Q: What are some ways in which passengers can make the crew’s job easier?
Silly me, and I thought it was our job to serve you. There’s not much you can do for the sake of the pilots, save leaving your weapons and suicidal tendencies at home, but to help out your flight attendants and fellow passengers, here are two recommendations, common sense as they may seem:
1. Please do not stand in the aisle during the boarding process surveying the dimensions of the overhead bin. Stow your luggage quickly and move into your row so others can pass.
2. If possible, use an overhead compartment close to your assigned seat. Try not to stow belongings in the first available compartment you come to. By doing so, the forward compartments fill up, and passengers coming aboard often are forced to find a compartment behind their row. Then, after landing, they must travel backwards down the aisle to retrieve their things, which clogs the deplaning process.
This article is part of a collection that originally appeared on Salon.com. Patrick Smith, 38, is an erstwhile airline pilot, retired punk rocker and air travel columnist. His book, Ask the Pilot (Riverhead) was voted “Best Travel Book of 2004” by Amazon.com. Patrick has traveled to more than 55 countries and always asks for a window seat. He lives near Boston.