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Flight Attendant Gives Her Travel Tips For A Post-Pandemic Holiday

Never sit at the back of business class!

Photograph: Austrian Airlines via Wikimedia Commons

Doors2Manual is a new travel concierge service where flight attendants and others with in-industry experience can offer some useful top tips to potential travelers. Unsurprisingly, cabin crew are some of the most knowledgeable people to ask recommendations from.

In a recent interview with Express.co.uk, Fiona Mallinson revealed some of the insights she gives to Doors2Manual customers. Mallinson has spent two decades working in the travel industry, with 16 of those years spent as a member of cabin crew. She’s been all around the world, from Greenland to the Caribbean, so you can imagine she’s a very experienced flyer.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, travel has become much harder. For Mallinson, it meant putting the brakes on international travel for a while. She was quick out of the gate when opportunities began to appear, though, planning a holiday to Portugal when it “briefly opened up in June”.

“I did so much research,” she said. “By the time I got everything together, our tests, our passenger locator forms, I knew it was the right thing. When the day of travel came, I was confident in my holiday booking. You need to go in prepared.

“And we had an absolutely wonderful holiday, with no hiccup at all, because I’d done the preparation in advance.”

It wasn’t just Mallinson going away, however. She was traveling with her two young sons, so it was important for everyone that she had the most up-to-date and reliable information.

“I think a lot of people have relied on social media or word of mouth,” she said. “But if you’re thinking about traveling, check the government website. They have the most up-to-date information, it’s accurate, there’s no hearsay, it tells you exactly what you need to enter a country, whether it be your destination or coming back to the UK.

Photograph: Condor.com via Flickr

“It gives it to you in black and white, there’s no fluffiness, it tells you exactly what you need. At the moment as well, with leaving the EU, there are issues surrounding passports. You need more time on your passport than you did before, so it’s always worth checking that as well.”

She also had some advice for people who like flying in luxury. “If you’re traveling business class, I would never sit at the back,” she said. This is because business class backs onto economy class, and the front of economy class is where the baby bassinet is kept.

“If you’re at the back of business class, it’s very likely you’re going to have a baby right behind you, in economy class. It varies slightly from airline to airline, but as a general rule, that’s often the way it works out. I know I’ve been that person in economy with a screaming baby at the front. There’s nothing worse than being the person in business class with a screaming baby behind the curtain, essentially.”

Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Egypt rank as the most Covid-safe holiday destinations in a recent chart published by Express.co.uk, and Montenegro, Israel, and Cuba are ranked as the least safe.

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