Unless you haven’t found yourself in an airport recently or you have your Apple news notifications set to do not disturb, you know that flying is proving to be quite the challenge right now! It seems no airport, airline, or baggage carousel is exempt from disruptions these days. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you survive the journey to your final destination.
1. When possible, fly direct.
Even if that means driving to an airport a little further away, we promise it will be worth it! The more connections you have in your itinerary, the more chances there are for things to go awry.
2. Carry-on if you can!
Imagine an endless sea of duffel bags and rolling suitcases as far as the eye can see. That’s the scene at pretty much every major airport across the globe right now. If you can make it work, pack your things in a carry-on so your bag doesn’t end up in the hallways of LaGuardia for months to come.
3. If you must check a bag, bring all your essentials in a carry-on.
We get it, carrying-on is easier said than done. If you can’t avoid checking a bag, bring a small carry-on with all of your necessities. We suggest packing your medications, valuables, an extra change of clothes, and other must-haves in a bag small enough to fit snugly in the overhead bins.
4. Book long layovers!
We know this may sound crazy, but with the way things are going, you’ll want to have plenty of cushion in-between flights for unforeseen hiccups and delays. You don’t want your delayed flight to cause you to miss your connection or have you running through the airport Home Alone style to catch your next plane.
5. Arrange your flights through Avenue Two’s Air Desk.
Sometimes half the battle is finding the perfect route or the best seats. Luckily, Avenue Two has a team of experts ready to navigate the booking process so you don’t have to!
6. Purchase travel insurance.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it one million times: buy travel insurance! Missing a flight is bad enough; don’t add to your anxiety with the dread of impending Amex charges that come with rebooking or rescheduling.
7. Arrive a day early for special events.
We always keep this one in our rulebook, but it’s more important now than ever! Finding yourself 1 cancelled flight away from missing your best friend’s wedding or a loved one’s college graduation is never a good place to be. Plan on getting to your destination at least a day early to ensure any problems that arise don’t derail the big day.
8. Download the airline’s app.
And turn on notifications for your flight! The app is an easy way to stay up to date with any delays and make any changes to your itinerary if need be. Some apps even let you track your luggage so you can rest easy knowing your bags made it on the plane in one piece.
9. Be mindful of weather in your destination and connecting airports.
Flying to the Caribbean on the cusp of hurricane season? It’s very likely you will encounter delays. Be aware of seasonality and plan your itinerary with buffer room for weather-related events.
10. The staffing shortage is REAL!
It seems every industry is struggling in the wake of the labor crisis, and the air industry is no exception. Between strikes, hiring shortages, and the influx of travelers post pandemic, airport workers are stretched thin. Have all your ducks in a row before arriving to the airport so you can breeze through security with boarding passes in hand and passports at the ready!
11. We know we don’t have to tell you this, but be kind along the way.
As mentioned above, it’s not an easy time to work in air travel. From TSA officers to airline representatives, the smiling faces helping you get from point A to point B want to avoid delayed or cancelled flights just as much as you do! Show them a little humanity and compassion. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be rewarded with additional help finding your lost suitcase!
12. Sign up for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Clear.
In some airports security lines are surpassing 4 hour wait times. Get ahead as much as you can with programs like Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Clear. Check to see which programs are available at the airport from which you are departing.