Few people clock up as many miles in the sky as pilots or cabin crew.
Although their frequent flyer cards might not shine black with platinum status, they have more experience navigating airports than most.
Whether you’re commuting, working or taking the family on holidays, it pays to follow in the footsteps of someone who spends their working week beyond security lines at Brisbane Airport.
Question: How early do you get to the airport before a Domestic or International flight when not on the clock?
Answer: For domestic flights, I like to arrive at least 40 minutes before departure. Best case scenario, I try to have an hour up my sleeve to allow for traffic or long lines at security - what’s an extra 20 minutes for a less stressful experience?
For international flights, two hours is the magic number. There’s four things to achieve in those two hours - check-in, pass through security, duty free shopping, and grabbing a bite to eat.
Question: What are your packing tips - roll or fold?
Answer: I know the experts say roll, but I’m a folder. In saying that, rolling comes in handy towards the end of the trip when you’re trying to squeeze-in more items than you departed with.
Question: How do you navigate security like a pro?
Answer: Keep. It. Simple. Leave your aerosols at home when travelling domestically (or in your checked-in bag, so you don’t have to whip them out at security).
When travelling overseas, pack your LAGs (powders, liquids, aerosols, gels) bag at home and have it one zip away from your fingertips.
Oh, and check your pockets before going through. Do a good deed and drop your coins in a donation bin before heading through security - nobody likes to be held up in line because you’ve left some dollars in your jeans.
Question: What’s your pre-flight routine at the terminal?
Answer: If I have timed my arrival to perfection and have more than a few minutes to spare, I’ll grab a coffee.
If I’m commuting or heading on holidays, I’ll download some entertainment - Netflix shows or podcast playlists - to get me through the flight. If I forget, I’ll jump on the airport WiFi and download at the gate.
Question: What are your go-to items for your in-cabin bag?
Answer: Keys - check. Wallet - check. Passport - check (well, only when travelling overseas). If your checked-in bag goes missing, you can always buy what you need and get back into your house - win. Headphones are a must too.
Question: When you’re not in the pilot seat, what can’t you fly without?
Answer: Noise cancelling headphones are a non-negotiable. Not only for blocking out noise you don’t want to hear, but to enjoy better sound quality for the sounds you do. They also help when trying to sleep by blocking out ambient noise.
Question: What’s the best thing about flying in or out of Brisbane when you’re in the pilot seat?
Answer: Is there anything better than seeing the river snake around Brisbane while flying over the city? Although it’s a spectacular view when departing, there’s something even more special about it when arriving home.
Question: When you’re not flying for work, window or aisle?
Answer: Although nothing compares to window views (and slightly more elbow room), I like to move around so usually select the aisle - especially on international flights.