Saturday, July 8, 2017

Expert Summer Air Travel Tips and What You Need to Know Before Your Flight

We've just returned from another flight with the kids and things went pretty smoothly for us but we are experienced travelers. For those that may not have quite so many stamps in their passports, this weekend we have tips from leading travel site, CheapOair’s travel expert, Tom Spagnola, on how travelers can start their vacation without a hassle.

Always collect your miles, folks. This trip was Business Class Upgrade!

1. Always select your seat when possible and consider “add ons” when booking

 When booking travel online, always review options such as upgrading to a better seat, pay for bags prior to check-in, and other choices that you may have to make your trip more comfortable. Now more than ever, airlines are offering “add-ons” through OTAs and other travel booking sites.

Sometimes you have to hustle!

2. Get to the airport early before your flight!

The peak summer season of airline travel (May-August) will have a record-number of passengers so it is critical to arrive to your airport about two hours prior to departure. This will give you time to park your car, which will be very full this summer, check your bags in what will most likely be very long lines this summer, be able to get through TSA and be at your gate 45 minutes prior to departure. There is always the risk of being ‘bumped’ on your flight if you check-in with 45 minutes of your departure, which could leave to a long day in the airport of trying to get on another flight.

Airlines have sky clubs for execs and frequent fliers that have a fancy (free) food buffet, snacks, drinks on the house, even full showers and resting rooms!

3. Always check-in early

Checking-in early by having your boarding pass early shows the airline that you are confirmed for your flight and will guarantee your seat other than the possibility of you getting to your gate too late before departure. One of the most important things you can do to prevent any issues for your upcoming flight would be to check-in online 24 hours prior to departure to get your boarding. Typically, airlines close the gate doors 15-minutes prior to departure so that they can have an on-time departure.

4. Review luggage requirements for the airline you are flying on before heading to the airport

Checked Luggage: Airlines are now charging for checking the ‘first bag’ and additional bags in 2016 as compared to last year when some of the airlines were allowing the first checked bag to be free. There is also typically a weight limit of 50lbs. for each checked bag. The cost is substantial should your luggage weigh more than the limit allowed.

Carry-On Luggage: Some airlines have also added a fee for carry-on luggage so be knowledgeable of what each airline has for restrictions of what could be a possible fee if you are have carry-on luggage.

5. Know the different regulations when traveling international, versus domestic

There are different government requirements for domestic travel vs. international travel:

Domestic travel typically allows for a valid driver’s license, passport, or government ID such as a TSA Pre-Check card, while International Travel will require a valid passport or a Global Entry Identification card (GOES). The GOES card will help you through US Customers exiting and entering the U.S. with expedited lines to help you get through Customs at a much faster rate than regular passengers.

6. Stay Connected!

Use latest mobile apps to help you keep track of your flight departure time, arrival times, possible delays or cancellations due to weather, and other possible unforeseen circumstances that may occur. Typically the airline website and online travel companies (like will send you notifications of your upcoming flight letting you know if your flight is on-time, delayed or cancelled, or other possible issues.

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