When I was 12, I flew from Newark to Berlin all alone for the first time. Donning a bright yellow UM sticker, short for “Unaccompanied Minor”, I had a blast being waited on hand and foot at the airport. I flew through security, pretty much entirely skipped customs, didn’t have to wait for baggage claim, and when I arrived got to hang out at a play room the airport specifically had arranged for kids (!).

About an hour ago I touched down at Gatwick. Fortunately, this trip was similarly awesome. Here’s why:

Leg Room – Always choose the exit row seat (duh). I’m tall. This is absolutely crucial for the transatlantic jetsetting.
“Chicken or beef?!” – Within 72 hours of the flight departure time call up the airline and ask for a seafood (or alternative) meal. These meals are invariably superior to the standard fare…and you get served first. I got a truly delectable pasta shrimp saucy sort of thing. Still nuked, but damn tasty all things considered.
Faking First Class – If you ever find someone with a “Priority Baggage” tag ask them for their extra. Or just use Photoshop. This means your baggage will get through first.