How to Fly During the Holidays

Travelers – both novice as well as the weary will never recommend air travel during the holidays. Too many headaches will be in the offing like dealing with vacation crowds, unexpected flight delays, cancellations and what-not.

However, there’s no avoiding travel during holiday season, when you absolutely have to. One can certainly enjoy a nice travel experience during the holidays with some preparation. We share a few tips for an all-around positive flying experience this holiday season.

The Frequent Flier Program

It’s best that you enroll in the airline’s frequent flier program. The more points that you accumulate with any specific airline or hotel chain, the more perks you enjoy and the better treatment in general with personnel. This will hold even more true during the holidays, so be sure to have your frequent flier number connected to your flight in advance of departure. Even if you don’t have confirmed reservation, the loyalty program will enhance your priority.

Report Early

Americans can get hold of a global entry card that can speed up the process in the US and globally. Keep in mind that travelers leaving on Christmas day or returning on New Year’s Eve won’t have to deal with as many crowds, and also land better flight deals.

If you face long lines, take a moment to observe the gate agents and approach the one who seems the most friendly and helpful. If you can sport a friendly and appreciative attitude, the outcome will be worth it.

Your Seat Preference

Plan your seating arrangement in advance to avoid being allocated the worst seats. You can easily do this while booking and is especially recommended for international and long-haul flights.

Take Advantage of Oversold Flights

This can land you quite a bit of money to use on another vacation, only if you can be flexible with your timing. Flying on popular dates means that flights could be oversold. It that’s the case and if you get to the airport early, offer up your willingness to be bumped if the flight is overbooked. At times you may only have to wait for a few hours and you’ll end up with food vouchers or airline credit.

Be Prepared For Contingencies

Traveling during the holidays, especially in the winter brings increased risk of weather delays and cancellations. It’s best to carry a pair of underwear and a change of clothes with you in the event of your luggage getting lost. It’s also handy to take along some snacks.

Patience And Helpfulness

Helping others, especially first time travelers who are lost or flustered in security lines. You should reach out to help them – older people or those traveling with small children in particular. Spread the holiday spirit and cheer up others.

Behave with Respect

For all those who are enjoying their time off on a holiday, be sure to be thankful to flight attendants and others working at the airport. Also consider tipping well on holidays. Remember that waitresses and taxi drivers are all slogging away during the holidays so a considerate tip goes a long way to say thank you and encourage them to continue their good work.

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