Air Travel Tips

Sandy Mitchell
A Delta Jet

Keep in mind a few air travel tips can go a long way to making your flight go smoothly. Heeding the latest air travel restrictions, arriving at the airport early, and making sure that your checked and carry-on baggage all have luggage tags are just some of the things you can do to make sure that your flight is stress-free. Other air travel tips include:

Making Sense of Air Travel Restrictions

One of the results of the events of 9/11 is increased security at American airports. No longer are family and friends allowed to meet you at the gate and travelers are screened thoroughly before entering the gate area.

In order to make this process as smooth as possible, it is wise to read through the current restrictions at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site. Most of these restrictions are obvious, such as no knives or firearms, but some, such as no lighters or matches, may not have occurred to you.

It is also essential to allow enough time prior to your flight for the security process. For domestic flights, plan on arriving at least one and a half hours prior to departure. For international flights, arrive two hours before flight time.

Seat Assignments

Your seat on the airplane can be the difference between a relaxing flight and an ordeal. Although the flying public is rather divided between preferring window seats or aisle seats, few - if any - travelers want to be stuck in a middle seat. Undesirable, also, are those noisy seats in the back of the plane and the seats in front of the exit rows that don't recline.

The best way to get good seat assignments is to make your reservation as early as possible and to make sure that your travel agent or airline reservationist confirms your individual seats on the plane. If you're making your reservation online, many of the airlines Web sites allow you to view a map of the plane and select your seats. If no such map is offered, call the airline once you have confirmed your flights.

Special Services

Most airlines offer a variety of special services, such as wheelchair assistance for those that have trouble navigating the long airport corridors and special meals, such as diabetic or kosher options. These services must be confirmed well in advance of departure. It's best to request them at the time you make your flight reservations.

Other Air Travel Tips

Other air travel tips to keep in mind include:

  • Luggage Tags: Airlines require that all luggage must be tagged with your name and address. If you are concerned about security, use your office address instead of your home address.
  • Limit Carry-on Luggage: Airlines have become much more strict about the number and size of carry-on luggage in the last few years. Most limit passengers to one item that is small enough to be stowed under the seat in front of you. In addition, you may carry a purse or a briefcase and a jacket or coat.


Air Travel Tips