The holidays are often associated with traveling to see loved ones or simply relax. Instead of making the most magical time of the year stressful, we want to help you master the art of flying during the holidays with these tips and tricks.
Pay for Checked Bags in Advance
Skip pulling out your credit card at the ticket counter or kiosk and select how many bags you’ll be checking during online check-in prior to arriving at the airport. Sometimes, fees are higher at the airport, so you could also save money by doing so!
Get to the Airport Early
Over the holidays, airports are inevitably packed, leading to longer than normal waits at check-in and security. Few things are more stressful at the airport than being greeted by snaking lines. There are few downsides to arriving early to the airport in comparison to arriving late. Most airports are packed with added amenities including trendy restaurants, coffee shops, stores, spas, nail salons, pet parks, playgrounds and lounges for frequent fliers, giving you plenty of options to keep yourself busy before takeoff. Having time to relax and recharge before takeoff beats arriving late and running the risk of missing your flight.
Brush Up on TSA Rules
TSA’s latest rule requires all travelers to remove electronics larger than a cellphone from their carry-on bags and put them in a bin for screening. Previously, only laptops had to be removed. There are also new security interviews on US-bound international flights. Of course, the longstanding 3-ounce liquid rule still applies as well. The quickest way to hold up the line is to have a TSA agent find a bottle of water or lotion in your carry-on bag. Before your flight, contact your FROSCH Travel Consultant and ask them what you can expect so that you can be prepared and keep the security line moving.
Make Sure Your TSA Pre-Check Number Is in Your Reservation
If you have TSA Pre-Check, make sure the correct number is entered on your boarding pass. Travelers can’t use the Pre-Check lanes at the security checkpoints without it. In addition to the shorter, faster moving lines, one of the many benefits to having TSA Pre-Check is that members get to keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on and leave laptops and other electronics in their carry-on bags.
Fully Charge Your Electronics
If you plan to watch movies or use in-flight Wi-Fi, it’s important not to wait until you get to the airport to charge your electronic devices. Airports keep adding power outlets and charging stations, but they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re lucky, some airlines will offer in-seat power outlets or USB ports on select flights, but you can’t count on it. To play it safe, charge up the night before you leave for the airport and be sure to pack all your charging cables for when you get the opportunity to recharge.
Plan Ahead for In-Flight Entertainment
Unfortunately, most airlines’ internet doesn’t support streaming services, so you can forget about binge watching Netflix or Hulu while using in-flight Wi-Fi. Netflix lets you download select TV shows and movies to watch offline, as does Amazon’s Prime Video. Before you head to the airport, plan ahead and download anything you plan to watch before you leave home, and don’t forget to pack your headphones! If you forget to load up your device for in-flight binge watching, many airlines now allow passengers to stream movies and TV shows from an in-flight library, while other carriers offer seat-back entertainment.
Bring Your Own Food
Avoid buying a pricey snack on board by bringing your own food. Although some airlines are bringing complimentary meals back to Economy on some flights, the practice is still far from widespread. Pack a few sealed, healthy snacks that’ll keep you full and energized for the duration of your flight. It’s also a good idea to eat before you head to the airport which will prevent you from stressing out over where to grab food inside the terminal or not having any food choices that suit your needs. No one wants to arrive at their destination feeling famished.
Prepare for Delays and Cancellations
Unfortunately, delays and cancellations are to be expected, especially when headed to cold weather destinations. Be sure to have a change of clothes, along with enough activities, snacks, and diapers in your carry-on for an extended delay if traveling with young children. If delays or cancellations happen, be sure to contact your FROSCH Travel Consultant, who will be able to assist with re-accommodating your travel plans and offer any other assistance needed like reserving a last-minute hotel room.