As the Thanksgiving holiday arrives, many people will take to the air to visit friends, family, and loved ones. Holidays are a time many people make that once-a-year sacrifice – flying. As many know, flying during the holidays can be stressful as airports are busy, the weather is unpredictable, and traveling with family can be stressful.
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Some things can’t be avoided when traveling during Thanksgiving – like dealing with your relatives during the holidays. Although this isn’t a family advice column, here are some tips to plan for your trip, help you save money, and make flying during the Thanksgiving holiday as stress-free as possible.
1. Airline Fees – One of the biggest costs of flying are the various airline fees that people are charged. They range from baggage fees to peak day travel fees for flying on certain days. Farecompare.com does a great job of listing the fees by airline for baggage and peak day fees so get the rundown on fees. Better yet, pack light and avoid the fees.
2. Flight delays/Passengers bumped– As a result of recent airline struggles, the there are fewer flights in the air which means crowded planes. Because of fewer flights and busy airports, many passengers may experience delays so planning your flight and being prepared could save you a lot of stress. Flying early in the morning will give you more time to get to your destination. Before the situation arises, here are some tips on how to avoid getting bumped.
3. Busy airports and long lines – Travel during the holidays means the airports will be busy. While there is nothing you can do about the crowds, there are some tips to avoid some of the long lines and get you through them faster. One of the biggest hassles is airport security so here are 12 tips to avoid long security lines.
4. Register your passenger information – While most airlines are already doing this, make sure your passenger information (name, date of birth, and gender) has been given to the airlines before you fly. Most airlines will ask you this information when you book your flight. If you are a frequent flyer, this information may already be stored by the airline. The new TSA secure flight program is requiring all passengers submit this information 72 hours before take off. Get more information on the TSA secure flight program.
5. Know your rights – Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation passed a Passenger Bill of Rights which limits the amount of time airplanes can remain on the tarmac during delays, what rights passengers have to food/drink and restrooms, and what the exceptions are. Get more information and links on the passenger bill of rights.
6. Fly comfortably – If you haven’t already chosen your seat for the airline, do a little research to find which seats on your flight are the best. You can do a search by airline and aircraft type to find out which seats are good and which are bad. Then you can select a better seat, if available, so you can be a little more comfortable on your flight.
7. Getting around the airport – Need help finding your gate, a shop, a place to eat, or the bathroom? Need help with airport parking, a place to entertain the kids, getting online, or quick nap before your next flight? You can get all this information and more with this essential airport information guide.
8. Traveling with kids – If you are traveling with kids, flying can be even more stressful. Here are some airline tips for traveling with kids of all ages – in the airport and during the flight.
9. Passport information – For those traveling out of the country, make sure your passport is up-to-date. If you realize that you are leaving soon and don’t have the required documentation necessary, here is a rundown on what you need and how to get it – passport tips every traveler needs to know.
10. Airport scanners – Many airports already have the new body scanners. Know your rights and be prepared.
While this isn’t an all inclusive list and won’t help you during Thanksgiving dinner, this is a good start for making your Thanksgiving flight a little less stressful. So save money, plan ahead, and make holiday travel as fun as possible.
And while these tips are great for the holidays, you may be planning a trip this winter and need cheap tickets for your destination. Check out current deals for winter travel on Southwest, Alaska, American, and United Airlines. And don’t forget to check the winter forecast to see what weather you may face for the holidays and winter travel.
Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!
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