Summer Flying Guide: How to Cope with Record Crowd
Flying during the vacation days in a packed summer season is truly a daunting task especially when somebody is not a frequent flyer and is unaware of the airline nuances.
With the economy in buoyancy, everybody wants to take advantage of cheaper summer deals says a VP at American Airline.
American airline recently announced that they expect 2.68 million passengers to fly with them per day. This is a new record high with a percentage increase of 3.7 than last year. TSA Officials are typically scanning 2.2 to 2.3 million passengers and predict a record high crowd this summer with an unrelenting situation till 30th June 18’.
But fall outs of booking a economical airfare are multiple. Cheaper middle seats with no leg room that cannot be stretched and traveling without any snack is hardly a great idea that makes for an ideal travel plan.
Long lines, full parking lots and hours of wait at the check-in counters require patience and that in plenty.
Here are some tried and tested tips with few new wrinkles to try out this summer to escape from the jittery claustrophobic record crowd.
You get what you pay for:
If you value comfort over price than be wary of the No-frill fare of Basic Economy as it has lots of perks slashed. A passenger who chooses this plan won’t be able to assign seats in advance. Airlines like American and United have restricted carry-on baggage to fit underneath the seat else it will be treated as a regular checked bag and would attract a fee of $25. For those airlines that allow for overhead bin storage, there is no guarantee that these passengers made to board last will get any space overhead.
Infrequent travelers will be stark faced on finding these changes, so it’s better to double check the pack to avoid surprises.
Arrive early and Check for the seats in advance:
With the economy in a growth mode and many airports accommodating new flights, staffing at the ticket counter and ticket checkpoints are left to handle a bigger influx of passengers as their capacity hasn’t increased accordingly. Check with the respective airport about the ideal time to arrive.
Items like laptops, liquids, some powders and electronic items must be placed separately to go through the screening checkpoint. Most liquids are prohibited in carry-ons unless in containers of 3.4 ounces held in clear bags. The only liquid item allowed are medical related; childcare products are given an exception, therefore, it’s important to pack them in a way its easy to slip in and out. Make it a point to keep valuables, fragile items and medical emergency kit in a carry-on bag. In case your bag is big enough to be included in a checked bag instead of a carry on at the last moment then it will be easy to remove these items.
Check for flight schedule and weather:
Thunderstorms are not uncommon during summer flights. Watch the weather 72 hours prior to the flight to avoid any unexpected upheaval. Every carrier has an online schedule checker that lets you tap on to the flight arrival timing. The sooner you know about the cancellations and delays, the better it is in taking up fast measures with the airline.
In case of canceled and delayed flights:
In the event of cancellation or delayed flight, you need to book a new flight ASAP. People flock the reservation desk straight off to ask for help but in case you keep the airline helpline number handy, the perfect way is to call them instead of waiting in a long queue.
Keep your phone or laptop handy as airline Apps are a great way to choose a new flight in case of the so-called “irregular” operations. This way you can snag a ticket faster.
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry:
Rely on mobile boarding pass instead of scooting for a printer at the airport or visiting an airport kiosk.
Apart from that TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are a great breather for frequent flyers.
Going through a lengthy and tedious security line isn’t, after all, anyone’s idea of an ideal time that often strips half of your clothes and starts digging through pockets and carry bag. Enroll for TSA PreChecks in advance for expedited security. A Global Entry entitles you all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus allows for an expedited US customs screening for international travelers entering the US. Travelers are often whisked through a litter checkpoint and they don’t have to remove belts, shoes, and jacket.
Carry the right stuff to make yourself comfortable:
Economy seats aren’t all that comfortable, to say the least, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel stiff as a board.
Carry a U shaped or a J shaped pillow for support, some comfy lower and floaters to change into, a great noise cancellation headphones, download stuff from Netflix or you can carry a book to read you’ve been wanting to finish since long. The idea is to make yourself comfortable with amenities airline cutback on economy flying.