Holiday Travel Tips
Lisa Thompson, CTC
What can go wrong does seem to go wrong at the worst possible
time. Try to use these tips to avoid ruining your holiday. Our travel tips are
not in order of importance; they should be taken into consideration as they
pertain to your trip. We always appreciate suggestions from our readers. If we
have forgotten a good tip or if you've got one that has been especially useful
to you, please let us know. You'll
be acknowledged if you request it.
- Reconfirm you flight schedule two weeks prior to
departure and thenagain 24 hours prior to departure. When you reconfirm,
you should also reconfirm your seat assignment. Make sure that the airline has
a phone number to contact you on the day of departure if the need arises.
- The airline can change or cancel your flight numbers, time,
plane type or routing at any time. If you know ahead of time, you can try to
circumvent the inconvenience that may be encountered. In some cases you may be
able to change to a more convenient flight. If the airline has changed or
cancelled your flight and rescheduled you on a flight you do not like, ask them
to reconfirm you on a schedule that meets your needs.
- Try to always take non-stop flights
- In many instances we cannot always travel to cities that have
non-stop flights. For instance, I have traveled many times in the past from Los
Angles to Boise Idaho. I know that if I schedule my connecting flight too close
to my scheduled arrival time, there is going to be a good change of my missing
my connection. I also worry about what is going to happen to my luggage if I
miss my connection . To circumvent this I usually give myself at least a two
hour connection interval at my connecting city. Technically, you have up to a 4
hour time limit to make your connection before the airlines will charge you an
additional fee for a stop over. Ask your travel consultant or the airline
reservation agent for a longer lay over. (By giving myself more time, I can
relax and begin to enjoy my holiday instead of being stressed by
close-to-impossible connection intervals.)
- Christmas Presents: Send them another way rather
than carrying them on the plane or as baggage. Take your choice: UPS, the U.S.
Mail, Federal Express or your other favorite carrier..
- Not having your presents on Christmas morning because of a
baggage mix-up can ruin your holiday season. Just don't take a chance.
- Arrive very early at the airport.
- You should know your city. If you are in Medford, Oregon you
will not have to arrive as early as if you are in New York and are going to fly
out of JFK. Just arrive early and the earlier the better. Remember, there may
be abnormal weather, heavy traffic and many, many more people than normal to
contend with at the airport.
- Don't pack too much. Take the exact amount of
baggage (or less) that the airline will allow. Call the airline and ask them
exactly how much (number of pieces and weights) you can take.
- If you want to take more baggage and pay the additional fee,
call the airline to make sure they will take additional luggage. In many cases
during the holidays the airlines will refuse to take additional luggage. Don't
be disappointed; call and double check first. When you do call, get the name of
the agent, the time and the city you phoned and the phone number of the agent
you are speaking to. If the agent doesn't want to give you his or her name,
(for security reasons or maybe just because they are having a bad day), then
ask for his/her agent sign.
- Don't take your eyes off your luggage.
- If you are in a line and put down your carry-on luggage, you
might want to stand over it or at the least have it rest against your
- At the carousel, take your suitcases or boxes off
- If you can't reach through the throng of humanity then - to be
prudent - follow your luggage around the carousel until you can remove it. The
following true horror story should serve to make the point: In a large
international airport during off peak travel a very sophisticated, experienced
traveling couple were at the carousel waiting for their luggage. They saw their
luggage come down the chute. Unfortunately, there was a hoard of people in
front of them. Instead of pushing forward to retrieve their luggage, they
politely held back and positioned themselves to pick up their luggage as it
came around on the next pass. But by the time the luggage came around again,
one of their pieces had been stolen never to be found again. Needless to say,
the airlines and their personal insurance did not cover the full loss. Six
months later a ring of luggage thieves was uncovered working this particular
airport - a small consolation to these two travelers.
Happy Holiday Traveling!
© 1997 Lisa Thompson, CTC
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