Take Your Flight Into Your Own Hands

“Take Your Flight Into Your Own Hands”
by Michael Aaron Gallagher

“Man wasn’t born with wings, so don’t expect him to know how to fly.”

If you’ve traveled lately, you know that flying can be a cumbersome process. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just because you’ve paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get to your final destination, don’t depend on the airline to smoothly get you where you need to go.

You have to take charge of your trip by taking your flight into your own hands.

Tips for Air Travelers

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your flying experience.

Double Check Your Reservation – Even though you may have scheduled the flight over the telephone, it may not be confirmed.

Pack Your Own Food – Don’t count on the airline to provide you with food and drinks during your flight. If you experience turbulence, the flight attendants may not serve you.

Get There Early – Leave plenty of time to go through airport security. If you arrive early, you can check in and pass through security screenings at your own leisure.

Check with Customer Service – When an unexpected delay occurs, it’s best to check on the status of your flight. Don’t wait for an announcement over the loudspeaker. I once had a flight that was cancelled because of severe weather, and it still showed up on the outbound list of flights. By the time I found out that the flight was cancelled (after most of the airport staff had already left for the evening) there was no way to book a hotel room, and I spent the night in the airport terminal.

Put A Sticker On Your Bag – If you’re like me, you probably have a black suitcase and a black duffel bag. Trying to quickly identify your bags and get on your way can be challenging, especially when other travelers pick up your bags to inspect them. Not only is it smart to put identification inside your bag to avoid losing them, but it’s also a good idea to put something on the outside that makes it unique. Having a small bumper sticker (with a message of your choice) or an advertisement neatly pasted on your luggage can save you time at the airport, and give you a chance to show off your own unique personality.

Take Advantage of the Complimentary Gifts – Find out what your carrier gives to its travelers. There may be more than just food and drinks for you to enjoy.

Expect Delays – Although we have one of the most sophisticated air travel systems in the world, there are just too many things that can result in delays. If you have a lay-over, you might want to consider making it longer. On my recent flight, I left a few hours in between my flights. When the second flight was delayed, other passengers were missing their connection and being forced to reschedule, while I was able to have dinner, and still make it to my destination early.

Let the Airline Know – If there’s a problem or concern, give the airline a chance to make it right. In my case, I received a $300 voucher which all but paid for my next flight.

If you do have a problem with your flight or the service you received and the airline is not addressing the issue satisfactorily, you can contact the U.S. Department of Transportation at http://www.dot.gov/.

Do you have any tips for air travelers? Feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

“Take Your Flight Into Your Own Hands”
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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