Travelling domestically and internationally can be stressful, however, be sure to prepare prior to your departure. There are many resources available to consumers, so please utilize all the tools available at your disposal. I will share with you some of the tips and tricks that I am privy to reduce your anxiety prior to and during travelling domestically and internationally. Use common sense and the below tips will help you to have a smoother flight experience.
- One week before leaving on your trip, ensure you have a transportation plan. Confirm your reservation or ride to the airport 2 days prior to departure and ensure you have enough room in the vehicle to transport passengers and all luggage. Be sure to have a back-up plan if need be, Uber, Lyft, Taxi, and the Airport Shuttle are all viable options of transportation to the airport. Remember (Uber, Lyft, Taxi, and the Airport Shuttle) can be scheduled in advance, don’t wait until the day of departure.
- Be sure when packing you can easily function with the baggage you plan to take on your trip. A simple walk around the house, up and down the stairs, or even in and out of the house can simulate maneuvering through the airport. If you find the logistics of this difficult, you may want to rethink the belongings you plan to take.
- Ensure any liquids larger than 3.4 ounces are in your checked baggage. If you use Vaseline it is considered a liquid and the size rule applies.
- When travelling, especially abroad take a photo or have a copy of your passport with you. It may come in handy if your passport is lost or stolen.
- You may check-in to your flight (domestic or international) 24 hours prior to departure either online or through the airline’s app.
- Arrive to the airport 2 hours prior to departure for a domestic flight and 3 hours prior to departure for an international flight.
- Skycaps are a great resource, they often wait near the curb and can assist you with excessive baggage or if you have members of your party who may be disabled or wheel chair bound. Remember most skycaps also can check-in passengers for their flights allowing you to skip the lines at the counter. Don’t forget to tip skycaps!
- Once you arrive to the airport you can check yourself in at one of the available kiosks, be sure to have valid identification:
- Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- Passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- Merchant Mariner Credential
- Once you check your baggage at the counter, make sure your boarding pass is correct and you know the gate your flight will depart from.
- If you have plenty of time before your flight this is the best time to grab a bite to eat (especially for a domestic flight), purchase items for the flight or purchase gifts for friends and/or loved ones.
- Remember if you have any liquids larger than 3.4 ounces you will be required to dispose of them prior to going through the security checkpoint.
- When you arrive at the TSA checkpoint, please be sure have your valid identification and boarding pass available. If you find you cannot produce your valid identification (for a domestic flight), speak to a TSA they may be able to complete an identity verification and may collect information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If confirmed you may be allowed to enter the checkpoint. Note: you may be subject to additional screening to include a pat down and screening of carry-on items. International flights always require a passport and/or a visa for departure. If your passport is lost or stolen contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
- Once you get through security, you may purchase any size liquids you want.
- After you arrive at your gate, you may upgrade your ticket with an agent if you are a Loyalty Program member.
When you finally sit down in the aircraft, get comfort, relax, and enjoy your flight.
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