Tomorrow without a doubt is the busiest travel day in the U.S., as Americans fly to their families to celebrate thanksgiving on Thursday. With the upcoming holiday season, there will be much more people travelling and airports will be congested, which is why I’d like to share some travel tips that can make your journey more comfortable during peak travel days.
1. Taxi or Uber to the airport. If you were planning to drive and park at the airport, forget it. Chances are there are tons of people considering doing the same thing. Save time (searching for a parking spot) and money (paying for parking) and simply take a taxi or Uber, which will cost you a lot less than parking for the weekend.
2. Check-in for your flight online, no one likes waiting in long queues at the airports. You should print your boarding pass at home and head straight for security when arriving, if you have no bags to check. If you do have to check a bag, some airlines have a separate ‘baggage drop-off’ counter whereby people who already have their boarding pass can quickly check their bags.
3. Arrive earlier to the airport, chances are security queues will be massive, especially during the middle of the day. Even if you already have your boarding pass, you will still have to wait in line. No one wants to miss their flight because of TSA. If you don’t have elite status or credit cards with special airport benefits, some airlines allow you to buy ‘priority ground services’. For example, United allows you to buy Premier Access (starting at $9 a segment), which includes Priority Check-in, Priority Security and Priority Boarding. Even having Priority Security doesn’t mean you will quickly go through, as more elite travellers will likely be flying as well. Just arrive early.
4. Visit a lounge, even if you don’t hold elite status, many airlines allow passengers to buy lounge access in a form of a day pass (usually $50). Your journey will be much more relaxed and you can avoid the crowded gate areas as you wait in a comfortable lounge with drinks, snacks, and of course, Wi-Fi.
5. Get Priority Boarding, just like with security, some airlines like making money by selling these extra benefits to passengers. Consider buying early boarding so you can comfortably stow your carry-on luggage and board early to avoid most people.
6. Finally, relax. Once in the airplane, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight. If you’ve had a stressful travel day at the airport, you’re not the only one. Even frequent travellers sometimes experience the lines, queues, and unnecessary screening. Just think: you will soon see your family and that is the only thing that you should be thinking about during the holidays.
I hope most of you will take into consideration some of these tips and I wish you all safe travels and a happy holiday season.