These 10 trips for air travel have been compiled after seeing various airports and experiencing some of the issues that other travelers have faced as well as myself.
- Preparing to Leave the Nest
We have all had the pleasure of packing for a trip with treasured friends, cherished relatives, or the love of our lives and each time there are always minor items that are left on the counter that were intended to be packed. Even if you pack the night before or leave all the necessary belongings in a specific area in your home, they never make it into your luggage. There is no real trick to prevent forgetting specific items needed for your trip, but the best way to deal with it, is to accept that it is going to happen and bring at least twenty dollars because of course you may leave a toothbrush, sandals, a towel, soap etc. As long as you don’t leave travel tickets, Identification Card/Driver’s License, Passport (international travel), bags of luggage, or money whether cash or credit/debit card you my friend, are golden.
- Avoid Itinerary Nightmares
In today’s economy saving a dollar wherever, whenever is a definite goal, but traveling does not always make it easy as direct flights will cost you double or more than a flight with at least one stop. Even flights with one stop do not always scream perfection as some might have amazing pricing, but the schedule of the plane and connections may include layovers that require your night to be spent at the airport or in a hotel nearby until the following morning. The best way around this issue is to pay a little more for a flight that takes no longer than eight hours of air travel or book planes separately which causes more headaches and attention to detail, but may be worth it in the end.
- Check in Early!
It has always been stated that anyone traveling via airplane should check-in two hours before the boarding of the flight. This continues to be a true statement as airport procedures and layouts change, the amount of other travelers is always uncertain, and your luggage or ticket may come with issues that could take minutes to hours to correct. Remember, the larger the airport, the longer the process of checking-in.
- All Phones at 100%
There are very few airports with payphones anymore and most of these may take credit cards / debit cards like Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The majority of us in America use cell phones for purposes of entertainment and communication, so prior to leaving your home charge your phone and at every outlet that is not occupied even if your phone is at 99% because you may never get another opportunity. In addition, make sure to close each application after it has been used, this will save some battery and time spent on charging your device.
- Where are your Electronics?
Keep all of your electronics in a carry-on bag whether that be a backpack, satchel, briefcase, or purse. There is a high chance that electronics kept in a suitcase may become damaged because those handling your luggage are not going to treat it like a delicate flower, but more of an indestructible rock. Having your electronics in a backpack, satchel, briefcase, or purse also allows for easy access to these devices before, during, and after your flight(s). Devices other than your phone being computers, iPods, Gameboys, and any other device used purely for entertainment also needs to be completely charged. As most of you realized, airports may be low on outlets, but your computer is a perfect source of power that will allow your phone to charge. In order to charge any device faster, turn it off completely.
- Examine your Luggage
The morning before you leave to the airport and have finished packing the last items needed attempt to weigh your bag as each bag can only contain 50 pounds meaning an additional fee will be added or you will be “that guy / girl”, the one that has to open up their suitcase in front of everyone to make the necessary adjustments. It is important to recall anytime that you have traveled with the same pieces of luggage and what was in that luggage because more than likely you pack a consistent amount of items each time. Regardless of whether I am gone for a weekend, or a week I tend to pack about 35 pounds of clothing, toiletries, and other necessities or items wanted. When I return home, my luggage is always a minimum of 44 pounds because of shopping and gifts received.
- Window Seats Rule
Everyone has their favorite seat on a plane which is either the aisle or window seats, but never the middle seat especially when traveling solo as two random strangers to either side is annoying and not the most comfortable situation especially when attempting to sleep and not move at all. The aisle seat is perfect for those with small bladders and think that they are actually going to be the first person off the plane, but the window seat is the best. Even if you have a need for many bathroom trips your airplane neighbors will move, you may rest your head near the window, and you control if the window shutter is open or closed. Many people will want this shut in order to sleep in darkness even if there are people interested in looking at the clouds and landscape of the area.
- Connecting Flights
Many airports do not express their concern for those that may be in jeopardy of missing a connecting flight because of delayed departure or circumstances that were not anticipated. It is your duty to do some research on your connecting flight such as departure time, the airline of the flight, and the distance it will be from you in the airport. Recently, I traveled through the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport only to realize that my connecting flight was literally over a mile away and the initial flight was late. In order to make the flight, I had to run from one side of the airport to the next! I made the plane during the very last boarding call.
- Dress with Purpose
Airports are one of the last places where it is socially acceptable to dress for comfort and not to impress. The longer the traveling the more comfortable people tend to dress which may include wearing sweatpants, pajamas, shorts, and anything that the traveler deems comfortable for sitting long periods of time. Many people find that airlines are capable of losing, misplacing, and delaying the arrival of luggage meaning dressing for comfort or carrying a couple changes of clothes for a couple of days may be smart and necessary as it is unlikely that you can foresee any luggage issues until you have reached that final destination. 10. Customer is NOT King! In retail and hospitality in general, customer is king! With airlines, a customer is just a customer regardless if they are correct or wrong in any situation. Airline staff whether attendants or check-in personnel are not to be mistreated as this may lead to your dismissal from the flight. Attempt to maintain your patience and temper! Airline managers/supervisors will more than likely show more support for their employees than an irate customer and do not be offended if either management or staff lack empathy as they deal with this ordeal many times in a year. In other words, you’re just another angry person and those that become overly invested in your situation would make them as stressed and bothered as you making for an emotional draining day of work. So relax and know that bad customer service sometimes comes with the territory of airlines.
Photo Source: Crainsnewyork.com