10 Amazing Flying Hacks

Travelstart brings you 10 ways to make your next flight a dream experience. Save money, travel faster and get the best deal on your next flight with these indispensable tips.

“choosing a bag with an eye-catching design makes it much easier for airport personnel to identify in the case that your bag has gone on an unplanned holiday of its own.”

1. Say goodbye to neck pain with the Facecradle pillow

facecradle travel hacks

Courtesy of FaceCradle

This brand-new Kickstarter-backed invention makes sleeping in Economy a dream. You are no longer in danger of agonising neck cramps or embarrassing head droops on to fellow passengers.

The Facecradle takes the basic design of the U-pillow to the next level. It allows you to sleep to the side on your shoulder comfortably, or go into a deep sleep facing forward (kind of like the pillow used on a massage table). The Facecradle does not interfere with the passenger behind’s TV. Available for pre-order only. At R568 it’s a bit steep but much cheaper than upgrading to Business Class. It has five modes: dozing mode, snoozing mode, table-nap mode and two different deep-sleep modes which cover all airport-related transit sleeping requirements.


Courtesy of FaceCradle


Courtesy of FaceCradle

2. Grab a taxi from the departure zone

If you’re not using an app like Uber or Taxify and the line for taxis at arrivals is ridiculous, walk a few hundred metres to departures and grab a taxi from an arriving passenger.

3. Order a special meal

Tired of being served last? To bask in a little of that Business Class service, you can opt to receive your meal first in Economy by letting the airline know when you book your flight that you would like a special meal. This does mean that you may have to choose the vegetarian or non-pork option, however your food will arrive pronto. This is especially great if you are seated at the back of the plane and would usually have to wait ages.

4. When choosing a bag, the brighter the better

colourful luggage travel hacks

Courtesy of kisforkani via Instagram

It is common knowledge that having a designer bag is not going to get you special treatment with the luggage sorters at the airport, however choosing a bag with an eye-catching design makes it much easier for airport personnel to identify it in the case that your bag has gone on an unplanned holiday of its own. Typo has some great luggage options.

distinctive luggage travel hacks

Courtesy of typoshop via Instagram

Choose a sturdy frame with an inbuilt lock and as colourful and unique a design as you can find.

5. Four wheels are better than two

Frequent flyers will tell you that four-wheel suitcases are better than two-wheel suitcases. They are much easier to roll, are more balanced and require a lot less effort. In larger airports this will cut down stress, fatigue and connection times significantly.

6. Take an empty water bottle through security on international flights and fill it up with water in the bathroom

water bottles travel hacks
This saves you money as you’re foregoing the expensive bottled water by the boarding gates and also you prevent creating more plastic waste-  kinder to the environment and cheaper for you.

7. Book the aisle and the window seat

Couples flying together hoping for a little more room should book the aisle and window seat (in a 3-seater row) as this decreases the chances of someone wanting to book the middle seat. On an empty flight you will most likely end up with a spare seat between you, and if not the person will most likely be willing to swop if you offer them the aisle or the window seat.

8. Call customer service while you wait

If you find yourself standing in a long, snaking queue with 200 other passengers because your flight has been delayed, it pays to call customer service while you wait as they are just as capable of helping to get you on a new flight as the person present at the counter.
Extra tip: Politeness is the best possible way to get compensation for a cancelled flight,whether that be a new flight, air miles, extra meal-vouchers or a better hotel.

9. Carry a squishable carry-on

travel hacks squishy luggage

Courtesy of shaziksfashion via Instagram

More malleable carry-on bags, think duffel, are much easier to fit in the overhead lockers plus you will almost never be asked to put a squishy carry-on in the hold.

10. Pack your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase for balance

To avoid having a bag which takes a swan dive every time you let go of the handle, place heavier items- like your shoes- at the bottom to create balance.

Got any great tips to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Happy flying from Travelstart.

Header image courtesy of theblogabroad via Instagram

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