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Tag: Airports

Air Travel Etiquette to Always Practice

Air travel has become a much less luxurious means of transportation since the mid 20th century, and many find it quite unpleasant today. More and more airlines are beginning to ditch the amenities that many people look forward to in order to save costs, but that does not mean that the flights are becoming cheaper or shorter. With that said, frustrations can begin to boil on a long, crowded flight, but it is always important to practice civility nonetheless. Here are a few basic etiquette rules to follow when flying.

Leave Room in the Overhead Bin

Just because an overhead bin is exactly that (right over your head) does not mean that it is for you and you alone. With the number of frequent flyers boarding planes today, they can get crowded, and thus need as much space as possible to accommodate their luggage. If you have more than one carry-on item, put the smaller bag at your feet to save overhead room.

Respect the Flight Attendants

This should go without saying, but many of the requests made by flight attendants upon taking off and landing may frustrate some flyers. For example, having to turn off electronics may inconvenience business travelers trying to get work done, but taking this out on the stewardesses is highly unprofessional. The only thing a commotion accomplishes is a delayed takeoff, aggravating all those around you.

Respect Other Flyers’ Space

Going off of the notion that flights are becoming more crowded, room is becoming more scarce. Be aware of the room that you are taking up, and if your seat reclines, do so respectfully. Warn the flyer behind you or ask if they’d be okay with you reclining beforehand. Similarly arm rests are known to be a source of confrontation with many travelers fighting over who has the right to which one. Again, be respectful. Use only one (depending on your seat location), and mind others’ personal space.

Control Your Children

A child on a plane is almost symbolic at this point. If you are flying with your kids, keep them under control. A loud child running about the cabin is just another source of stress for flyers trying to get through their flight. Talk to your children before boarding and explain the importance of being respectful, quiet, and polite. For passengers without children who may need to voice their opinions in the event of an out-of-control child, confront the parent with courtesy and ask them if they could take control.

Follow Standard Disembarking Procedures

This is perhaps the most frustrating part of flying. Many travelers are eager to get off the plane as quickly as possible, but there are standard disembarking procedures that must be followed. Rows are exited starting with the first, going back to the last. Cutting off anyone before your row is exiting will only delay the process, and frustrate flyers even more.

How to Quickly Navigate through Airport Security

Though traveling can be and often is an extremely enjoyable experience, the preparation beforehand is not. More specifically, maneuvering through airport security.

This is perhaps the most dreaded part of a vacation. Airports, though not all bad, can be complex, frustrating mazes that seem to only delay your vacation time. There are several factors that can make this worse: larger crowds, stricter screening procedures, and fewer TSA agents assisting travelers throughout the process. Because of this, it’s rare that a trip through the airport will be a quick one. However, there are steps you can take to better your chances for a smoother, faster experience.

Look into pre-check programs

There are plenty of apps and programs that can assist in skipping certain lines. Enrolling in PreCheck or Global Entry is as simple as paying a small fee (typically $85-$100 or so for five years) and verifying your identity. Once you are a member, shorter lines in TSA await. It is important to note that not all airports accept these however, so choose this option carefully.

Know when the best time to fly is

The day of the week and time of day play an enormous role in determining just how crowded the airport may be. Think about traditional rush hour times. Fridays between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. tend to be the busiest both on the road and in airports. This is especially common during the summer months, and, obviously, holidays. Try booking outside of the 4-8 p.m. window. If your travel plans are flexible, consider flying through smaller airports rather than JFK International or LAX as well. This page has a great list of airport times according to traffic and average wait time.

Always print your boarding pass beforehand

This seems like a no-brainer for experienced travelers, but having your boarding pass printed before you reach the airport translates to one less line you have to stand in. Should you have it sent to your email, you can even save a screenshot of it for mobile use. Being this prepared upon arriving cuts down on time spent within the airport. You’ll find your gate faster, and thus have time to either grab a bite to eat or simply relax, basking in the joy of being one of the first flyers to arrive.

Dress accordingly

This is a simple strategy that many travelers may already be doing unbeknownst to them. Planning your wardrobe before a flight is worth putting some thought into. Consider the fact that you will have to take off your shoes and any metal clothing items before entering your gate for security purposes. Pack any watches or jewelry you wear to avoid the tedious task of removing it when passing through metal detectors. With that said, pack any gear you are bringing along strategically as well. Laptops and other electronic devices should be stored in cases or sleeves that are easily transported through conveyor belts.

How to Handle Delayed or Canceled Flights

With the holidays just around the corner, the number of people flying to and from their desired destinations is sure to skyrocket. Larger crowds and more frequent flights are typically prepared for by airlines, but difficulties tend to arise regardless. Flight delays and cancellations are not too uncommon, so it’s best to ready yourself beforehand, especially with inclement weather forthcoming.

Planning for a flight delay or cancellation is not exactly ideal, and it can be hard to predict. But, it is better to be safe than sorry. Obviously, the more important the flight, the more careful you’ll want to be. Freebird is a revolutionary new app for travelers of all experience that allows you to book a new flight in the event of a cancellation or delay, without having to wait in line for a new ticket.

Many times, travelers are owed compensation when their flights are canceled, so understanding your rights and what you are entitled to is the next step in ensuring a smooth (if possible) cancellation. The U.S. Department of Transportation has a great library of resources for those unaware of their traveling rights. Refunds, acts of discrimination, lost baggage, and much more are all clearly outlined, allowing you to enter the airport with a plethora of knowledge.

Flight vouchers can be deceptively tempting, as they often come with a decent amount of limitations. The window of time in which they are valid is often very short and during inopportune dates of the year. Most are also non-refundable, so it is wise to weigh the odds. Would it be better to deny the voucher and wait for your delayed flight, or accept it and risk losing money or time?

Should accepting the cancellation be your only option, book a nearby hotel yourself as soon as possible. Many airlines offer to do this for you, but often cause long lines of waiting passengers, leaving you with little to no options in the surrounding lodgings. First class passengers and frequent fliers are often the demographic to be accommodated first, so taking care of this yourself is much safer than waiting.

If all else fails and waiting out your delayed flight is the only option, enjoy your time with every form of entertainment that that airport may offer. Have a meal or drinks at the nearest lounge. Or, if you’ve packed accordingly, get some work done that you may not have been able to access while on the plane. Bringing a laptop and charger is a perfect way to prepare for an extended period of waiting time.

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