On my post about why you should be one of the first to board the plane I got the comment: “Could you write a blog about getting off a plane fast.” I thought that was quite logical and still useful for people who have a short transit time, but unfortunately I had no idea how to do that, be fast at getting off a plane, probably because I’ve now accepted that that’s the way it is and that the definition of “chaos “in my dictionary has become ” to board off a plane “.
But after brainstorming for a while and doing some research on Google, I finally found a couple of things.
- Someting that is really important if you want to be able to get off the plane as soon as possible is your seat choice. The closer you are to the door, the sooner you’ll be out. You could sit in the middle or back of the plane and run as fast as you can as soon as the plane lands, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t be appreciated, that you will be sent back to your seat, and will have to wait for the seatbelt sign to turn off before you can start walking towards the exit. So I wouldn’t do that if I were you. What you can do is book a seat that is as close as possible to the exit, which usually is at the front of the plane. Some aircraft, and by that I mean the larger ones, have two doors, one up front and one in the back. Are you in such a plane then you have more choice, because if there is no more room at the front, you can always try the back. I should warn you about the toilets that are often located near those seats. Consequently, there is a good chance that you might sit next to the toilet, and it’s very present smell. Sitting two rows further would also be fine
Tip: To find out if there really is a toitet situated nearby your seat, you could have a look on SeatGuru before booking.
- It is also convenient to book an aisle seat. If you have a seat in the middle or at the window you still have a problem: you have to wait for your fellow passenger(s) who has the aisle seat to get out first. If you book the aisle seat, you will be out quickly.
- The less you have with you, the faster you can board off the plane. Do you have a purse or a backpack with you as carry-on, then you can perfectly put it under the seatin front of you. Do you have a suitcase as carry-on, then it will probably have to be stored in the luggage compartment above your head, especially if you don’t want to loose any legroom. Having to store in in the luggage compartment means that you will spend more time boarding off as you will have to get up, open the luggage compartment, get your carry-on out of the compartment without hitting anyone in the crowd, and then walk. So go for something that is small/compact and will fit under the seat.
- You still go for the suitcase? Take it out of the luggage compartment at the moment that the the seat belts sign turns on again and have him put under the seat in front of you. You’ll probably lose some legroom, but the reason that you have to fasten your seat belt again is because the plane is going to land, so it is only for a moment. Why is this useful? Well because the only thing you will have to do when the seat belt sign turns off again is pick up your carry-on from under the seat, stand in the aisle, and off you go!
- Are you walking towards the exit with your carry-on luggage? Keep it in front of you so you can clearly see where you are going with it and avoiding potential obstacles. Everyone has probably experienced having their carry-on stuck behind a chair. That can be prevented by having your carry-on in front of you.
- Put everything back on as soon as the seat belts must be fasten again, right before landing: socks, shoes, sweater, vest, jacket … then you won’t need to do that at the very last minute, when the door opens.. Have you been reading a magazine? Put that immediately again in your carry-on. Be ready to get on the aisle when you are allowed to unfasten your seat belt.
In the aisle
- When you are finally in the aisle just walk without stopping. I understand that it might be difficult if someone stands in the aisle, but if someone is still from trying to get their luggage while still standing in front of their seat, just walk past them. The reason there is always such a line is because those who are ready to walk still have to wait for those who are not ready.
The perfect combination of course would be that to travel with a backpack and having an aisle seat in the first row of the plane, but that is not always possible unfortunately. Another thing is that business class always gets out of the plane first, so even if you are completely ready to board off, you might have to wait a bit. It all depends on how full and large the plane is.
What do you do to get off the plane as soon as possible?