Learn to Use the Online Seating Chart The airline’s online seating chart can be your best friend when it comes to choose a comfortable seat the most amenities available. Most airlines will identify seats that stand out as good or to be avoided.

“Direct” Does Not Mean “Nonstop” In airline lingo nonstop means your plane does not stop between your initial and final destination. Direct only means that you probably don’t get off the plane when it stops to pick up additional passengers, and let other passengers off.

Keep Your Ticket, ID, and Other Documents Handy Nothing is more frustrating for weary travelers than to wait behind you while you fumble around looking for your passport, boarding pass, or other documents. Keep them handy and the line moving.

Changing Planes, Know What You’re in For An hour to get off one plan and on to another may seem like plenty of time. Then after you get off your flight, fumble through security (very common for international connections), and take your sweet time waiting for your next flight only to find out your connection is a half a mile away and you have five minutes to get there.

Make the Most of Your Layover If you know you’re going to have a long layover, check out the amenities the airport has to offer before you arrive. Layovers are seldom fun but they can be made bearable with a little preplanning.

Avoid Generic Baggage If your bag looks just like every other bag on the carousel it’s going to take you longer to find your bag and the chance of someone else picking yours up by mistake is greater. Save yourself the headache and do something to make your bags stand out.

Don’t Use the Airline Blanket They don’t wash them, that should be enough reason for you to bring your own. As a bonus tip, bring some sanitizing wipes along and wipe down your tray table—people change baby’s diapers on those things.

Duty Free, Not Always a Good Deal Sure you don’t have to pay tax on the items, but the pretax price may be higher than on the outside. Shop with caution in duty free and you can get some good deals. Shop haphazardly and it can cost your plenty.

Keep Must Have Items in Your Personal Bag Almost all airlines offer one carryon plus a small personal bag. A small laptop bag, holding an 11 inch laptop or tablet makes a great personal bag and gives you space to keep your must have items as well. Since you will stow this bag under the seat you will have everything you need handy, and not hold up the boarding process digging through your main carryon for your book.

Ask For Perks Would you like a whole can of soda rather than the five drops they put into your plastic cup? How about an extra bag of peanuts, or extra bread with your meal? All of these things are possible, but you have to ask for them.