.


31. Not saying “please” and “thank you.” Kindness is an easy way to make a difficult job more pleasant. Do it.


JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quits his job in style after luggage row with passenger

They say it’s best to go out with a bang.

And as resignations go, Steven Slater’s was certainly memorable.

When a stroppy passenger swore at the flight attendant after he asked her to remain in her seat until the plane had stopped, the self-confessed ‘bag Nazi’ first commandeered the public address system to launch a four-letter tirade at shocked travellers.

Steven Slater

Unlikely hero: Steven Slater poses with his JetBlue crew card. More details have emerged about the row that led to his unique resignation

Before the fiasco: Steven Slater avoided jail time for his stunt when he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief and agreed to undergo treatment

Before the fiasco: Steven Slater avoided jail time for his stunt when he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief and agreed to undergo treatment

Incident: The Jet Blue flight from Pittsburgh to New York was carrying 100 passengers

Incident: The Jet Blue flight from Pittsburgh to New York was carrying 100 passengers

Then he grabbed his bags  –  and two cans of beer from the galley  –  and popped the lever for the plane’s inflatable emergency chute.

He threw the bags on to it before sliding down to the tarmac himself.

Once on the ground, Slater, 39, picked up his silver Jeep Wrangler and raced home.


Flo Hale: ‘Steven only did what all of us feel like doing to those inconsiderate people that think they are better than the rest of the world.’

Victor Nawrocki: ‘I think the other passengers should have helped him.’

Daniel Hood: ‘Love the way he took a few beers then jumped down the shoot ha ha this has made my day.’

Sharyl Madeloni: ‘Rude is a way of life anymore – we don’t have to take it! Personally I would have thrown the beer on the passenger and thrown the jerk down the chute instead! Good going Steven!’

Ross Collins: ‘I hope you grabbed some peanuts to go with the beer.’

Naomi Nieves: ‘If Steven is reading this, please know that the minute your story aired on TV , I had your back.’

Police arrived to arrest him about an hour later.

Colleagues on Jet Blue Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to New York said Slater was having ‘a really bad day’ on Monday.

The day after didn’t get any better when he appeared in court yesterday charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

He pleased not guilty to the charges and was released on £1,500 bail last night.

If convicted, he could be jailed for seven years.

But Slater has become an unlikely folk hero in the U.S., where there was growing sympathy yesterday for the kind of abuse flight attendants have to deal with from unruly passengers.

By last night, a string of pages had been set up in tribute to him on the Facebook website, with many social networkers admiring his grand exit.

Slater flew off the handle after asking a passenger not to remove her belongings from the overhead baggage compartment while the plane was still on the runway after arrival at New York’s JFK airport.

The woman reportedly swore at Slater and grabbed her carry-on case anyway, cutting the irate attendant on the forehead with the bag as he tried to intervene.

After the plane had stopped and the 100 passengers started shuffling to the exit, Slater’s voice was heard bellowing over the loudspeaker.

Passenger Philip Catelinet said: ‘He said, “I’ve had it! To the passenger who called me a mother******, **** you! I’ve been in this business for 28 years and that’s it. I’m done”.

‘You don’t want to see a flight attendant lose their cool like that. I’m glad it happened on the ground and not anywhere in the air.’

First officer Scott Bienz told investigators he tried to block Slater from getting to the escape chute, but couldn’t hold him back.

Slater is cuffed and strapped into the back of a New York City Police Department van after being arrested

Fasten your seatbelts: A handcuffed Slater is strapped into the back of a New York City Police Department van after being arrested

Slater had been with Jet Blue since 2008. He was the chairman of the airline's Uniform Redesign Committee

Simmering row: Slater’s lawyer claims the experienced flight attendant had a repeated confrontation with an unnamed female passenger

Mr Catelinet said he heard Slater talking to another passenger about his anger just before he launched his tirade.

‘He said that he had a bad day and that this passenger had set him off,’ Mr Catelinet said.

‘I thought it was a crazy way to quit your job. And I thought if only we could all quit our jobs so spectacularly, but not get arrested in the process.’

Jet Blue last night suspended Slater from duty pending an investigation.

Steven Slater

Happy in the limelight: JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater leaves a correctional facility in the Bronx after posting bail

What a way to go: Slater made his escape down an emergency chute similar to this one

What a way to go: Slater made his escape down an emergency chute similar to this one

The airline said in a statement: ‘At no time was the security or safety of our customers or crewmembers at risk.’

On his Facebook page, Slater lists his interests as ‘fashion, interior decorating, spirituality and recovery’.

He is said to have previously worked for TWA and Delta.

He joined Jet Blue in 2008 after a spell as a shop assistant with designer label Burberry.

A neighbour said about 50 police officers turned up at Slater’s home in Belle Harbour, New York, to arrest him.

He was found in bed with his boyfriend.

The issue od luggage entitlements is something that has been a pet hate of Slater’s for a long while.

On Airliners.net, an aviation website where he uses the handle ‘skyliner747’, he wrote: ‘I hate to be a bag Nazi when I work a flight, but I feel if I am not, then I am letting down all those who cooperate and try to help out as well.’


Folk hero: One of the many Facebook pages set up since the flight attendant was arrested

Steven Slater

One supporter has even started marketing T-shirts calling for charges against the flight attendant to be dropped

Steven Slater

T-shirt tribute: The story spread like wildfire across the internet with thousands of people signing up to pages in Slater’s name and t-shirts printed in his honour

Steven Slater

…and there’s a message on the back directed at the unnamed woman passenger who sparked the outburst

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How To Change A Name And Date On A Airlines Flight Booking

Video Transcription

Welcome to another edition of Travelstart’s FAQ Friday with me, Nick Paul.

Today we are going to talk about a really common question that we get asked here at Travelstart: How to change a name and date on a flight booking. This is such a common thing that we deal with that we actually have an entire department dedicated to it. We are going to look two different types of changes, namely: name changes and date changes.

Name Changes

We mostly get asked this when people have misspelled their names or want to sell their ticket on to somebody else. Name changes not not permitted, except on Mango flights. Some airlines may allow up to a one letter change on a ticket , but we have to ask the airline directly if that is possible. Most of the time the airlines say no. The only way to solve this problem is to put the ticket in for a refund, get whatever is refundable back, and purchase a new ticket. This can be expensive so it is really important to check your names as per your ID or passport before entering your details onto our website when making a booking. The same would apply if you are booking with an airline website or another travel agent, it is vital to put your names in correctly.

Domestic flight hack: if your surname is spelled correctly and your initial is correct, but your first name is spelled incorrectly, travel with your drivers license. This reason for this is because your drivers license does not show your full name. For international tickets this will not work as you are required to travel with your passport.

Why can’t you change your name on a ticket?

You might be wondering why it is that you can’t change your name on the ticket. There are 2 main reasons:


If you book a flight with a name which would not flag a security black list, and closer to the date of departure change it back to your name, you can sometimes fly under the radar of the various security services around the world.

Ticket Fare Dilution

Airlines do not like their fares to be diluted. What I mean by this is that if you were to book a cheap ticket long in advance and then the day before change the name on the ticket and sell it to somebody else you could make a profit, the airlines would therefore lose out on being able to sell the ticket for the full price that they would have on that day.

Date and Time Changes

The other kind of changes you can make are date and time changes. This is if you want to change the date or time of the flight you have booked to another flight at a later date/time. Most often tickets are changeable but some of the cheaper tickets do not allow for changes.

At Travelstart we search for the cheapest flight deals possible, resulting in some of the ticket dates & times not being changeable. That is why we offer the “Flexible Ticket” option to our clients. It costs R120 for domestic flights (per flight) and R795 for international flights. This allows you to make one free date change. If there is a difference in fare from the old flights you booked to the new flights you will have to pay that in, but the change fee is covered by Travelstart.

So that is it from me this week for FAQ Friday. If you have any travel related questions please ask them in the comments below, who knows, next week we might make them into a video.

Read more: http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/how-to-change-a-name-and-date-on-a-flight-booking-faq-fridays/#ixzz4IhxsgS00
Follow us: @Travelstart on Twitter | Travelstart on Facebook

Flight attendant leaves passengers stunned by what he said over the speaker

Southwest Airlines is well known for its lower fares and more relaxed attitude about air travel, and the video below makes it very clear why!

FlightAttendantSpeechThe flight attendant in this clip is both talented and dedicated, and he is bound and determined to give his passengers a bit of entertainment as the board the flight, find their seats and put away their bags.

This musical Southwest flight attendant named David puts on a funny, but quite professional rap version of the usual safety and introductory speech that passengers here on every single airline flight they take.

David’s rap song version covered all of the important information but presented it to passengers in a much more entertaining fashion. He began by asking the passengers on the flight to please clap their hands or stomp their feet to give him a beat to work with. Once a few passengers started up, pretty soon most of the cabin was clapping or stomping along, and David launched into his rap safety / instructional spiel.

The talented flight attendant and rap artist got a hearty and well deserved round of applause at the end of his rap monologue.

7 things not to do on a plane according to a flight attendant who just quit

Ever wondered what you can’t do on a plane?

Reddit user adrianne456 quit her job as a flight attendant and decided to answer some of the most important questions about flying.

adrianne456, whose credentials have been verified by Reddit, wrote:

I’ve been a flight attendant for a little under two years for a regional airline that serves three of the US’ major airlines.

I worked on 80 seater aircrafts with one other flight attendant and two pilots.

It’s been a great experience, but today – I quit.

indy100 compiled a list of things not to do on a plane based on what adrianne456 revealed…

1. Do not take a seat in first class (unless you have a ticket)

Picture: PictureBox Films/YouTube/screengrab

You will get embarrassed.

2. Don’t drink the tea or coffee

NullPicture: aydinmutlu/istock

I personally would not drink the potable water from the aircraft. So the tea, coffee…I would avoid. The water isn’t so bad but how often do you really think those tanks are cleaned?

3. Don’t try to join the Mile High Club, they know what you’re trying to do no matter how subtle you think you are

NullPicture: TommL/istock

We can pretty much see what everyone is doing on the plane for the most part. I would see two people going in the bathroom easily.

4. Don’t do a poo


Don’t take a s**t on the plane. PLEASE. Sometimes I get it, you just have to go but damn, close the door behind you…

5. In fact, don’t use the bathroom while boarding either

NullPicture: tirc83/istock

You are really getting in the flight attendant’s way.

6. Don’t eat directly off the table trays

NullPicture: Supersmario/istock

The overnight crew cleans the aircraft. But I would say [they clean it], very rarely.

7. Don’t sit in the back if you’re scared of turbulence

Try to get a seat assignment near the front of the aircraft. Turbulence is always going to be worst in the back of the aircraft.


H/T: Reddit

Do Pilots Hook Up With Flight Attendants? An Airline Pilot Answers

Do Pilots Hook Up With Flight Attendants An Airline Pilot AnswersBy – Paul Thompson:- My friend Mike* is a First Officer at a regional airline here in the U.S. He’s graciously agreed to answer some questions exclusively for Flight Club about being a pilot, as well as addressing some of the rumors that we hear as travelers about everything from sex to slowing your plane down on purpose.

Is it true that regional pilots intentionally fly slower to make more money, since you’re paid hourly?

Yes and no. We fly slower than we could be, but the little bit of extra money it makes us is an unintended consequence.

Over the last few years the speed at which we fly in cruise has been dialed way back in the interest of saving fuel. When fuel was cheap, nobody thought much of getting into cruise, setting the thrust levers at max, and getting where you’re going as quick as possible. As fuel costs started to increase, airlines started turning over every rock in search of fuel savings. Basic aerodynamics teaches us that the faster you go, the higher the amount of drag exists on the airframe. In fact, doubling the speed at which you’re flying actually will quadruple the amount of drag felt by the airplane. Long story short, flight planners realized that by going fast everywhere everyone was burning a ton more fuel only to arrive there a couple of minutes early. Especially on the shorter stage lengths that regional airlines tend to fly, you’re really not increasing your flight time by more than a couple minutes, yet you can save hundreds of pounds of fuel. If we’re on time or early, I like to fly at the speed that saves us the most amount of fuel. It is also a lot more advantageous to fly your planned speed so that the fuel burn that was calculated for our flight plan is accurate.

On top of cost savings, arriving to your destination with more fuel gives you more options if you can’t get straight into the airport. The fuel saved by flying more economically can mean the difference of one more turn in a hold vs. having to head to an alternate airport.

There are times when it makes sense to go fast though. Most of us fly frequently as passengers, we understand the need to arrive to your destination on time. On top of that, regional airlines are compensated for each flight they operate for their mainline partner, plus bonuses for completion factor and on time performance. If we are running a few minutes behind schedule, it makes sense to go fast to try to get back on time. Even just a few minutes can make the difference between someone making their connection vs having to spend the night in the airport.

I have flown with a few people who do fly slow everywhere they go because they think they’re padding their paychecks. But they tend to be the extreme minority…and to be honest, you can add more to the flight time by taxiing slow or taking the second turnoff on the runway instead of the first.

Do main-line pilots treat you with equal respect as peers (since they likely started as a regional pilot too) or do they look down on you?

One of the best thing about this industry is the camaraderie. One of the absolute best perks of the job is that almost any airline pilot in the country can go to the airport and ride for free/cheap on the jumpseat of almost any other US airline. This certainly increases your exposure to pilots who work at other airlines. This is a very unique industry that nobody will understand unless they’ve been there. One of my coworkers likened it to the life of a carnie. We’re in a different city every night and we give people rides.

As a result, most of us look out for each other, even if they work for a competing company. Unfortunately aviation is not immune from the general guideline that 10% of the people on this planet are idiots. One day after giving a 737 pilot a ride home to HSV [Huntsville, Alabama], he stopped me on the jetway and told me that he hoped I would become unemployed by next year. Some people are just unhappy in life and feel the need to take it out on others. But all in all, we get along. Look at two pilots as they pass one another in the terminal. Usually we’ll exchange a nod. Its not a greeting, so much as it is a shared understanding of how crazy this job can be sometimes…basically a “yeah….me too.”

Do pilots hook up with flight attendants as often as people think?

I can honestly say that if this has happened on any crew I have been a part of, it has been very well disguised. I can’t think of a single time in which I’ve noticed anyone in my crew head back to a hotel room together. There are some couples that are dating and bid to fly together, but I’ve never seen a random hookup.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve seen a passenger do on one of your flights?

People are usually pretty behaved on flights, its in the terminal where you see the real crazy stuff. But as for stuff that happens on a regular basis, I’d have to say passengers conduct relating to their carry on bags that is the most facepalm worthy. I understand that everyone loves their things, but in most cases it physically will not fit in our overhead bin. Even if it does, when the flight attendant says you need to leave it on the jetway, she isn’t just being mean. For weight and balance reasons the FAA is the one that dictates what can and cannot be brought into the cabin. She’s just doing her job. Of all the flights I’ve ridden on where I have gate checked my bag, I have run into exactly two problems, both caused by a crew tag with confusing instructions. Take your valuables out, put a tag on it, and I promise it will be waiting for you when you get to your destination. Now go sit down, there are 40 people behind you waiting to board.

Do you have a favorite plane to fly as a pilot? What makes it your favorite?

Every pilot has a favorite airplane. For some its the airplane that has the best takeoff and climb performance, for some its just air conditioning that works and left over first class meals. In their simplest form, airplanes are tools. What I’m looking to accomplish will decide which plane I would consider a favorite.

DA20 Katana pic by Alec Wilson on Flickr.
DA20 Katana pic by Alec Wilson on Flickr.

If I was going up in a general aviation airplane just to fly for pleasure, I’d probably pick the Diamond DA20 Katana. It’s light, it’s maneuverable, and it has a very large windshield through which I can admire the view.

Cirrus SR-20 pic by Alec Wilson on Flickr
Cirrus SR-20 pic by Alec Wilson on Flickr

If I’m flying GA but actually looking to get somewhere, I’d say my favorite is the Cirrus SR-20. That airplane is the only GA aircraft I’ve ever sat in that I’ve actually found comfortable. Combine that comfort with lots of workload reducing tools and a significant amount of speed, you have the perfect cross country machine.

But for most pilots, their all time favorite airplane to fly will be a jet. So far in my career I’ve only flown one, the Canadair Regional Jet. Performance wise the CRJ is actually a rather anemic jet, yet it still stands head and shoulders above any other plane I’ve flown. I think what I love about it the most is that the things you can do in a jet are really impressive. The increased technology and training we get to see at an airline allows you to fly in some pretty challenging conditions. Doing laps around the pattern in a Katana is fun, but breaking out at 100ft above the ground on a Cat 2 ILS is a pretty awesome experience.

How about as a passenger, what’s your favorite plane & why?

You can’t beat the 747. The A380 may be bigger and a more comfortable ride, but the 747 was the first big passenger aircraft… and is much better looking. One of my favorite aviation memories is being able to ride in the upper deck of a Northwest Airlines 747-200. Between the business class service I was fortunate enough to enjoy and the fact that there were only twelve seats up there, you felt like you were on your very own private jet. It was easy to forget that there were 300+ poor bastards crammed in like sardines down below. Combine comfort with the sheer beauty and size of it, the 747 has to be my favorite airplane to fly on as a passenger. I hope that someday I’ll be able to make it my favorite to fly as a pilot as well.

Top photo: Virgin America flight attendants. [Getty Images]

Via –jalopnik

S*x, fights and mid-air surgery: the real life of a Virgin Atlantic air stewardess

Suturing up a stomach wound and witnessing a celebrity passenger cheat on his girlfriend are just some of the gory details laid bare in a new tell-all book by a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant.

Mandy Smith has lifted the lid on her 10-year stint as a Virgin Atlantic crew member in the racily-named Cabin Fever: The sizzling secrets of a Virgin air hostess.

Smith saw it all as she travelled the world serving up tea, coffee and safety instructions. Her story offers up some fascinating behind-the-scenes tidbits on what life as a flight attendant is really like.

As you might expect, the Mile High club features strongly – with some passengers unable to resist the time-honoured thrill of sex at altitude.

“The official stance was that if we saw anyone being amorous, we would tell them to stop it,” Smith explained, in an interview with ITV’s This Morning. “It’s not really encouraged… We would be knocking on the door saying, ‘Can you come out please?'”

Mandy Smith in her days as a Virgin flight attendant

Smith’s book reveals one instance when an A-List celebrity (whom she doesn’t name) cheated on his girlfriend with an air hostess mid-flight on the way to Antigua – with his girlfriend sitting nearby. The crew member hadn’t realised he had a girlfriend and was mortified when she found out.

But affairs are apparently par for the course when it comes to flying.

“One businessman was travelling in Upper Class and getting it on at the bar with a fellow female passenger. They’d had a few drinks and had a few snogs,” Smith recalled, in an interview with the Daily Mail. “Literally five minutes later his wife walked through to see him. She’d been sitting back in Economy with no idea what was going on! We were shocked.”

Then there was the time when one of Smith colleagues “was caught giving oral sex to a steward”.

“She was sacked on the spot, they take that very seriously…,” Smith said. “The Virgin crew are professional and diligent and I wanted to make sure that came across.”

Mandy with her tell-all book

When it wasn’t sex causing a stir, it was mid-flight fights and air rage – such as pizza-throwers and head-butters.

“The passengers behaved far worse, especially in Premium Economy because they think they’re better than Economy, but actually can’t afford Upper,” Smith said.

“I had a man throw pizza in my face once because he said it wasn’t good enough for his son to eat… [another passenger] head-butted my colleague who was merely trying to restrain her outburst, and her nose burst open and I don’t even think she ever apologised. We have to put up with a lot.”

Mandy appearing on ITV’s This Morning

Dealing with mid-air emergencies was another key part of Smith’s job. One time she had to help stitch up a man whose stomach wound had ruptured “with butterfly stitches”, while on another occasion, she comforted a woman who had just miscarried in the airplane toilet.

“I gathered plastic aprons, surgical gloves, face masks and cloths from our first-aid supplies in the galley and returned to the scene with more crew to help,” she recalled. “We have to be calm and helpful in all situations, nothing can faze us. No matter how upsetting, we are there to help.”

The book that says it all

Of course, there is a glamorous side to being a flight attendant and Smith describes being treated “like royalty” as she and her crew attended raucous and debauched parties everywhere from Las Vegas to St Lucia and Cape Town.

She writes about skinny dipping en-masse in St Lucia and a hell-raising stag do the Virgin crew went to in the City of Sin.

“The boyfriend of one of the crew members was on the stag do of a Calvin Klein model,” she says.

“Afterwards we all went back to their hotel suite which was massive. People were getting it on all over the place and drugs were lined up on the tables, though of course we didn’t touch them because Virgin do random drug tests.”

Smith worked in the engineering department at Virgin Atlantic before becoming an air stewardess. She has now retired from the profession to live in West Sussex with husband Glenn and their 19-month-old baby.

Her book Cabin Fever: The sizzling secrets of a Virgin air hostess by Mandy Smith and Nicola Stow, £9.99, is available now.