TIPS FOR SMOOTHER SUMMER & AUTUMN HOLIDAY TRAVEL
For many of us, this is the year of fulfilling long-awaited travel plans. As your travel advisor, your safety, health and well-being are my top priority, and I am here to assist and provide information so you can make informed decisions about your travel plans. To that end, I have compiled some tips to help you navigate any unforeseen obstacles. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to receive expert advice on where to go, where to stay, and which flights to take. If there is a delay or cancellation, know that I am here to help resolve the issue and make your travel experiences as seamless and memorable as possible.
TIP 1 | GET TO THE AIRPORT WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO SPARE
Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. For international flights, that means arriving three to four hours before departure. For domestic flights, you should plan two hours in advance. Lines are going to be very long at the ticket counters, baggage check and security, so if you cut it too close, you run the risk of missing your flight. Also, remember to take advantage of any frequent-flier status you have on the airline to check in using the preferred or first-class line.
TIP 2 | PREPARE FOR FLIGHT DELAYS
If you must change planes to get to your destination, schedule a longer connection time than you would normally. Even if you think you have plenty of time, a crowded airport means it’ll take you longer to make your way to another gate or terminal. Additionally, try to book the first flight of the day as they are much less likely to experience delays. Likewise, don’t book the last flight of the day, as that limits your options.
TIP 3 | USE CARRY-ON BAGS INSTEAD OF CHECKED BAGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
This way, if there’s a delay or cancellation, you won’t have to wait for your luggage to be pulled or be without your bags if you miss your connection. Consider travelling lighter for greater ease and peace of mind!
TIP 4 | BE PREPARED FOR DELAYED CHECKED BAGS
If you do check your bags, make sure you take your electronic devices and chargers, a change of clothes and any needed medications in your carry-on. In the event of a long delay, you’ll be glad you have them with you. Many travellers have found that placing a digital tracker, such as an Apple AirTag, in their luggage gives them peace of mind in knowing where their bags are at all times.
TIP 5 | TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CLUB MEMBERSHIPS
If you’re a member of an airline club lounge, utilize the staff at the service desk to make any changes caused by flight delays or disruptions. They will frequently go the extra mile for members. Also, take advantage of club-use privileges that come with credit cards you may have, such as American Express Platinum or CapitalOne Venture X.
Some clubs have limited admission to cope with overcrowding at peak times. Before leaving the club to head to your gate, double-check to make sure there are no potential delays. Once you leave the club, you may have to get back in line to re-enter.
TIP 6 | DOWNLOAD AIRLINE APPS
Airline apps are great resources for finding up-to-date information regarding your flight status. They can also help you track your bags and rebook missed connection flights. Often you can make same-day flight changes for free right in the app, so you don’t have to wait in long lines at the gate or ticket counter.
TIP 7 | CONSIDER INCENTIVES TO TAKE A LATER FLIGHT
If you have time to spare, consider taking the airline up on travel credits in exchange for changing your flight when your original one is overbooked. You could rack up some free trips for later in the year. Insist on cash credits rather than miles which may restrict your ability to redeem.
TIP 8 | BE FLEXIBLE AND “CHILL”
There may be times when you’ll feel frustrated or angry, but taking it out on the people who work at the airport won’t get you anywhere. You are much more likely to get help from a sympathetic airline staff member by showing empathy than by being aggressive.
TIP 9 | ADD DAYS TO THE TRIP
Consider adding a few days to your trip. Who doesn’t want a longer vacation? If you’re just going away for a weekend, a flight delay could mean you lose valuable time at your destination. The same goes if you’re taking a tour or a cruise. You should plan on arriving at the starting point a few days early. You don’t want to miss out on your vacation because of a flight delay.