Thursday, April 30, 2009

Business Traveller Tip - take it off, take it all off

First in my new segment of Business Traveller Tips is what to wear. I am not going to argue for a throwback to the early days of air travel when people dressed up and treated the affair as an adventure but I think there are good reasons for having two "outfits" for the flight. I have one set of clothes for getting on board and one set for sitting on the flight.

For boarding I wear business casual. Smart pants (or very good jeans) and a collared shirt. I do this for two reasons. Upgrades do not happen as often as they used to but they still do. I have had two occasions in the last 4 years where I have been upgraded from long haul business to first. In terms of segments flown it is not that often but it is often enough to dress well. The second reason is it means one less pair of work pants to pack - which contributes to a tip I will write soon on what to pack for business travel.

For flying I wear either very loose cotton clothes. I supposed you could call them pyjamas but really they are just non descript cotton pants and a t-shirt (OK, you can call them pyjamas). When I change into them I take the business casual clothes that I have been wearing, put them on a coat hanger and hang them up in the coat rack.

Of course this is not necessary for short haul flights but in long haul it is one of my top tips. Loose clothing not only keeps you comfortable, it helps with circulation and is more attuned to the air and temperature atmosphere of a long flight. This is not just a business class or above recommendations. I do this also when I am flying long haul economy. It is harder to hang up your clothes in long-haul economy but you would be surprised how often crew members will hang clothes up for you if you ask very nicely. If they won't I always can find an overhead locker somewhere which has enough space to lay my clothes flat so that they are in fine shape when it is time to land. When I fly economy I bring my own fold up clothes protector just in case.

If you are unable to go the full clothing switch-aroo then the minimum recommendation for all flights is that you take of your shoes and belt before you sit down. Even on short flights your feet will swell and your belt will bite into you (especially up the back of the bus). You will be amazed how the simple act of taking of belt and shoes will improve your comfort levels.

So tip number one is brought to you by Barry White - take it off, take it all off.

thanks to ddjang over at flickr for the photo

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