Don’t get discouraged over a cancelled flight just yet.
The best way to handle an off-schedule flight is to call the airline as you wait in line at the ticket desk. There’s a good chance you’ll reach a phone agent first. Equally as important, you won’t have to negotiate with the same frazzled agent who’s dealt with dozens of similarly disgruntled fliers. Larger crowds lead to more chaotic parking and drop-off situations and longer wait times at security checkpoints. Plan accordingly.
In general, airports are most crowded on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, as these days bear the brunt of business travel. Expect Fridays to get even busier in the summer months as recreational travel peaks. You’ll find the biggest crowds of the year on Thanksgiving Eve as well as the Sunday after it. And unsurprisingly, the busiest week to fly is the one that falls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. If your flight is overbooked, don’t accept the first voucher that comes your way. Airlines typically increase their offer until there are enough volunteers willing to give up their seats. If the airline bumps you involuntarily, insist on cash compensation instead of a voucher.
For infrequent flyers, it’s hard to justify the several-hundred-dollar annual fees that are associated with airline lounges. But if you’ve got a long layover, it might be worth it to purchase a daily pass. Amenities include everything from complimentary snacks and drinks to Wi-Fi and shower suites. Along with saving you valuable time at the airport, checking in to your flight ahead of time can earn you bonus miles and help you score a better seat. While a last-minute upgrade might seem like a good idea–especially if you often find yourself falling ill on flights–the seats in the middle of the plane are best for those with motion sickness. ‘A plane is like a seesaw. If you’re in the middle, you don’t move as much.
Because carry-on requirements vary by airline, it’s best to confirm space allotments and measure your bag before you pack. And if you stuff it to capacity, measure the suitcase again before you leave. While it’s great to subscribe to flight-status updates on your smartphone (sign up for these when you check in to your flight), don’t use them as your only source of information. Airport monitors are still your best bet for the most up-to-date information. Double check your gate before you get on the trolley that takes you to the other side of the facility. Bonne Voyagi 🙂
Article credit: Reader’s Digest
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