Here are my 8 annual tips to make flying easier this holiday weekend (Amended for COVID19)
This is normally one of the busiest weekends of the year for flying, but with COVID, the airports will be about half as busy as normal. Here is my advice if you are brave enough to fly this Christmas weekend and during the coming New Year holiday.
#1– If you drive your car to the airport, be sure to take a picture of your car where you parked in the parking lot, so you know where to find your car when you return.
#2 – Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours early as lines may be long – I know this sounds excessive with COVID cutting down the number of travelers. However, nothing is more stressful than worrying that you won’t get through the lines in time to board your flight. Even though there are fewer flights this year, the ones that are flying are expected to be full, so you don’t want to take the chance of missing a flight.
#3 – Print out a boarding pass before you leave home or use the airline app – This keeps you out of one more line at the check-in counter.
#4 – Take only carry-on luggage – Avoid the check-in counter and go straight to the security checkpoint. This means you should take only carry-on luggage and avoid checking in any luggage (it will save you 15-30 minutes of standing in line).
#5 – Take a picture of your checked luggage – Then, if your luggage gets lost, you can easily show the airline clerk what it looks like when filing a lost luggage claim.
#6 – Get on the plane early – Overhead bins will be full of Christmas gifts, and overhead bin space is on a first-come, first-served basis.
#7 – Don’t forget to bring your face mask – All airlines are requiring them to fly.
#8 – Finally, take a big dose of patience with you. COVID has added many new health and security measures that will take more time to address. The overhead bins on planes will be packed with holiday goodies. This is the time of the year when many families fly. So these travelers are often first-time flyers that are not aware of how the “system works.” Despite all the “hassle factors,” you can remove most of the stress simply by arriving early at the airport and knowing in advance what to expect. So take a deep breath, enjoy all those cute children running around your feet, and be thankful for all our wonderful blessings that this season offers.
Final Warning! Please, please, please don’t wrap your Christmas presents if you are flying with them –Many people who are flying to Grandma’s house with Christmas presents as carry-ons are going to be very upset when they watch the security staff unwrap those presents to check what is inside. My advice, if you are taking presents, be sure you wrap them when you arrive to prevent the painful experience of watching your beautifully wrapped presents being opened and that 15 minutes of making the wrappings look perfect is dismantled at the security checkpoint.
Procrastinator’s Alert – The best gift you can give for Christmas is the dream of travel – We can still save the day for guys that have procrastinated buying their wife (or significant other) a Christmas gift. If you want to really see someone’s eyes light up on Christmas morning, give them a travel gift certificate. It is the easiest gift to buy and the one that your friends and family will most cherish. Let’s face it. Who needs one more ugly tie or one more bottle of cheap perfume to store in the closet? The most valued gifts today are not possessions but experiences. Call our office today (402-435-8888) and ask one of our friendly travel advisors to issue a travel gift certificate in any denomination you like. Yours will be the most popular gift this Christmas.