Top 7 Airports For Traveling
How are you going to stay sane and avoid the usual holiday pitfalls during the travel seasons this year? Well, here are seven tried-and-true tips that will definitely help you avoid the worst and most common problems:
1. Get Plenty of Sleep:
The night before you leave, you’re going to be tempted to stay up late packing and ensuring that everything’s in order. However, think twice before doing this, because if you’re sleep deprived the next day, you’re going to be cranky. And if you’re cranky, you’re going to find everything about traveling even more irritating than usual. All you have to do is get a good night’s sleep before you leave.
2. Do Everything You Can Now:
Do everything possible before you leave. Check one last time on your airline reservations the night before you leave, and then again before you leave for the airport. If possible, print out your boarding pass and a luggage tag for your checked baggage. It’ll save you time and possibly money too.
3. Arrive Early:
Regardless of whether you’re traveling by train, plane, or automobile – head out and arrive early. If you’re going by plane, you’ll want to be there two hours early for domestic flights, or three hours early for international.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Weight:
Nope, not your body weight. Many airlines have recently started introducing fees for standard checked bag. And of course there’s always a hefty fee if they’re overweight or oversized. Read up on your airline’s guidelines before you even start throwing stuff in your suitcase. Leave what you can behind.
5. Dress for Speed:
All airport security checkpoints in the USA require you to remove your shoes, coat or jacket, big belt buckles, and pretty much anything else you can easily remove without completely undressing. Your laptop will have to be removed from its case. Want to take any liquids aboard? You’ll definitely want to refresh yourself on TSA’s 3-1 regulations.
6. Take Advantage of Special Opportunities:
As you’re planning your vacation, check into the TSA’s Black Diamond Self-Select program, which is now in place at over 50 airports. This program lets passengers pick a security lane that matches their travel style: expert, casual or family. Each line differs significantly. For example, if you don’t like being rushed, head for the family lanes.
7. Know What Is and Isn’t Allowed:
The regulations have been in place for years now, but travelers still end up giving up tons and tons (and tons) of items that are prohibited to take past security checkpoints. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or expert flier – take a moment before every flight to review the TSA’s long and detailed list of what’s permitted and what’s prohibited as part of your carry-ons. Taking some knitting needles as a gift for grandma? Go right ahead and take them with you! Also taking a pool cue for your brother? Don’t even try it.
Best International Airports Travel Tips:
Here’s a great basic airline travel tip on what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed while you’re in the gate at the airport. Instead of rushing to get in line at the counter, grab your mobile phone and call the airline’s reservation line. There’s a short window of time available to get in there and secure the seat to your destination while this new variable (the canceled or delayed flight) is being absorbed by the airline’s scheduling system. In my experience, if you wait more than 5 or 10 minutes, it’s possible that many of the preferred options have been secured by those at the front of the line or from other callers ahead of you!
So jump in line if you can get a good spot but definitely get on the phone. The agent that you speak with at the airline’s reservation center can probably do everything that the desk agents can – and you’ll typically find them friendly and happy to help! I have had call center agents rebook me, find me better seats, even upgrade me to first class, all while having a glass of wine watching the game on the bar TV while across the hallway, 40 miserable people stand frustrated and hoping the line will move faster.
Also, if you are an elite member, even at just a first level, you’ll likely have a special number to call that will get you through to an agent faster. Check your membership card and consider adding this special access number in to your phone for faster access. I have my airline special member services numbers programmed to my mobile phone along with all the pause breaks, account numbers, pin’s, and the call center menu options saved to a single 1 touch speed dial for each airline. Having access to airline flight agents at the touch of a button can be absolutely invaluable when time is of the essence!
Lastly, it’s always better to speak with someone face to face if possible so if you can speak to an agent at the gate quickly, take advantage of the opportunity – but remember, grab that phone and call as a backup just in case!