10 Things Mom Never Told You About Safe Air Travel

The difference between a good trip and a bad one

My sister is a police officer, and is always giving me tips on staying safe. Those who travel know that the potential for crime is greater in places that you don’t know. So below are some tips for air travelers that can increase your chances of being safe while on the road.


  • 01 of 10

    Keep Small Children Secure

    Arlene Fleming

    I started flying with my now 10-year-old child when she was 10 days old. We always bought a separate seat and kept her in an FAA-approved car seat. As she got older, we used the CARES Child Aviation Restraint System to ensure her safety.

  • 02 of 10

    Pay Attention to Your Flight Attendant

    Flight attendants are not there just to serve you a soda or help lift your luggage. They are actually there to ensure your safety, so no matter how many times you fly, listen to them at the beginning of the flight. And while you're at it, read the seat back aircraft card too.

  • 03 of 10

    Buckle Up

    Photo by Benét J. Wilson

    Passengers can be seriously injured during turbulent flights. So listen to the crew and buckle up and keep your seatbelt on from take-off to landing, especially if the pilot tells the flight attendants to be seated during turbulent flights.


  • 04 of 10

    Count Seats

    Photo by Benét J. Wilson

    During an emergency, mere seconds can make the difference in your own survival. Try and sit in or near exit rows. If that isn’t possible, count how many rows away you are from the nearest exit - and remember, that row may be behind you.


    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Bring Extra Food and Water


    With airline schedules as tight as they are, it's more likely that you will face a flight delay or cancellation. The last thing you want to do is wander around a nearly empty airport foraging for food, so have your own snacks. Some of my go-tos are granola, mixed nuts, protein bars, pretzels and Chex mix.​


  • 06 of 10

    Put Carry-on Bags in the Opposite Overhead Bin


    Resist the temptation to put your carry-ons in the overhead bin above your head. Instead, put it in the bin across from you so you can clearly see it and know no one is going through it. Plus it’s easier to see if someone is trying to move your bag.


  • 07 of 10

    Dress Properly


    Wear harder, closed-toe shoes with socks in case you have to leave a plane quickly, because you never know what substances might be on an aircraft floor. Other travel tips include sticking with natural fabrics and wearing layers, which will protect you more in case of intense heat or fire in an aircraft emergency.


  • 08 of 10

    Use Luggage Locks


    There are companies that make Transportation Security Administration-approved luggage locks that keep your carry-ons and checked bags safe. I also recommend the straps that surround your luggage. People are much less likely to steal from bags that are harder to steal from when there are so many that aren’t.


    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Use a Covered Luggage Tag


    Keep the business card on your luggage and carry-on bag tag covered. If you don’t have a business card, never write your home address on the airline-supplied baggage tag. You don’t want strangers acting as if they know you, which could lead to trouble.



  • 10 of 10

    Carry A Personal Go Bag

    Ziploc bag containing medical supplies
    photo division/Radius Images/Getty Images

    Travel can be unpredictable, so you should be prepared. The bag doesn’t have to be fancy. I carry a quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag that contains my passport, medicines, a mini flashlight, a cigarette lighter important phone numbers written down, a pen, a notebook, a small phone charger, hand sanitizer and batteries.


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