Haven’t Flown Lately? What to Know Before Boarding
Before boarding an airplane, make sure to follow some simple rules.
It’s a busy summer for airlines — before boarding, be ready for what’s in store.
Everything we’ve heard about flying on an airplane right now is true. It’s stressful. Before boarding, there are certain tips you should know to help make getting to your destination as enjoyable as it can be.
Follow these simple tips to make your flight less stressful.
Download the app for your airline
This will help speed things along to a certain degree. You can get your boarding pass, track your bags, see your incoming plane, change a flight to see if it’s been canceled. It definitely beats waiting in line to talk to an agent.
This can’t be stressed enough. Flying early is crucial. A whole day early if you can. Missing the whole reason why you are flying to begin with like a graduation, wedding, or even a funeral is not going to be worth having that extra day to get work done before the big trip. If you have to be somewhere, spend the extra money and fly early.
Get the first flight out
Morning flights do not cancel as often. Unfortunately, it means you might be waking up at 3 a.m. to get to the airport, but the stress level at the airport at that time is not nearly as bad as it gets later in the day. Plus, storms tend to build up later in the daytime hours, which means canceled flights. The lack of staff also causes delays, which increases as the day goes on. Morning flights are best to avoid the snowball effect of this issue. And if we haven’t convinced you enough that taking the early flights makes the most sense, flight crews cannot fly longer than 16 hours. It is actually illegal to do so. With airlines being short-staffed, the 16-hour threshold is reached sooner, and that means canceled flights, so again, fly early!
Bring a sweater, and for the love of all things holy, please brush your teeth, take a shower, do not wear perfume, and do not eat anything smelly. Sounds simple, but these tips can go a long way when you are sitting on the tarmac for hours. Also, bring headphones so you can tune out the stress around you. And one more thing, don’t drink too much while you are waiting to catch your flight. If you’re drunk, you won’t be allowed on the plane.
Get trip insurance
You may need to go into this trip with the knowledge that you might miss a reservation for a cruise or other connecting flight. If there was ever a time to get trip insurance, it is now. And, you may want to splurge a little and get the more expensive seats if you want to guarantee sitting with your family (or whoever you’re flying with). Third party websites do not always guarantee seats together. Plus when flights are full, the first people to be bumped are the ones who bought on third party websites.
Pack smart and schedule long layovers
It’s not fun to sit in an airport for three or more hours, but anything less at this time will be too risky with missing your connecting flight. The rule of thumb these days is three hours minimum. Remember to pack light — don’t be the one stuffing an oversized bag in the overhead compartment.
If your trip will be less than seven hours, the best option is to drive. If you must fly, remember to be nice. The staff is overworked, stressed, and they likely will not put up with someone yelling at them. It is best to go to the airport with the expectation that it will be a bit stressful on-board and before boarding, but just be thankful that you are in a position to be able to take a flight somewhere. It’s a privilege that not everyone can do.
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