How to Avoid Frustration at the Airport
From your Pittsburgh, PA Guide
Airline travel, especially during the busy holiday seasons, doesn't have to be a nightmare. While it is nearly impossible to avoid the mad travel rush altogether, here are some things you can do to make your holiday travels less stressful.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Get prepared for your flight with a good night's sleep and by eating a light meal before your trip. Drink plenty of water or juice before and during flight to prevent dehydration.
- Leave for the airport early enough to allow extra time for potential airport traffic, parking delays and longer luggage check-in and security screening lines.
- Plan to arrive at the airport at least one hour before your flight is scheduled to leave; two hours for international travel.
- Travel with valid photo identification and keep it with you at all times. This includes driver's licenses, passports or official state ID's. Some airports will not accept college IDs as valid identification.
- Make sure that all checked and carry-on bags are properly tagged, inside and outside, with the ticketed passenger's name, address and phone number. Free identification tags are available at airport ticket counters.
- Always carry medicine, cash, jewelry, passports, visas, business papers and other valuables, such as cameras, on-board with you.
- Do not leave your luggage unattended or with strangers.
- Do not pack hazardous materials, such as matches, lighters or flammable liquids in your luggage.
- Always bring something along to keep you occupied (a book, game, etc). Also, don't forget a few snacks, especially if you are traveling with kids.
- Be aware that jokes regarding security issues, such as bombs, are no laughing matter and will be taken seriously. In the past, arrests have been made in response to these types of comments.
- If you really need to be somewhere, don't book your tickets on the last flight of the day. If the flight is cancelled, you will have no alternatives.
- If you know there will be inclement weather at your departure or destination city, it's a good idea to call your airline's reservations center and/or check their Web site for the status of your flight(s).
- If you are traveling bearing gifts, be aware that they may need to be unwrapped to go through security. This especially holds true for many electronic devices, as well as tools and other questionable objects.
- If you are playing chauffeur for friends or family, pick them up at the departure level and/or drop them off at baggage claim. It may seem backward, but it reduces the chance you will become stuck in traffic, especially at peak times.
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