Air travel can be difficult. Any mention of the state of airport travel today — especially the lines and the TSA — will inevitably elicit groans of frustration, eye rolls, and stories of security nightmares.
It’s true in many ways that air travel in 2018 lacks the glamour and carefree effortless elegance of, say, 50 years ago. We live in a different world with much more complex problems.
But since you have to go through the lines and security no matter what — how about making it as painless as possible? Here are some easy tips to help you through your next security screening:
Check in to your flight online. This is especially helpful if you are not checking bags!
Check your flight status before you leave your house. Download a smartphone app like TripIt or my favorite, Tripcase. These apps will automatically notify you of any changes to your itinerary.
Ed Hewitt, features editor for The Independent Traveler, offers this: “Before you leave for the airport, put everything essential you need to check in and get through security — your ID, credit card and boarding pass, etc. — in an easily-accessible part of your wallet or bag. “This way, you don't waste your time fumbling around for them when you need them.”
Become A Known Traveler. The TSA Pre✔® program is available in many airports across the country. It has perks like not requiring shoe or laptop removal for a speedy trip through security.
Be Prepared. When things don’t go as planned and you get delayed or a late flight means a missed connection — don’t panic. Here’s what you should have at hand to make things easier:
Contact Numbers for Airline, Car Rental Service, Hotels
Travel Insurance Numbers
Travel Advisor Emergency Contact Info
You can even temporarily organize them all under one name — for example, assign the “last name” of each item as “California Trip 2015,” and they’ll all appear listed in one spot in your contacts for easy access. This way, if a logistical emergency occurs, you have the ability to change flights, make cancellations, reschedule transfers, or notify hotels of a late arrival.
Finally, don’t forget the number one travel essential: patience. Everyone is in the same boat; everyone wants to get through quickly. A smile and a “thank-you” never hurt. I’ve known many people who’ve gotten unexpected happy surprises (baggage fees waived, bump up) just for being polite when everyone else was falling apart.
Are you looking for help planning your next trip? Contact me today and we can get started planning your best trip yet – to reach me call 571-732-0998 or email info@CFJTravel.com or complete the Let's Get Acquainted Questionnaire.