There's a long list of potential delays that you could encounter at the airport during the holiday travel season.
But if you prepare a bit and have a good, positive attitude, you'll be on board the plane and on your way with minimum hassle.
Here are five steps that will really help you out: 1.
Online Check-In The lines at your airline's check-in counter will probably never be a pleasant experience.
(Is anything pleasant at the airport...
?)But if you're flying domestically, you should try out online check-in.
Then all you have to do is print your boarding pass at home, get to the airport, and quickly check in your luggage.
Or, if you just have a carry-on, you won't have to worry about check-in; just head straight through security.
Email or Text Message Alerts Is there anything worse than getting to the airport on time or earlier and then discovering that your flights been delayed, perhaps by hours? Well, everyone's got an email address and a cell phone today, right? So why not sign up for email or text message alerts (we'll cover this in a future post).
You'll be alerted to changes in your trip's itinerary.
And before you leave, make sure you get online and check the status of your flight one last time.
Leave Your Gifts Unwrapped, or Ship Them Beforehand If you're taking gifts for grandma or the kids on the flight with you, just make sure you leave them unwrapped and keep them with you.
It will save you a lot of trouble in case security decides they want to unwrap them and check their contents.
Or, an even better solution - save yourself the trouble and ship them before you leave.
Then they'll be there (wrapped) waiting for you.
Check Your Airline's Checked and Carry-on Baggage Policies Recently a lot of airlines have started testing out first and second checked-bag fees.
In addition, if any of your bags are even a little overweight or over-sized, they'll hit you up with another hefty fee.
The same will happen if you're checking in something that's an awkward size, like skis or your trophy antlers from the latest hunt; expect to be hit with another fee.
What can you do? Learn what your airline is going to charge you extra for and plan accordingly.
Think twice about what you really need to take with you.
Just make sure you check their detailed policies so that no surprises, conflicts, or negotiations are waiting for you when you get to the check-in counter.
Have Your Contact Information Handy Ensure that you have all your customer service contact info with you and easily accessible.
Keep with you numbers for your travel agent, airline, hotel, rental car, and anyone else who might come in handy.
You may need to change your plans at the last minute, and this will help you do it with ease.