My friend Lara says she loves to travel with me. Why? It’s not for my witty conversation or my humorous quips.  Nope … It’s because I can always get someone to help us with our carry-on luggage.

“I can never get anyone to help me!” she claims. “And Laura can walk down the aisle and in two seconds have a man stand and offer to lift her bag in the overhead.”

An airplane is a prime spot for men to display their chivalry.  A high-heeled lady trying to lift a heavy bag over her head into the overhead compartment? Help the dear out! A mother lugging a bulky diaper bag on her right shoulder, a squirmy infant on her left hip and holding the hand of an adventurous three-year old? Come to her rescue!

Recently on my flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, I had my usual heavy “mobile office” (a.k.a. my hand bag) and rollerboard. I walked towards row 24, established that a man also was sitting in my same row, made eye contact with him and smiled. After placing my mobile office in my seat and before I made a motion towards my rollerboard, this gentleman quickly jumped up and offered to help.

“Thank you so much,” I said sweetly and I stepped aside so he could perform the good deed.

I moved to my window seat and he sat down with a satisfied smile.

And that’s it.  It’s all about eye contact and smile.

Admittedly, this technique works 98% of the time.  There is the 2% when the men sitting near me is afraid to offer or haven’t thought to offer because no one has taught them that it’s a nice gesture.  So what to do then?  Simple.  Ask.

I have never had a man decline.

I firmly believe men want to display kind gestures but are unsure if such offers would be welcomed. And I believe the women around me take the event as a reminder that they too can experience the same chivalry if they welcome it. Some women forget they can ask.

So I encourage everyone … offer and accept!