Be on time - running to the plane at the last minute won’t cut it any more.
Be flexible - allow for change and delay.
Be kind - don’t get mad at those who work for the airline, 99% of the time they will help you out of bad situations, they are not there to put you into it. Fellow passengers are swimming in the same shit as you are.
Follow the rules - if your bag needs to be a certain size, if you need to find a stow space, if you need to sit down, you need to follow the rules. As Tyler Durden said “You are not a unique snow flake. You are not special.” You are in fact one of millions of the traveling public.
Bring a distraction - headphones, MP3 player with radio (for news), a book, notepad and writing utensil
Follow these rules and you will make it, maybe even enjoy the trip. But don't end your travel plans. Just be ready for change.
Whatever you do, don’t bring snakes on a plane.