Posted by: gardner310 | November 13, 2008

Holiday Travel Tips

As a member of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, we get information both for us and for our clients. Here is some timely advice for the holiday travel period.  It isn’t easy to make it hassle free but perhaps this will help make it a little better.  For more information go to http://www.travelsense.org.

Tips for air travel include:

·         Book your ticket ASAP. If you must book last minute, remember, you have options. The key to securing the best deal is flexibility in travel dates–ask your ASTA travel agent to check into holiday fares; the slow week between Christmas and New Year’s; or consider flying into an alternate airport andrenting a car. If your holiday vacation includes international travel, make sure you have a valid passport. Your travel agent can advise you on the new rules and how to apply.

·         Arrive early. Difficult airport parking, long lines at security checkpoints and the possibility of the airline overselling the flight and bumping passengers, should all be considered when deciding what time to arrive at the airport. Give yourself plenty of extra time. Need some incentive? Keep in mind that those who arrive earliest for an overbooked flight stand the greatest chance of staying onboard.

·         Keep a close eye on all your belongings. Just as airports are extremely crowded during the peak holiday period with travelers, they can also be fraught with thieves working the airports. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a close watch over tickets, wallets, purses, and other belongings at all times.

·         Avoid getting bumped. 1) Get an advance seat assignment. Passengers with seat assignments are typically only bumped if they arrive late and their seat assignment is released. 2) Check-in online. Most airlines allow you to do so within 24 hours of departure. Seat assignments that were not available at the time of ticketing may be available when checking in online. 3) Don’t be late. If all else fails, get to the airport early. Some airlines reserve a portion of their seat assignment inventory for airport check-in. If you are denied a seat assignment at check-in, put your name on the “standby” seat assignment list.

·         Remember 3-1-1. New regulations limit the amount of gels and liquids passengers can take through security in their carry-on luggage to travel-size toiletries of three (3) ounces or less that fit comfortably in one (1) quart-size, clear plastic zip-top bag and the one (1) bag per passenger must be placed in the screening bin.

·         Know your limits. Pack light and know baggage limits. Some airlines place special restrictions during the holidays and allow only one carry-on. Ship your gifts to your destination ahead of time. If you do not send your gifts ahead, do not wrap them before the flight. With safety a priority for all airlines, security personnel will need access to all items. Pack collapsible gift bags to be used as wrapping upon arrival.

 

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Responses

  1. Good tips. I would add avoiding travel on the peak days and confirming all reservations beforehand. As for avoiding bumping, well, there are many out there who feast on bumping opportunities during the holidays. So, if you want to get bumped, keep your eyes and ears open for the chance.

    Happy travels!

  2. Thanks, Charles, excellent additions to the list. A warning to the bump lovers, the airlines have reduced their holiday schedules so it may not be as easy as in the past.


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