Are you planning a holiday or business trip abroad? You will probably be flying for at least part of the journey. Read the helpful tips in this article – and the others in the series – to ensure that your experience is more enjoyable (and possibly cheaper).
- Flights are cancelled; it is an unpleasant fact. Before you head to the airport, make sure you have the airline reservations number written down or programmed into your cell phone. If the airline cancels your flight, you can calmly use your cell phone or head to the nearest pay phone and make an alternate reservation – while avoiding the stampede at the ticket counter.
- Noise-cancelling headphones are great for reducing cabin noise. You can turn them on and use them even when not listening to music, audio books, or movies. Another option is to buy cheap disposable earplugs – available at most pharmacies and department stores.
- Make sure you pack a change of clothes and essentials such as toothbrush and razor in your carry-on. If the airline loses your luggage, you will be able to cope.
- Never place anything like expensive jewelry or irreplaceable items in your checked luggage. Pack them in your carry-on or leave them at home.
- Booking a flight midweek, for both destination and return flights, can save you money on tickets. You will also avoid the crowds, which are especially heavy during holiday weekends.
- Terrorism is no joking matter, and airline personnel have ZERO sense of humor when it comes to statements about bombs, weapons, and other perceived threats. Do not make inappropriate remarks. They could result in you missing your flight and being detained, or even jailed.
- Be sure you know how to operate your laptop computer, digital camera, portable audio player, PDA, etc. Security personnel may ask you to demonstrate electronic equipment. This will ensure that it does not harbor anything considered a threat to passenger safety.
- Before you drive to the airport, call ahead to see if your flight is on time. You might be able to save hours in the air terminal waiting for a plane that will be late.
- Some airlines will give you partial refunds or other compensation if your flight has a considerable delay. Be sure to ask. The noisy wheel gets the grease!
- If you need to use your laptop computer onboard, pick up an AC/auto/air adapter. It will allow you to plug into the aircraft’s (or your vehicle’s) 12-volt auxiliary port.
- If you ask the airline to classify your luggage as ‘fragile’ it will be among the first to come out on the baggage carousel and will generally be placed on top of other luggage. Note the word ‘generally’. Nothing is set in stone.
- An inflatable travel pillow can save your neck if you plan to nap on the plane. It will not take up much room in your carry-on, and inflates quickly. You will arrive at your destination without annoying muscle aches in your shoulders, neck, and upper back.
- In the rush to prepare for your trip, do not forget to keep hydrated. Drink extra liquids for a couple of days before you travel, and you will cope much better with the ultra-dry cabin air. This will also help you to combat jet lag.
(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, the byline, and the author’s note below (with active links) are included.