Traveling in the 21st century is easier than ever before, however, it still holds numerous pitfalls for the unseasoned traveller. Wallie Veldtsman, Head of Guest Services at Mango Airlines shares his top tips for ensuring your flight is the perfect start or ending to a trip away from home.
To pack or not to pack
Your worries usually kick off when you’re guessing what to pack in your suitcase. “Is it warm… is it cold… will I be over-weight?” are only a few of the fundamental questions that go through your head.
Thanks to the internet all these questions are quickly answered and you can pack with ease. We suggest you keep your valuables with you in your carry-on baggage, while other baggage can be checked-in and can weigh 20kgs. If you are one of the ‘fancy’ Mango Plus Guests, you have a generous 30kg baggage allowance.
Is it a bird is it a plane?
In our bigger cities, the next hurdle is the congested road to the airport. Thanks to infrastructure, you have the choice of the Gautrain in Johannesburg, or Uber and taxis in other cities. Otherwise convenient airport parking if you prefer your own ride.
Dress for success
When traveling, our advice is to wear darker colours. Some flights can be bumpy but air pockets are nasty little things that can cause turbulence - and nothing is more embarrassing than having your glass of red wine stain your white trousers!
Shoes to boot
Cruising altitude is at 39,000 feet, which can play havoc on your feet. Make sure to wear comfortable laced-up shoes which you can manoeuvre for comfort, or compression stockings are a good idea if you have lymphedema.
Man’s best friend
If you see a pooch across the aisle from you – it must be a Guide Dog. It has been medically approved and has checked all the boxes on our pet aviation list. But sadly your domestic pet needs to be transported in a travel container and stowed safely and carefully in the pressurised cabin hold. The pets need to be under 32kg to be transported on Mango.
Aisle seat please!
If you are blessed in the height department, make sure to request an aisle seat on check-in, just watch out for that drinks trolley coming up the aisle! If you are looking for the maximum leg room, go for an emergency exit seat.
However, due to strict international aviation protocol, you need to be physically strong, on the young-ish side, and proficient in the English language, should you need to take instructions from the pilot.
Time waits for no one
Like most things in life, being late for something can be disastrous, especially in the aviation industry. Always make sure you check in on time, not just for your own sake but those waiting for you on the plane… you don’t want to get the evil eye from other passengers throughout your flight. Check-in closes strictly 40 minutes prior to departure – make sure you are on the right side of that number!
They say walls make for good neighbours, but at 39,000 feet you need to show initiative when avoiding a rather chatty or flirty seat-neighbour. Bring your own in-flight entertainment, like an iPod or iPad that you can plug in and zone out. Or, if you want to find true tranquillity on your flight, try out a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Comfort to the max
Depending on your destination, you could be seated for a while. Our furthest flight is Zanzibar which is just longer than three-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg. This isn’t good news for your body, so try and stand up and walk down the aisle – not during take-off or landing though! Or if you have to stay seated, get a bit creative by twisting in your chair, rolling your ankles, and criss-crossing your legs.
Another piece of good advice is to take comfort aids like a neck pillow or an eye mask on longer flights. These will ensure you are relaxed and enthusiastic to embark on your adventure once you have arrived at your destination.