Captain Hutch's Top 10 Tips
Captain Hutch works for a major US airline flying several models of the Boeing 737. He flies routes in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. He has over 25 years' experience with the airlines, and his seasoned Captain's perspective offers the concerned passenger highly-informed advice and genuine comfort.
1) Since the fear of flying is based on lack of control, focus on what you DO have control over.
2) Book your flights early in the day so as to increase your chances of getting to your destination on time by avoiding weather, maintenance, and other delays that tend to build up as the day wears on.
3) Don't disagree with the flight attendant about whether you have too much baggage or a bag needs to be checked or not. Most flight attendants follow the rules, but one of the worst things to say is "They let me bring it on on the last flight". Remember it is not so bad to have to check your bag at this point because now it will be carried directly down from the jetway and into the cargo bay. I just can't stress being polite enough here. Please!
4) Ask the flight attendant as you board if there is any chance that you could talk to the pilots; in most cases s/he will point you to the cockpit or go in and check with the pilots to see if that is okay. And in most cases the pilots will be more than happy to talk to you for at least a few minutes about what is on your mind.
5) Some good questions to ask: what will be the cruise altitude, what direction are we going to take off and what sights to look for, what is the expected route of flight, do you expect any turbulence at the cruise altitude (I hate that one 'cause I always get it wrong ).
6) Then tell him/her that you will be grading his/her landing .
7) Be nice and say something nice to the flight attendant whenever you get the chance. He/she WILL remember, and then sometime later if you want something you are more likely to have your wish be granted.
8) Whatever you do, don't call him/her an "air hostess".
9) Expect some sort of turbulence on every flight, that way you will be pleasantly surprised when the flight is smooth. Since some types of turbulence are hard to predict, take turbulence predictions "cum granis solis".
10) If you are sitting in an aisle seat, when the plane parks at the gate after the flight is over, be very careful when the overhead bins are opened as there is a chance a bag or item will drop out very quickly or unexpectedly.