Airline Travel Tips

Since 9/11, air travel has become a huge pain in the neck. It now takes 2-3 times longer to get through security and onto a plane than it did before the war on terror. But even with so many ridiculous rules and regulations, there are things you can do to speed up the process.

Before You Fly

Checkmark-Iconplan to leave so you arrive at the airport at least 1 hour early

Xmark-Iconplan for transportation to and from airport

Checkmark-Iconcheck the weather at all airports along your route

Xmark-Icondouble check your departure time and flight number

Finding A Bargain

Checkmark-Iconask if your airline offers discount seats for children

Xmark-Iconlook for airline agents who work with “consolidators”

Checkmark-Iconcheck several nearby cities for the best fare

Xmark-Iconflying farther away and renting a car can save money

Checkmark-Iconif lower advertised fare, ask to be re-ticketed at lower price

Xmark-Iconshop for internet discounts and web-only fares

Checkmark-Icongo directly to airline websites or a comparison site like Kayak.com

Xmark-Iconbe flexible on flight time and day to get a better the deal

Checkmark-Iconplan for a Saturday stay-over for a better rate

Xmark-Icontravel mid-week and return mid-week for good fares

Getting Through Security Quickly

Checkmark-Iconwear shoes you can easily slide on and off — no laces or zippers

Xmark-Iconempty your pockets before you get in line

Checkmark-Iconput loose items and smaller purses in your carry-on

Xmark-Iconkeep toiletry bag near the top of your luggage for easy access

Checkmark-Iconremove jackets and hats and put in bag before getting in line

Making Reservations

Xmark-Iconschedule your flight early in the day to reduce potential delays

Checkmark-Iconavoid stops in areas that regularly experience bad weather

Xmark-Iconavoid sitting by lavatories or kitchen for quieter trip

Checkmark-Iconrequest seats near the front for easy disembarking

Xmark-Iconask for an aisle seat or one behind a bulkhead for more leg room

Checkmark-Iconseats at rear or in front of emergency exit don’t recline fully

Xmark-Iconemergency exit seats have more room but more responsibility

Not To Be Taken On A Plane

Checkmark-Iconknives, box cutters, straight razors, or blades of any kind

Xmark-Iconsharp point metal scissors or nail files

Checkmark-Iconknitting needles, ice picks, corkscrews, or other sharp items

Xmark-Iconguns (duh!)

Checkmark-Iconexplosive or flammable items

Xmark-Iconpressurized containers

Checkmark-Iconhousehold cleaners or toxic chemicals

Xmark-Iconliquids more than 3 oz. — bottles must be stored in a plastic bag

Checkmark-Iconanything with glycerine in it — unless you want to spend all day at security

Xmark-Iconwhen in doubt, transport items in your checked baggage

Protecting Your Interests

Checkmark-Iconbuy your ticket with a credit card in case you have problems

Xmark-Icontravel insurance will protect you if flight canceled or delayed

Checkmark-Iconread travel insurance policies carefully for exclusions

Xmark-Iconcheck your tickets for errors as soon as you receive them

Checkmark-Iconput your tickets in a safe place

Xmark-Icongive someone your itinerary — arrival, departure, flight

Checkmark-Iconplace your name, contact info, and itinerary in your luggage

Xmark-Iconminimize the number of plane changes to avoid lost luggage

Checkmark-Icontry not to check your bags if you don’t have to

Xmark-Iconlock your luggage before checking your bags

Checkmark-Iconbumped flight owes you compensation and a seat on next flight

Xmark-Iconif you are unhappy, complain to the airline

Checkmark-Iconyou may also complain to the Dept. Of Transportation

Traveling With Children

Xmark-Iconbring snacks in pre-packed ziploc bags

Checkmark-Icongive your infant a bottle to suck to reduce ear pressure

Xmark-Icon# bring a bag of toys, coloring books, etc. to keep kids occupied

Checkmark-Iconbring wet wipes, a rag, and a change of clothes for your kid

Xmark-Iconrequest an aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom

Checkmark-Icontry not to sit in a middle or window seat with a fidgety child

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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