• Tina Huggins

Earplugs needed for commuter passengers

Flying to small rural towns across the country will allow anyone to travel back in time. I am so thankful for the times that I can fly on a small commuter jet to such locations because the less attractive option is an airplane sometimes called a crop duster, puddle jumper, or simply a twin engine prop plane. There are fewer of these planes in service (I personally wish they would all be retired), but I still have the dubious pleasure  of traveling in them more often than I like.

Here are some travel tips to live through this travel experience:

1. As you make a reservation, look for a link to click and see the type of plane that will take  you to your destination.

2. Travel light…consider checking your bags. Carry-on luggage won’t fit in the overhead compartments. You are lucky if your purse or coat will fit!

2. If you are determined to carry-on your luggage don’t take a heavy bag. You will be carrying it up and down several sets of stairs as airports don’t have a jet bridge to connect to these planes.

3. Take a set of earplugs as it is very loud when flying in a prop plane. I sometimes can’t even hear my iPod playing! The only plus is that you won’t hear a crying baby…unless the baby is next to you!

4. Dress for the weather…if it is summer and you are traveling some place hot like Texas wear as little as possible. The air conditioners aren’t stellar and sometimes don’t work and it can be extremely warm on the plane. I had a flight this summer in which the flight attendant said, “I wish I could tell you it will get better than this, but it won’t!” The temp was in the high 90’s that day and she was exactly right….I drove three hours the next time I had to return to that city just to avoid the small plane.

5. Pack a snack as some don’t provide this service.

6. Watch the weather. These flights can be easily cancelled do to inclement weather.

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