Man Forcibly Removed From Aircraft 10 Top Tips For Stress Free Travel

10 Top Tips For Stress Free Travel

It’s been trains planes and automobiles for the last two weeks, as I’ve had the good fortune to be speaking all over the UK and Europe. Today shocking footage and news coverage of the passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines aircraft has gone viral and shows just how stressful travel can be. So how can we travel stress free?

Firstly, let’s look at the harsh legal reality of this shocking and distressing incident.

Man forcibly removed from United Airlines flight

The Captain is legally in charge of the aircraft and it’s legal for airlines to bump passengers from an oversold flight. The airline is responsible for deciding ‘fair boarding priorities’. In this case IF it’s true he’s a Doctor needing to treat patients and the social media statements saying he was chosen because he looked Chinese are true then that’s clearly unfair, atrocious and indefensible. United Airlines are denying he was chosen because of his ethnicity.

Was the force used necessary and proportionate? On a point of arrest and restraint when someone’s deeply distressed and emotional why is an officer who appears armed grappling with someone who has been security screened and we know is unarmed? Human beings have three likely responses to being physically attacked: fight, flight or fright and if we do a risk assessment- there’s a possibility one reaction’s fight,  the red mist might descend and someone’s survival instincts kick in, they could try to get the weapon and end up shooting or being shot. However, some might argue there were two other armed men to shoot him on a full aircraft if necessary so that’s okay. The way he was grabbed could have easily led to escalation. His resistance appears passive and in the social media clip he doesn’t look threatening.

They were legally entitled to see him as troublesome when he refused to leave the aircraft, although he could argue the boarding priority was unfair. It appears arrest and restraint procedures were not followed and the actions of one officer “placed on leave”, by the Chicago Department of Aviation were “obviously not condoned by the Department”.


So back to the question. How can we travel stress free? Here are Ten Top Tips from the last thirty years compiled in my last two weeks of continuous travel:


Plan To Get There In Good Time

  1. Plan Ahead Leave Nothing To Chance – (Unless you’ve no agenda and are going for a chill thrill). I plan my travel times and book transfers in advance. Be organized and have your bits and kit together. When I arrive somewhere the first thing I do is arrange my exit strategy and book onward travel then I run (It beats jet lag).


  1. Leave Extra Time To Cover Delays – When I’m speaking where possible I leave a contingency for delays so get there the day before or have the possibility of at least one other flight to get me there. If driving I allow an extra hour or two so heavy traffic and roadworks don’t cause stress. (If driving’s stressful get the train where you can).


  1. Love Travel – As a speaker, I make a conscious decision to love it, because it would be extremely unwise not to. Even if I’m tired I look forward to getting on a plane or a train so I can have a nap. I continually focus on the things I love about travel and make the effort to enjoy the journey. Choose a positive attitude and avoid focusing on any inconvenience, enjoy the journey???

I am Chris Moon – Loudon Hill

Find Things to Love About Travel. Enjoy The View

  1. Engage With People and Treat Them With Respect – I’ve met some amazing people with great stories. Find things to like in people. What goes around comes around. Don’t judge a book by its cover and if people don’t want to engage in conversation respect their privacy.


  1. Understand The Rules and Stick To Them – Turn up at the gate on time with a bag that’s the right size and understand what you can and can’t take through security. The most stressed people I’ve seen on my travels are trying to defend the indefensible.


  1. Ask For Help When Needed and Be Prepared to Help – Add some value and meaning to your travels by being a Good Samaritan. ? ??


  1. Travel As Light As Possible – The more stuff the more stress. Get crush proof clothes- non-iron shirts are so good now. Get underwear and socks that can be washed out and left to dry overnight if necessary (lucky me I’ve only got one sock to dry)


  1. Take Books, Work, Downloaded Films, Scrabble, Neck Rest Or Whatever Else to Make The Journey Enjoyable – (but not knitting, aviation Security don’t like the needles) A saying from my military days springs to mind- Any fool can be uncomfortable in the field


  1. Get a Good Small Bag With Wheels – This way you can be irritating rather than irritated when going through a station or airport.


  1. Captain of a Plane is the Law – I’ve only seen one instance of aircrew being unpleasant in thirty years and that was somewhere remote and the others apologized. Most people are great. -Enjoy your travels ?