By planning ahead during the flight and before you arrive to your destination you can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your stay. Getting picked up from the airport quickly, securing some food in a jiffy, or simply keeping track of your stuff while on the plane all require a bit of thinking ahead. Here are some tips from our frequent fliers to help you out:
Call for help
If you’ve missed a connection, don’t stand in line to rebook with an agent at the gate. Get on your cell phone instead and call the airline’s customer service number, which you’ve saved before leaving on your trip. It’s quite likely that you’ll get hold of someone quicker, which gives you a better chance to get a seat on the next flight out. And, the people on the phone don’t have a long line of irate customers in front of them, so they’re not as stressed out and will probably be better able to help.
Find and use the cell phone airport parking lots
The parking lots designated as "cell phone lots" are both free to use and helpful in getting your ride at the airport. At these airport parking lots, a driver is able to wait for free for up to 30 minutes. Currently, there are about 50 across US airports, and to get a complete list, check online at Airports Council International website at www.aci-na.org.
These parking lots cut down on congestion outside the arrival halls, and you can call your ride as soon as you’ve picked up your bags and it’ll be waiting.
Kids on the plane
It’s actually safer for your child to use a car seat when flying, as it puts them in a better position for the seat belt and the seat back in front. And, as a bonus, kids stay calmer as they’re already used to sitting in them during a car ride. You can invest in a car seat / stroller combination for this, where the seat slides right out of the stroller part. You can then check the stroller in at the gate and take the seat on board with you.
Get food in a jiffy
You’ve just landed at your destination. It’s late. You’re starving. To make sure you’ll have dinner waiting for you in your hotel room, call up the hotel and order room service, or a seat in the hotel restaurant, from the road. This way, you’ll probably save yourself a 30 minutes of staying hungry.
Put your in flight necessities in a small bag
Digging through your bag looking for the paper back, iPod, and snacks isn’t just tricky for you, it can hold up the entire plane while you’re blocking the aisle. Pack your necessities in a small bag inside your carry on before leaving home. Then you can just grab it quickly when you get on the plane, toss it on the seat, and stow your carry on luggage without holding anyone up.
Stow your your carry on near your seat
While it’s quite tempting to put your carry on suitcase in the first compartment you see, it will actually slow down others both on boarding and deplaning. It will cause others to have to walk towards the back of the plane to find their bag, as the space near their seat was taken, causing a traffic jam. And, you’ll have to stop and grab your bag when getting off, thus holding up everyone behind you while doing so. To stop this happening, board early and put your bag as close to your seat as possible.
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