Airplanes take several trips a day, carrying hundreds of different passengers to a multitude of destinations. As a passenger, you are but one of the hundreds who travel in the lifespan of that airplane. Whether you are a world traveler or not, here are five things constant in air travel.

Leave your shoes on when flying on an airplane. Chances are you are sitting in a seat that many have sat in before you. There’s a strong possibility the person who sat before you may have spilled their drink at best, or at worst the contents of their stomach. It has been my experience that there is no deep cleaning of airplane carpets between trips, so please keep this in mind.

  1. If you take an opportunity to visit a lavatory while on the airplane, you will most definitely want to keep your shoes on. The liquid you see on the floor, while most assume is water, is most definitely not.
  2. Having your child or toddler crawl up and down the aisle or on the floor of an airplane is at worst unsanitary, not to mention unsafe. Not every passenger is child friendly or aware, and the likelihood of your child inadvertently becoming hurt or sick is more common than you realize.
  3. Secure your items, especially the smaller objects. Items roll backward on takeoff and forward on landing. Things such as wallets, mobile phones, earbuds, or eyeglasses often go missing during these takeoffs and landings. The seatbelt sign will be on during takeoffs and landings, and you cannot search the airplane for your lost item. It is often left to the goodwill of your fellow passengers to return said items to you.
  4. You should not only secure your small items but your valuable ones as well. The person sitting next to you is someone you perhaps have never met and probably will not see again. Trusting them to leave your purse in their care when you step away from your seat is a risk in itself. Flight attendants take on many roles but policing and investigating is not one of them.

Having flown thousands of trips over my flight attendant career, these are but a few of the circumstances I have encountered from a first-hand perspective. Are they any others you have experienced? I’d love to hear your thoughts.