A Pilot’s Words of Wisdom

On the flight home last night, a pilot sat in my adjoining seat.  While I wanted to take advantage of this and ask him for all of his ‘cockpit secrets,’ I waited until just about the end of the flight before I asked him this solitary question:

“What one thing would you like to say to
our frequent travelers that would help them
enjoy their journeys more?”

His answer was immediate.  He said his most valuable words of wisdom are “Patience is a Virtue.”  He said that when there are flight delays, cancellations, etc., it is not the fault of the crew. The crew is doing everything they can to depart and arrive on schedule.  They also want to get to their destination, whether it be home or their hotel, just as much as we do.  Getting angry or upset with the crew only makes the journey worse for everyone.  He also said that the rush to get on and off the plane also causes the stress level of everyone to go up, and no one is going to be getting off the plane before the jetway gets opened anyway! 

I agree with him completely.  In the past couple of years, I’ve taken on the attitude of patience and gratitude, and I’ve found my journeys to be more enjoyable than ever, and also virtually stress-free!  I always have an iPod full of music and audiobooks to listen to, as well as a book to read and work to do, and an energy bar in case I’m hungry, so I have been able to successfully get through any flight delays with ease.  I’ve always made it to where I’m going, albeit every once in awhile a few hours late, or a day late . . . but I’ve always gotten to my destination.  I am so much more relaxed about traveling, and never allow myself to get in the complaining mode with fellow-travelers.  Even better, my stomach isn’t all tensed up and a major stress-line across my forehead is virtually gone (a bonus health and beauty tip unknowingly slipped into the conversation!)

On your next journey, heed this pilot’s words of wisdom. Let us know what positive differences you experience in your travels.  I’m sure you’ll help improve the day of the flight crew as well! 

Enjoy your journey!


  1. Indeed!
    Patience is a virtue –
    and easier to cultivate
    when airlines provide more timely, complete information on changes and options.
    As a speaker who flies an average of 6 times a month I find that this has not improved over the past five years on domestic flights – with the exception of Southwest – not my first choice to fly sometimes because of lack of seat assignment

  2. This is such good advice. There’s am mind set that I have at airports, I call it “Airport Zen.” I love the hustle and bustle and if the airport has free wi-fi (I refuse to pay the outrageous boingo fees) all the better. I enjoy eating in the shops and admiring the sense of people coming together. It really makes a difference to feel this way when delays happen.

  3. Kare and Sharon — Thank you both for your comments. Maybe 2009 will be a great year for partnership between the air carriers and their passengers. It’s New Year’s Eve, so I can hope!
    Happy 2009! Carol

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