There are some circumstances where I truly believe ignorance is bliss. Flying on planes is one of those. If only I didn't know now, what I didn't know the first time I took a trip in an airplane, I could still view air travel as the miracle it was in my state of innocence.

I still love the feeling of takeoff as the plane's wheels come off the ground and you soar into the air. And I still love the idea of flying, but the harsh realities are off putting in ways big and small.

The big ways include the price. You would think with the record profits airlines are making that competition would be stiffer and prices to consumers would be lower, but that is definitely not the case here in Sioux Falls.

The small ways include the ever-shrinking space you're given to inhabit. I'm only 5 feet tall and I'm miserable with the amount of legroom you're allowed. So I can only imagine what a tall person goes through.

The most upsetting thing about air travel (next to the cost of course) is the petri dish environment you enter and the chances that you could leave with something you didn't have before. Namely some sort of illness.

In light of that ugly possibility, here is a list of things you should avoid doing whilst on an airliner:

  • Don't eat anything that falls on your tray table and don't lay any food you bring with you on the table and then eat it. Tray tables are not sterilized between flights and attendants have seen people do all kinds of things on them, from changing diapers to resting bare feet on them. (Which leads right into the next item).
  • Don't go barefoot. Attendants say they've seen everything end up on  cabin carpeting, from blood, to vomit, spilled food and worse. Then people will walk barefoot over the same area.
  • Don't get ice in your drink. The ice is made from plane tap water and water tanks on airplanes are old and have tested positive for all kinds of bacteria. While you're at it if you order water, ask for bottled water.
  • Don't get dehydrated. Planes have amazingly dry atmospheres on purpose, so drink plenty of bottled water, and take it easy on the alcohol, soda and coffee.
  • Don't fall asleep against a window. You don't know who had their germy face on it before you.
  • Don't touch the flush button in the bathroom. Use a paper towel to do it.
  • Don't wear shorts. You don't know who or what was in and on that seat before you.
  • Don't use the blankets or pillows. They don't get laundered until the end of the day, if then.

Enjoy your flight!

Source: Reader's Digest Travel Advice

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