One of the essential 21st century skills is staying sane at the airport.
And he should know. Mod splits his time between Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York.
Here are some of his travel hacks:
1. Get to the airport laughably early.
Show up way before you think you need to. Mod says:
Authorities recommend arriving two hours before international flights. I say four. Get there four hours before your flight. You are a hundred and fifty years old. Your friends laugh at you. Have patience.
Why is showing up early awesome?Mod says you get a better shot at being snuck into an exit row or snagging a bulkhead seat. All because there’s nobody else in line.
Plus, when you get to security, you’ve got no worries — you have plenty of time.
2. Once you’ve made it through security, build your nest.
Most of the airport is an awful place to be, so find the least awful spot. Here’s what Mod suggests:
You are looking for the CNN-free zone. The MSNBC-free zone. The blare-free, drone-free zone. The zone without the talking heads. A zone calm. The listen-to-your-thoughts zone. The get-work-done zone. The read-a-book zone. The just-let-me-sit-there zone. You’re looking for the small corner of rationality in a world of nonstop tickers.
How do you spot such a place? The first step is to walk the entire length of the terminal with your eyes and ears open, looking for the perch with the optimal feng shui. He also recommends that you find the healthiest food you can, which you should eat before settling down.
For finding a chill location, do as detectives do and seek clues. Mod provides a pro tip: Look for where the airport and airline employees hang, for they will assemble at the chillest of places.
Perch procured, crack open that laptop. Get work done. Watch a movie. Read a book. You’ve got the time.
3. Then you get on the plane.
Then, when you’re sated, rest.
This is where the frequent flyer’s aeroplane paraphernalia comes in.
We love two of Mod’s recommendations:
A face mask: “The white mask, the trick of Japanese travellers for decades, handed out in Economy Plus and Business Class on All Nippon Airlines, the universal symbol for bird flu, the surgeon’s face armour,” he writes. “The mask’s role is two-fold: protect you from the horror that is the air aboard aeroplanes, and create a microclimate for your nose and mouth.”
Ear gear: Bring earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, and a soothing sounds app called Chill. With those powers combined, you won’t sweat the inevitable crying babies that come with air travel.
This gear allows you to transcend your economy class existence.
While Mod admits that you “look insane” with all this stuff on, you’ll also feel deeply well.
You are satiated, filled with nourishing food; you have gotten your work done, and now you float in a personal outer space. An outer space that sounds like the summer in Wisconsin and feels just as humid within the nose and mouth thanks to your microclimate. You are on a plane but are not. You could be anywhere. You are untouchable. You are possibly the most insufferable traveller ever. You float and smile because you are the Dalai Lama.
And that, you have to say, is flying the friendly skies.
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