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Advice for First-Time Flyers

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Be aware though, that recently, TSA has drastically cut down granting random access to TSA-Pre upon hearing complaints from members of the TSA-Pre program who shelled out money to get the facility.

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Not even a colored card to take with you through security so you don't have to take your shoes off? That's what I've gotten in the past when the Pre-Check line has been unavailable/closed (but I don't think I've been to your home airport).

Did they offer it or did you have to ask for it? There's still an after hours airline staff "lane" that I might try next time just to see what they do.

 

Yeah, I've been proactively offered that after scanning my boarding pass (noticeable because it makes a different-sounding beep when you're Pre-Check eligible), at both Burbank and another airport that I can't remember -- the secondary checkpoint at Pittsburgh, it might have been.

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If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE. It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.

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If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE. It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.

How well does that work? I would think to get any real benefit, you would have to be seated near the sunny side window, and tape the panel over the window...

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Any decent/modern computer or phone should be able to make it through a cross country flight without recharging. You might have trouble with an older device, which might be less efficient and/or have a worn out battery, in which case I might recommend a battery pack. However solar powered chargers are usually pretty expensive and don't provide much power, so IMO they are pretty limited in usefulness and value.

Edited by cpotisch

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There is no charging need for a six hour flight that a Mophie battery together with the internal battery of a modern solid state memory device, won't adequately take care of. Indeed mine takes care of even 16 hour flights adequately. I seldom plug into any charging port on planes. They are just fallback things just in case.

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If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE. It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.

How well does that work? I would think to get any real benefit, you would have to be seated near the sunny side window, and tape the panel over the window...

 

Works fine, I almost always have a window seat and as long as there's daylight on the tray table it does what I need it to do. Got the charger last year off of Groupon for about $25 and it also has a built-in power bank.

-----------

The device I use in flight happens to be an older iPad which won't stay fully charged for the duration of a transcon, let alone some of the 16-hour flights I take. Additionally, it's not always feasible to fully charge the device prior to the flight (meetings run late, outlets at a premium in the airport, etc.)

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I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

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I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better :D

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I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better :D

 

I prefer noise canceling headphones as well. If you have them is another story. :P

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I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better

 

The engines don't bother me much, unless I'm right behind the trailing edge of a B772 or in the last few rows of an MD8X, but portable game systems and crying babies bother me plenty. Never found a set of noise canceling headphones that could block those types of sounds. After reading that the new A350 has a much quieter HVAC system I'm hesitant to choose one for a long haul trip. Seems like the loss of calm white noise might only sound good until it falls victim to the law of unintended consequences.

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I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better

 

The engines don't bother me much, unless I'm right behind the trailing edge of a B772 or in the last few rows of an MD8X, but portable game systems and crying babies bother me plenty. Never found a set of noise canceling headphones that could block those types of sounds. After reading that the new A350 has a much quieter HVAC system I'm hesitant to choose one for a long haul trip. Seems like the loss of calm white noise might only sound good until it falls victim to the law of unintended consequences.

 

I personally don't care much about engines either, but I've heard people go on angry tangents about the "terrible noise" of the engines in something as quiet as an A321. Ambient noise usually makes up much more of the problem, but most train travelers are used to that. Either way, earplugs are good to have.

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I don't find the engine noise bothersome at all...I find the slipstream noise more annoying at full cruising speed. Makes it hard for me to hear conversations. Maybe its an individual thing based on ones hearing acuity?

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I personally don't care much about engines either, but I've heard people go on angry tangents about the "terrible noise" of the engines in something as quiet as an A321. Ambient noise usually makes up much more of the problem, but most train travelers are used to that. Either way, earplugs are good to have.

 

That is quite odd. In my experience (A300 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A388) Airbus aircraft are surprisingly quiet. If anything their engines seem to spook infrequent passengers into believing there might not be enough thrust to achieve and maintain positive lift.

 

 

I don't find the engine noise bothersome at all...I find the slipstream noise more annoying at full cruising speed. Makes it hard for me to hear conversations. Maybe its an individual thing based on ones hearing acuity?

 

Other than when I'm seated/standing near an emergency exit door on a widebody aircraft I rarely notice the sound of external air friction over the combined ambient noise of other sources.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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I don't know what 'WRT' stands for...

Anyway, you hear the slipstream noise on all aircraft. At first, the engine sound on takeoff is dominant, but as the speed increases to full cruising speed, the slipstream noise pretty much covers it up, unless you are in the rear, next to a fuselage mounted engine on an MD80, perhaps.

Some people like its "white noise" effect, as it also covers up other sounds like babies crying to some degree. Here is a sound recording of that sound, albeit, only at full speed...it doesn't show the difference from takeoff...

I find it difficult to hear the flight attendants, when they come around taking food and beverage orders. Normally, my hearing is very good, on the ground.

 

I actually like that "white noise" from the HVAC on Amfleet and Superliner's....for the same reason. Helps me sleep. It is only when it suddenly stops, that I awaken... :)

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Amfleet's HVAC is really noisy compared to many other AC car types that I have ridden all over the world.

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At first, the engine sound on takeoff is dominant, but as the speed increases to full cruising speed, the slipstream noise pretty much covers it up,

I would also note that most planes will be using less thrust at cruising altitude than on takeoff.

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At first, the engine sound on takeoff is dominant, but as the speed increases to full cruising speed, the slipstream noise pretty much covers it up,

I would also note that most planes will be using less thrust at cruising altitude than on takeoff.

 

Don't you know, they turn off the engines when cruising. They go into glider mode because so many people complained about the noise. :P

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What I dislike, is when while climbing, they sometimes reduce throttle for a period, for noise abatement procedures...

It doesn't seem as common as it used to, thanks to new, quieter high bypass engines....

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What I dislike, is when while climbing, they sometimes reduce throttle for a period, for noise abatement procedures...

It doesn't seem as common as it used to, thanks to new, quieter high bypass engines....

Yeah, Orange County (John Wayne) comes to mind :). San Diego too. OTOH, it is the most fun taking off from those too as they try to gain as much altitude as possible before passing the airport noise perimeter and throttle down. 757 takeoffs are real fun. :)

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What I dislike, is when while climbing, they sometimes reduce throttle for a period, for noise abatement procedures...

It doesn't seem as common as it used to, thanks to new, quieter high bypass engines....

I didn't know they did that at all. Don't they have to keep throttle at climb thrust or above while climbing? I feel like the engines would have to be REALLY loud for that to be necessary. I could be wrong, it just surprises me.

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What I dislike, is when while climbing, they sometimes reduce throttle for a period, for noise abatement procedures...

It doesn't seem as common as it used to, thanks to new, quieter high bypass engines....

I didn't know they did that at all. Don't they have to keep throttle at climb thrust or above while climbing? I feel like the engines would have to be REALLY loud for that to be necessary. I could be wrong, it just surprises me.

 

Standard practice at places like Orange County and San Diego.

 

In Newark too they have to ease off some while making crazy turns after takeoff to stay within the permitted noise abatement corridors.

 

And then again, in heavy traffic TCAs it may be simply because a higher level is not available until getting a little further out.

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What I dislike, is when while climbing, they sometimes reduce throttle for a period, for noise abatement procedures...It doesn't seem as common as it used to, thanks to new, quieter high bypass engines....

Why does that bother you? I live near an airport and even though I don't mind the sound of aircraft I can understand the benefit of noise abatement. By reducing thrust and routing aircraft over less affected commercial zones residential areas benefit from a quieter and more peaceful existence. This keeps neighbors happy and airports productive with fewer legal and political distractions. Most of the time the protocol does its job and I don't even think about it, but every once in a while during a major storm or other irregular event there can be a sudden increase in sound as the noise abatement protocol is suspended for safety reasons. The sudden increase in sound can startle and annoy people who are used to quieter living but rarely lasts more than an hour or two. All in all it seems like a small price to pay to keep most people happy.

 

 

I didn't know they did that at all. Don't they have to keep throttle at climb thrust or above while climbing? I feel like the engines would have to be REALLY loud for that to be necessary. I could be wrong, it just surprises me.

It's less of an issue on the newest aircraft but try listening to an MD8X take off from behind or below the jet blast. It's super loud, even for my tired old ears, and it's impossible to ignore if you're anywhere near it.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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It's less of an issue on the newest aircraft but try listening to an MD8X take off from behind or below the jet blast. It's super loud, even for my tired old ears, and it's impossible to ignore if you're anywhere near it.

 

An MD-88 or -83 taking off on full throttle is pretty much unbearable if you're in the rear. Even though it only lasts for maybe 20 or 30 seconds, it's quite unpleasant. When you compare it to the whisper of the engines on an E-Jet or A32X, it's night and day.

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Heh! If you have not experienced a 707 with afterburners on, you ain't experienced nuthin' :D

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