Monday, November 19, 2007

ATA's 3 'Be's' for smooth airline travel this week

The busiest travel week of the year is in progress. Here are some great travel tips from the American Travelers Association:

Be Early
- Be Early Rule #1 - you can never be too early for your flight.
- Be Early Rule #2 - Allowing extra time is often the only thing that gives you the ability to solve many airline delay problems.
- Be Early Rule #4 - Arrive early at the departure gate and board the aircraft as early as possible to help to avoid being bumped from your flight (unless you want to be! =) )
Be Informed
- Be Informed About Your Flight and Use Advance, Online Check-in to Obtain your Boarding Pass
- Confirm all of your flights well before departure day either online or through the airline's toll-free telephone numbers.
- Check-in and print boarding passes online at least 24 hours before departure.
- Confirm the actual departure time of all of your flights: before leaving for the airport; when you get to the airport; and when you are waiting at the airport. Things change.
- Know the TSA 3-3-1 Rule for liquids and gels in carry-on bags
- 3-ounce containers in 1 quart-sized zip-top bag with only 1 zip-top bag per passenger.
Be Prepared to
- Use Self service check-in kiosks to obtain boarding passes, obtain or change seats,
and at some airports to check bags.
- Go directly to the security checkpoint if you have a boarding pass and no bags to check.
- Confirm that all checked bags have bag tags on the outside and inside that contain your name, address, e-mail address, home phone number, cell phone number, destination phone number, and flight information.
- Be Prepared for the Security Check Point w/ ID and boarding pass in hand
- Be Prepared for Long Lines and Delays from the Time you Arrive at the Airport Until You Get on the Plane.
- Be prepared for: lines on the roads into the airport; lines to get into the parking lots; lines at the check-in counter; lines at the security checkpoint; lines to get food and drinks; lines at the
Starbucks; and lines at the gate.
- Be prepared to be self sufficient during flight delays on the aircraft, by bringing food and snacks with you from home and buying drinks after passing through the security checkpoint.
- Be prepared to call the toll-free number of your airline if your flight is cancelled or delayed, to re-accommodate yourself on an earlier or later flight. Do this in addition to standing in line with
passengers waiting to be accommodated, until you are re-accommodated
on the phone or at the desk.
-Be Ready to Have a Good Flight and a Happy Holiday!