Flying can be a trying experience for many leisure and business travelers. There are so many rules and regulations to keep track of, it is sometimes difficult to remember whether you are coming or going. However, by keeping a few important tips for flying in mind, your flight can go smooth whether you are a first time traveler or a frequent flyer.
The first and most crucial of the tips for flying is to arrive early. Over the years, there have been increased security measures causing serious delays while checking in and making your way through the airport. Many airlines recommend arriving approximately 90 minutes to 3 hours ahead of time. Always add at least a half an hour, or even an hour if you haven’t checked in ahead of time. By arriving early you virtually eliminate the chance of not having time to get through security or getting turned down for boarding at the gate because your airline of choice overbooked the flight and there are no seats left.
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Another one of the tips for flying is to pack lightly. If you are only traveling for a couple of days, try to pack all your belongings on a carry-on. The more bags you have to check means the more chance there is for the airline to lose your luggage. If you absolutely have to check luggage for a long trip, at least keep a change of clothes, your toothbrush and other personal hygiene items in your carry on. This will ensure that in the rare event that your bags turn up missing, you will not be stranded without necessities.
Technology has made it easy to proactive and prepared while you are flying, and many tips for flying involve technology. Most airlines use e-tickets, but if you have an option, always book an e-ticket or paperless ticket. Paperless ticketing allows you to check-in, print your boarding pass and confirm your seats before flying. Make sure to do as much as your carrier will allow prior to leaving for the airport. If you aren’t able to do anything prior to arriving at the airport, a paperless ticket will most likely still allow you to check in at a self-service kiosk, so you don’t have to stand in a long line at the ticket counter.
Finally, try to learn to go with the flow of things. Remember that you are on the airline’s schedule and not your own. Hopefully it works out that they are the same, but there are many times that you may be delayed because of weather or a mechanical problem. It is not productive to scream at the gate agent or their supervisor. The only thing you will accomplish by getting upset over things that you can’t control is raising your blood pressure and creating unneeded stress for yourself.