Stress-free Holiday Travel Tips

Our iHeart Aviation Specialist, Jay Ratliff, has put together some holiday travel tips. Let his YEARS of experience in the aviation industry keep your travel days as stress-free as possible. 

First off, Jay says more than 25 million people are expected to take to the skies between Friday, November 16th and Monday, November 26th.  This is an increase of 7% from last year and the single busiest day will be (as usual) the Sunday after Thanksgiving. 

No longer a recommendation, but mandatory this year.  Airlines are pushing for on time departures more than ever and if passengers are not at the gate of departure a minimum of 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure they could lose their seats (part of the airline’s conditions of contract).  Seats will quickly be turned over to standby passengers and with subsequent flights being filled, options for those missing a flight is reduced and could come at an additional cost.

 This is especially true for the originating flight (first out of the day) as that silver revenue tube must be dispatched on time.

You DON'T want THIS!

It is imperative passengers place an ID name tag on their checked and carry on bags.  In addition, placing a copy of the itinerary in the checked bag can help the agent agents to route the bag to the passenger’s current location – versus simply sending it home.  Pack it last.

 

When flights are oversold (more reservations than seats on a plane) anyone without a seat assignment is placed on standby. Often planes are “swapped,” where the original schedule was a 737 and has been replaced by a 757 and sometimes those prior seat assignments can be cancelled…meaning it is imperative to reconfirm one’s reservation many times before the day of departure to make sure the flight times are the same and to make certain those seat assignments are still in place.

 

Using FlightAware.com you can track your outgoing flight information and it allows others to track your progress (as in those who are picking you up).  It also has a tab where you can check the progress on the inbound flight, which makes up your departure, as well.  A handy function when there are no airline agents in the gate area.

For those who wonder if their seat reclines or has power outlets, SeatGuru.com is a great and free site and one I have recommended for years.  Place the airline and flight number into the site and a color-coded seat chart appears, showing the best seats on the flight and those to avoid.

For those who have not traveled in a while, a quick visit to TSA.GOV can help acquaint the traveler with any recent changes to security or to baggage allowances.

And not to be your parents, but Jay and I BOTH agree you should Board and Touch Nothing! Airplanes are filled with germs, and great care should be taken to avoid contact of any kind with items within the seat back pocket.  Taking time to wipe down the seat and tray table with an alcohol wipe is also a good idea.

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Melissa Sharpe

Melissa Sharpe

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