Okay, so maybe “fun” is stretching it since airports and planes are busiest during summer and the holiday season. This means long lines and delays at most major airports, as well as crowded flights. However, there are some things you can do to minimize your stress and inconvenience when flying during these times of year.
- Get fast-tracked. Enroll in TSA’s PreCheck program and skip the long lines. The cost is $85 and enrollment is good for five years. It is a bit of a hassle to get set up but if you fly much or absolutely hate security delays then it may be well worth it for you. www.tsa.gov.
- Load up on travel apps. FlightStats is a free app available for all Android and IOS devices. You will get instant alerts to update you on your flight. TripItPro is an app that helps you manage your itinerary. GateGuru will get you around more than 200 airports easily and includes all airport amenities and restaurant ratings. There are dozens more good apps, depending on your needs so be sure to check the app store before departing.
- Get the right seat. Check out www.SeatGuru.com before reserving any ticket.
- Be organized. Be sure to have your ID and ticket ready. Make sure you have the right size and number of carry on luggage. Be sure to pack toiletries according to TSA guidelines (3 oz. or less in clear quart-size bag). Be sure to check out the latest before packing as TSA does change their guidelines periodically. www.tsa.gov.
- Buy a lounge pass. For $25 – $50 (typically) you can buy a day pass to many airport lounges. Or if you’re in a rewards program your status may permit free access. In addition to scoring a nice quiet place to wait, you’ll also get free Wi-Fi, food, beverages, periodicals, and television. Some have showers and other amenities. You can join an independent club, such as Priority Club ($99 yearly membership), to gain access to more than 700 lounges worldwide. www.prioritypass.com.
Remember that all packages must be unwrapped and available for inspection. You may want to use a shipping service to send gifts to avoid airport security hassles. Be sure to dress comfortably and wash your hands often to avoid getting sick. Bring a good book or load up your kindle and try to sit back and relax!