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The art of flying: Tips and tricks to keep flight attendants happy

Monday - 11/26/2012, 5:59am  ET

It's a lavatory door, not rocket science. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON - From packing to paying to security, traveling by plane is a stressful experience.

But Reader's Digest says there are a few things flight attendants won't tell passengers that can make the experience in-flight more pleasant.

  • Make sure to push your carry-on bag all the way into the overhead bin - don't leave it sticking out for the flight attendant to fix.

  • Flight attendants will try to disarm an unruly passenger by introducing themselves, or point blank asking why an unruly traveler is treating them poorly. Often, other passengers approve.

  • The average age for a flight attendant is 44.

  • When they hand you a cup of coffee and ask, "Cream and sugar?" but you don't hear them - it's safe to assume what they're asking. No need to ask 10 times.

  • Please keep your child from playing with the call bell.

  • It's a lavatory door - not rocket science.

  • If you have a baby, bring diapers; if you're diabetic, bring syringes; if you need an inhaler, bring it, etc.

  • There are others on the plane besides you. Don't clip toenails or do any other unsavory tasks underneath a blanket.

  • Traveling overseas? Bring a pen. There's a good chance you'll be filling out forms to enter a foreign country.

  • Stop tattling on other passengers unless it's something serious.

  • Just because you're traveling to West Palm Beach doesn't mean you're first class.

  • Wait to go to the bathroom until the food cart is out of the aisle.

  • Is it that hard to say "hello" and "goodbye?"

  • Don't touch them.

  • Attendants really aren't allowed to lift your luggage into the overhead bins for you. They can only assist.

  • Please don't try to join the mile-high club. Besides, those bathrooms are cramped and gross.

  • If flight attendants page a doctor or get a defibrillator, it's not a good time to ask for a drink.

  • You can only pee in the lavatory, period.

  • Yes, it's OK to use the lavatories while you're on the ground. It's not like they spill out onto the tarmac.

  • They don't want to touch soggy tissue or loaded baby diapers.

  • Don't slowly scour your area for tiny pieces of trash. There are 150 other passengers to serve.

  • Sometimes it takes a long time to find a wheelchair - they're subcontracted through the cities airlines fly into.

WTOP's David Burd contributed to this report. Follow @DavidBurdWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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