Arrive on time, plan ahead, and book a lounge spot
They say that flying is the safest way to travel, but it can be a real headache ― especially around the holidays. Trying to find parking, checking in your bags and paying hefty fees, going through security, and then waiting at the gate only to realize that you’re at the wrong one. So many things can go wrong that you wonder why anyone flies at all. However, you don’t have to get frustrated with airports after all.
If you follow these tips from expert fliers, you’ll never sweat the airport again!
After traveling to the same cities multiple times, I make sure to know what each airport has to offer in case I have extra time there. For instance, Portland has a great little free theater with local short films.
Many airports have massage places. Midway has a free use yoga studio. Sitting around being bored is for suckers. (abeVgoda)
Ask the Professional
Pilot here, so that kinda counts. Here’s some insider tips:
There are two kinds of bags: those that get destroyed in cargo bins, and those that destroy other bags in cargo bins. Get the second kind of bag. Buy an aluminum-frame Luggage Works Stealth bag, or a Travel Pro. It’s what all crewmembers use for a reason.
The flight attendants have heard every single attempt from passengers to lie and cajole their way into first class. If you want better treatment and maybe an upgrade, bring a box full of truffles or chocolates, treat them like people, and be very nice to them. If there is any opening in a nicer seat, they just might hook it up. IF YOU DO get an upgrade, don’t boast about it to anyone – you could get the crew in trouble and they’ll never do that again. (PlaneShenaniganz)
All the Rewards
If you fly a lot, get a rewards credit card with that airline. After flying frequently for work for a couple years, I now have platinum memberships with different airlines. Which means I get free checked bags, priority boarding, access to the lounge in airports that has free food and booze, and best of all free upgrades to first class if there are open seats.
Not to mention all the free flights I’ve gotten from racking up points on the card. My company reimburses my flights, so I charge them to the card but get to keep all the points for personal use. (BPSteve)