What is your checklist for flying?

I flew a lot in years 2009, 2010 (one of my flights made an emergency landing and I unexpectedly had the chance to visit the first Starbucks outlet), 2015, and 2017.

If one has the luxury of choices, one could check the resources below:

  • http://www.airlinequality.com which contains critical reviews. As of 20180413, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines achieved 8/10; Cathay Pacific Airways and Lufthansa 7/10; Emirates 6/10; British Airways and Etihad 5/10.

As inspired by The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, below is my ongoing checklist for flying.

    1. Buy the best (cheapest, direct-flight) tickets [1]
    2. Few dates before flying, re-check flying dates and timing.
    3. Bring and apply sunscreen to cabin. “Flying at 30,000 feet [for 60 minutes] can be as dangerous as 20 minutes in a tanning bed.” Most people do not apply sufficient sunscreen to protect the DNA of skin cells.
    4. For things to bring refer to respective checklist: August 2017, September 2017, October 2017, November 2017, December 2017, January 2018, July 2018, August 2018, December 2018.
  1. For leaving from Home@S2011,
    1. close the toilet bowl seat cover to prevent insects.
    2. store washed & dried rice cooker, slow cooker to prevent dust.
    3. discard rubbish.
    4. put rice grains in the fridge.
    5. plastic cover the bed (a lesson from mama).
    6. secure the curtains of our wardrobe.
    7. bring leftover food to the next destination if there is more than enough luggage space.
  2. At the airport, mention our needs if any [2].
  3. On the cabin:
    1. pray (Little Prince always prays for safe flights in summer 2017).
    2. keep valuables (especially passport, cash, and cards) 贵重物品随身携.
    3. use the lavatory before taking off and landing (for the convenience of minimal luggage as we have not claimed it).
    4. During safety briefing, figure out where the nearest emergency exit is and how many rows away it is from your seat.
    5. keep hydrated (bring own water bottle)
    6. sleep! watch only a movie [4], hence pre-read the synopsis.
    7. request for toys when traveling with Little Prince/Little Princess.
    8. if possible, have some takeaways (e.g. bread, butter, sandwiches) in case we are hungry in the middle of night or early AM hours when no restaurant, supermarket, or baqala is open.
    9. do not overeat [6]
  4. Upon arrival
    1. pre-check taxi direction from the destination airport to our accommodation [3].
  5. keep our boarding passes secured [7]. Shred it before throwing it, but take a photo first in case we need to claim for any missing miles.
  6. More…


[1] Travel on the actual holiday day (e.g., Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, or New Year’s day). I flew on a New Year’s Eve for my first trans-Atlantic flight. On 20180309, I thought that I flew on a Xmas Eve, oh…our plastic memory!

[2] see reminders in calendar and ref2017*/*agenda*.

[3] I was reminded on this checklist item through a dream while napping. The taxi driver purposefully drove the long way. He told me that the expected taxi fare was $90, but when the meter had shown over $100, we had not reached the accommodation, his excuse was that he did not know the hotel I intended to go. A man who happened to share a taxi with me, offered to walk me with our heavy luggage, but he expected a thing in return!

[4] On my 20170811 flight (since I knew that I would be able to sleep until late morning upon arrival), in spite of an unpleasant experience [5], I watched

  1. Duckweed
    1. The scenes of racing cars made me tense, I prefer gentle rides.
    2. It’s sad for a man for (i) not having to see her beautiful mother who committed suicide due to postpartum depression, her face appeared blurry in the only wedding photograph, and (ii) having his irritable father kicking him.
  2. Born in China 《我们诞生在中国》 by Disneynature (my most favorite documentary in 2017, see the trailer)
  3. Kungfu Yoga (it inspired me to practice yoga)

On our 20170903 flight, which was delayed for over 3.5 hours (we have sat in the cabin, then the captain announced that there was a technical issue with the flight control system!), Little Prince watched:

  1. The Lego Movie (partially, as he found it uninteresting)
  2. Madagascar (he was immersed in it and told his father about the movie when I called him for the last time before our plane finally took off).
  3. Born in China 《我们诞生在中国》 while enjoying his children’s meal.
  4. Hugo (partially)

I watched:

  1. Love Contractually. I’m thankful that my bosses were not like Sammi Cheng’s character (Katrina) who desperately wants a child without a man.
  2. Melbourne Rewind (partially).
  3. Madagascar (partially as I felt sleepy).

[5] My aisle seat was changed to window seat, next to the right wing; I would normally avoid seats next to the wings. I thought that there would be an empty seat between me and the passenger sitting at the aisle seat, but later an old man with body odor (which is more likely to be hygienically related instead of medically related) came and put his right elbow exceeding my armrest. He talked on the phone while the plane took off, the female passenger sitting in front of him gave a stare, not to him, but to me, because it was easier for her to turn her head 135 degree than 180 degree. He confused his destination city with another city. Somehow, I am thankful that I managed to get another much better seat, due to my need to hydrate myself and go to lavatories. For more details, grep “20170812 skype agenda” ref2017*/*txt

[6] Before crossing the immigration at almost ~ 9.30 pm of 20171106, Little Princess drank the 2nd last bottle of freshly expressed mother’s milk (breastmilk is digested in shorter time of ~1.5 hours compared to infant formula of ~3-4 hours). When the plane just landed, Honey Panda sent us a whatsapp message that half-way through the flight (it should be early AM of 20171107) she started to vomit for 4 times! Honey Panda admitted that he gave her too much food on the plane (I ordered low sodium meal so that they could share their food), and she seemed to be not knowing when to stop eating, like her Daddy sometimes 😦 Perhaps, her little tummy was overloaded, the last time she excreted was on 20171104. Perhaps, she disliked the idea of being separated from her loving brother and mother.  Thankfully, we prepared spare clothes for her in the cabin luggage.

[7] Thank you to our lady boss (one of my many bosses) who kindly shared about it (I knew about the importance of securing our boarding pass) but her remark that “I didn’t know about it” served as an additional reminder for me on 20171122.


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