Flying was exciting when I was young. Now, it's an ordeal, especially given the trips I take are usually far flung, involving travel between small airports near opposite ends of the US. Here are some unique insights into air travel from a pilot's daughter.

#1 Some days are better than others. Saturday, and Tuesday are the best departure days, because few business people fly on those days.

#2 If you're planning a vacation, think off season. Late January to early March, September & October are great times to get your best deal.

#3 Flight attendants aren't just flying wait staff. They're also responsible for your safety, and have detailed training. Do what they tell you.

#4 The REAL reason for the group number on your ticket may surprise you. It's there so "priority" customers get first shot at the overhead compartments.

#5 The plane may not look pristine. That doesn't mean it's not in tip top mechanical shape.

Bottom line. If you want to save money, and minimize hassle, travel off peak, pay attention, and keep your cool.