09 Jan 10 Hassle-Free Air Travel tips you need to know
Travel is full of major choices like which country to visit, how much to spend, when to stop waiting and finally make all-important airfare purchase.
Many of us love travelling. But when we dream of going to exotic locations, our dreams do not include the hassle of dealing with airports.
But beyond the big picture, there are things which can make a trip easier and less stressful.
But if you are still puzzled as to what can be carried in hand baggage or how long you will be standing in line, then simply go through the 10 up-to-date nuggets of airline travel advice.
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- If you can, take it with you:
More airlines are lowering the weight limit on checked baggage (the maximum used to be 100 pounds per bag; now it is 50).
“Weigh your luggage prior to time, and if necessary, put the content in two bags weighing 49 pounds each”. Obviously, carry-ons are still your best bet.
- Update your Ids:
Due to stricter national security rules, travellers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada should furnish a passport to re-enter the United States.
To obtain a passport, you can download and mail in the required paperwork available at the State Department’s website.
Also, depending on where you are headed, you may require a business visa. You can visit the website to determine which credentials you will need to have before booking your trip.
- Minimize your personal grooming routine:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has eased its recent ban on gels, liquids, and aerosols.
It is also reported that you cannot bring duplicates of your three-ounce toiletries. For example, if you bring three small tubes of toothpaste in the plastic bag, airport security will take away two of them.
When you arrive at your destination, one airport-hassle-free option is to leave your toiletry kit at home and plan on purchasing essentials.
- Stay footloose and fancy-free:
Since you are required to remove your shoes at nearly every airport security checkpoint, you will save time by putting on a pair of slip-ons, rather than shoes with buckles or laces.
As for fashion accessories like belts, watches and jewellery, check your wardrobe and pockets before passing through metal detectors.
The moment you set off an alarm, airport screeners automatically accompany you to a secondary inspection, which involves a carry-on luggage check & a thorough body frisking.
- Do not forget your doctor’s note:
You are still allowed to bring all prescription, medications & even injectable syringes, but provided there is an authentic professional prescription label on the container or within a written document.
If you are female and recently changed your name due to marriage, bring your marriage certificate as well.
- Drink up, lawfully:
You can still bring a water bottle, a cup of coffee, or a juice on board, but it should be purchased in the secure boarding area, past the airline’s security checkpoint.
Beverages obtained outside this boundary will not be allowed on board and should be consumed before boarding.
- Get wired for the skyways:
“Korean and Virgin Atlantic airlines initially banned their usage, but the defective ones are not in circulation now”.
Mobile phones are the only tech devices prohibited in flight. Blackberries, MP3 players, iPods and laptops are all allowed, except for the first fifteen minutes of flight time.
- Remember: Timing is everything:
While most airlines continue to advise arriving at least two hours before departure, it really depends on which airport you use.
A new TSA website tool will help you calculate just how far in advance you may need to arrive at the airport for your specific travel date, airline & flight time.
Be particularly careful when you are travelling during holidays. “If you are flying out of a major city, try to depart from one of the area’s alternate airports.”
- Devise a Plan B:
While travelling out of the country, leave behind a copy of your passport, itinerary, and health insurance card so that you can be easily contacted during an overseas emergency.
Registration will make your presence and location known. It is important if evacuation becomes necessary.
- Take control of your (air travel) destiny:
Air carriers are constantly making adjustments to existing ticketing policies so as to house passengers who want to adjust their plans.
Therefore you can pick the seat you want to sit in, compare hotels side by side, or decide whether to make a stopover or not.
Whether you are running late or have a change of plans, you can quickly cancel or void your travel transaction online, without having to contact an agent by phone.
You may plan to fly to your next holiday destination, but are you looking forward to it?
- Plan ahead
- Personalise your luggage
- Dress comfortably
- Arrive on time
- Bring entertainment
- Pack a few extras
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