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Did you know stewardesses are, by company policy, not supposed to help you lift your baggage? We’re not supposed to carry more than we can handle. Airline employees sustain thousands of injuries every year. Helping travelers lift bags into the overhead compartment is high on the list of potentially injurious activities. If it’s bad for them, it surely must be bad for you! Check your baggage. Carry on a clean pair of undies and a toothbrush if you must. But carry the minimum.

Avoid wearing unsupportive shoes to the airport. We like to wear little shoes which are easily slipped off and on for security checks and comfort in the airplane. But they aren’t meant for the long walks we sometimes must take across the airport. They can result in foot pain.

Take the shuttles and use the moving sidewalks. Airports are not necessarily the places where you want to get exercise, especially if you’re wearing little espadrilles.

And at the end of your journey, don’t be in a rush to get your luggage. Many of my patients strain their shoulders and backs trying to yank heavy luggage off the front of the carousel. A few extra minutes won’t ruin your welcome home. Get to the end of the carousel, and by that time your luggage is alone and rotated around so you can more easily grab it without straining your tired back.


  • 1010ParkPlace July 10, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I travel a lot and have noticed the days of chivalry are pretty much gone. Rarely does a man offer to help me lift my bag into the overhead…. Good motivation to pack light. Checking my bags… That’s a harder sell. Brenda

  • Donna O'Klock July 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Great advice, and I will heed every bit of it on my trip next week. Thank you for the reminders!

  • Michelle Irby July 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thank you for this!! I am one of those flight attendants. The problem is that travelers are bringing so much more on these days, plus heavier bags due to wheeled luggage. Please check your bags if you can’t stow them. You pack it, you stack it!!

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