GUEST REVIEW ARTICLE:
By Charles O’Ryan
With the increase in security and increase of people using today’s major airports, there is no getting around the fact that there will be hold ups and snags in your itinerary. It is extremely easy to become irritable, and for good reason, while at the airport. From long times, other rude passengers, missing luggage, or even getting held up in the random security checkpoints, there are numerous ways to make you go crazy. But you might be thinking to yourself, “What can I do about all this?” Well, sometimes there is nothing you can do and I’m not going to pretend I can get you in the airport and in your seat with a smile on your face in twenty minutes, but there are a few things you can do that will decrease your chances of running into problems.
The first step is getting to the airport early. One of the main reasons why travelers become so irritable and anxious is because they are cutting it short. Becoming stuck in an unusually long line at the check in desk when you have a half hour to be on the plane would drive a Nobel peace prize winner up the wall. Get to the airport at least an hour and half early for domestic flights and maybe even three hours early for international flights.
The second step is to take a morning flight. Many flight schedules reset in the early morning. If you book a flight before nine in the morning, there is a good chance it is the first flight of the day on that aircraft which means no delays are rolling over to affect your travel time. Often these flights will prove cheaper as well.
The third step is to do everything in your power not to fly during the peak hours. All airports have different rush hours, but as a general rule the morning rush starts after nine in the morning and runs to about noon. Then it starts up again from around four to seven in the afternoon. These rush hours only equate to longer lines, more people waiting, less seats, and more crowds.
Try to take non-stop flights. Taking a non-stop flight may be more expensive, but well worth it in the end. When you carry over several times and change airplanes, you have a higher risk of losing luggage or missing a connecting flight. With more stops you also run the increased risk of more weather related problems as you zigzag across the country.
The last step coincides with trying to take non-stop flights. If you cannot do so, at least book a connecting flight with plenty of time. As boring as an hour or two layover could be, the peace of mind you will gain by not missing a flight or feeling rushed is well worth it.
These steps are not a miracle fix to the airport headache. But they could really help you and those you travel with to make it to your destination with less speed bumps in your itinerary. Good Luck!
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