Making Airline Travel Less Stressful

Get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds

The Air Transport Association is predicting that 2006 will see record numbers of passengers; especially during the summer season. With nearly 207 million passengers boarding commercial airplanes in the United States this year, terminals are going to be crowded and people are going to be crabby. Additionally, due to the rise in gas rises, which especially affects airlines, the domestic capacity will be down this summer, leaving fewer planes to carry more travelers. Don’t let this discourage you from traveling though; you just need to plan ahead. Follow these few travel tips and you’ll make airline travel less stressful and make summer vacations moreenjoyable.

Booking your tickets: How to get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds Trying to book airline tickets is always stressful. There are so many things that need to be considered, especially the price. Just break down the decisions into steps and the task will be less formidable. The more flexible your travel plans are, the better deals you will get. First, when are you traveling? The best deals can be found if you leave during the week and stay through Saturday. Second, the time of day you leave is almost as important. Often less popular times like early morning or late night departure times will be less costly. Also, the airport will be less crowded during the times and alsoduring the week.

If the prices still are high, try looking at departing or arriving at different airports. Sometimes neighboring airports will offer better deals. For example if you are vacationing in
San Francisco, arriving in Oakland or San Jose may save you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, if you are looking to save money, nonstop flights can oftentimes be more expensive. If layovers are not too bothersome, they can oftentimes save travelers money. The more you shop around – the better deals you will find. Visit multiple airline ticket sites like Priceline or Travelocity. Another great place to find cheap airline tickets online is Studentuniverse.com. This Web site offers cheap airline tickets for students and educators.

Picking the best seat So, you’ve found the best deal out there, now you get to choose where you are sitting — this is one of most important airline travel tips. The first decision is front, back or middle. If you are in a hurry or have connecting flights that need to be made, a seat near the front of the plane is your best choice. If you are traveling with children, the bulkhead seats are a good choice because it allows for more legroom, but these seats also do not have seats in front of you to store items under. Children are not allowed to sit in the exit rows. So, if you want to keep clear of children, the exit rows are a good choice to sit in. They also have more legroom, but you are responsible for opening the exits and assisting if there is an accident. If you get airsick or just hate turbulence, the seats over the wings offer the smoothest ride for airline travel. The last decision is window or aisle seat. If you want to sleep the window seat allows you to lean against the side for comfier snoozing. If you have large legs or have to get up and move a lot to get things from your carry on bags, the aisle seat will be the best choice to make airline travel more comfortable

Check-in: Airline travel tips Once again, the crowds will be smaller during the earlier departure times and during the week. However, to expediate the whole check-in process there are several things you can do. First, if you have an electronic ticket, make sure to have your confirmation number and you may want to call ahead and confirm with the airline to avoid any last minute problems. Departure delays and any other flight information can be found on-line prior to leaving for the airport. To ensure you do not miss your flight, arrive at the airport at least 1 ½ hours prior to departure or earlier if it is a busy flying season like holidays. Electronic check-in kiosks are the quickest; make sure you have a credit card and your ID handy. If you have luggage that needs to be checked in, make sure there is an attendant at the electronic check-in to do that. One way to beat the check-in line is to use the curbside check-in service. There usually are no lines outside. The only downside to curbside check-in is if you’re checking luggage that it may not get to your destination as quick, and it is not available for international travel. However, I have never had trouble with my luggage getting lost with curbside check-in and it always saves me plenty of time.

The second check point before boarding the plane is security. After September 11, security has been enhanced, but if you know what to expect you can breeze through the security without any problems. First, no lighters, scissors or knives are allowed so don’t bring them with. Most airports will you require to take your shoes and belt off, before going through the metal detector. Also, laptops need to be taken out of the case and placed in their own receptacle. Have your ID and ticket ready at all times, because it will be checked here as well. Once you’re through with security it’s time to find your terminal. If you are unfamiliar with the airport, it is beneficial to print a map off on-line or at least look at it before departure.

No Elbow room: How to deal With fewer planes and record numbers, planes are going to be crowded. According to the Air Transport Association planes may be at as high as 85 percent capacity. So, when choosing your seat keep in mind that the plane may be overcrowded. If you’re sitting in the middle or window seat, make sure that you have everything from your carry-on bag that you will need so you do not have to get up frequently. There is nothing you can do about bad airplane food, bad movies or the fact that you are stuck in the middle seat next to a fat guy, with an annoying kid behind you, so prepare for it all. Pack a snack or eat before you leave and bring plenty of things to entertain yourself with. Earplugs always are nice too, if you want to mask out the screams of small children. Most importantly though, just remain calm and do not stress out, you are on vacation.

Elvis has left the building After being crammed on an airplane for hours, leaving the airport as quickly as possible is most surely on your mind. Plan your exit travel plans before leaving. Some hotels offer airport pick-up service, so when booking your hotel ask if that option is offered and plan a pick-up place. Some airlines also offer package deals with airline tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations. If you’re traveling with your family this is a great deal, especially if you have lots of children and need a larger vehicle to fit them all. The Transportation Security Administration said it is expecting nearly 200 million air travelers nationwide between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so in order to avoid the crowds as much as possible, get cheap airline tickets and make travel less stressful, follow these simple airline travel tips and you’ll be on your way to fun.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.