Holiday Air Travel Tips:
Get Caught in a Holding Pattern
who has traveled during the holiday season knows how challenging it can be with
crowds, security and possible weather delays. Being prepared is the best way to
prevent what can be a very stressful situation. Here are a few holiday travel
tips to help you through the chaos:
at all possible, avoid traveling on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
These are known as the busiest travel days of the year. Also, put some distance in days before and after Xmas... the weekends before and after are not only the busiest but also most expensive.
Save time: Use either your smart phone or tablet to check in and get your boarding pass right on your phone. When you arrive at the airport, you can just swipe it.
At the airport, you can also use a kiosk to check-in.
These lines move much more quickly than waiting in line for an agent at the counter.
Everything is automated
but there are agents to help you just in case you need them. While you can add checked luggage to your boarding pass you will have to stand in line to give it to an agent at the counter, however.
at the airport two hours before your flight is scheduled to depart to allow for long lines and delays.
Rushing will only cause more stress and ruin your holiday.
your flight before heading to the airport to make sure it's on time or there have
been no changes. You can also sign up on your airline's website to receive notifications in case of any changes.
someone is picking you up at the airport, be sure to make plans ahead of time
for a meeting point. Due to strict security at most U.S. airports, most no longer allow waiting for pick-ups
at the arrival doors (these rules are strictly enforced especially if you leave your car unattended - you will get ticket and towed).
with your airlines about luggage and carry-on restrictions, especially during
holiday travel. Most bags have a 50-pound limit per bag. Carry-on's are limited
to one or two pieces depending on airline, and size of bags.
not wrap gifts or seal boxes. Security will open all wrapped packages. Plan to
do all your wrapping when you arrive at your destination or you'll be doing it
not lock your luggage. Security does random manual checks and will break
your lock off if your luggage is chosen. Even if you use a TSA approved lock the agents have a master key to get into all TSA locks. If not, they will cut it off. That said, do not pack any valuables or medications in your checked-in luggage, ever. Take them onboard with you.
plenty to do for yourself and family to keep occupied. You may be at the airport and
in flight for quite some
time. Consider it the gift of time, something in short supply for everyone today. Things like books, tablets, games, toys, snacks, and a deck of cards. You cannot bring drinks on a plane of any kind, not even water. Be prepared to buy drinks on board. They usually prefer credit card over cash as change is limited. And dress warm as planes can get cold. It's easier to removed layers than not have any at all.
patient. Know that traveling during the busiest time of year means security checks, long lines
and delays. It's much better to be delightfully surprised that things are running
smoothly than getting angry that they're not. During holiday travel, expect the
unexpected. Leave plenty of time at the beginning and end of travel for delays and surprises.