Bearing Gifts We Traverse Afar

December 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

After spending all but 3 days of November traveling around the world to six cities and enjoying the hospitality of airports in Charlotte; Atlanta; Brussels; Montpellier, France; Frankfurt, Germany; Jackson, MS; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Albuquerque and Columbus, MS; it occurred to me that it might be helpful at this holiday time to share some up-to-date airline travel tips from one of our favorite clients, Golden Triangle Regional Airport.
In early November TSA adjusted their screening procedures to include new equipment at the larger airports and enhanced “pat down” procedures for those who require additional screening (ye-ha!). At smaller airports the equipment is the same and the pat down procedures affect a smaller number of travelers.
Arrive in plenty of time to go through screening. One hour is enough at small airports, but allow much more time at the larger airports. Download the new TSA app now — My TSA.
Besides the time for security screening, baggage check is cut off 30-45 minutes prior to departure depending on the size of the airport, and the gate closes 10 minutes prior to departure.
Consider booking early morning flights. They normally have a better on-time record, and there are more options if the flights get delayed.
Use the Internet. From ticketing to check-in to checking bags, airlines generally offer reduced rates if you do as much as you can via the Internet.
Pick the right seat. Most airlines allow you to select a seat well in advance, so avoid those middle seats by reserving early. If you have a tight connection get as far forward in the plane as possible so you get off sooner. Check your seat assignment a few days prior to departing. If the airline had to change equipment, they may have reassigned you.
And finally about gifts — don’t wrap them. They may need to be inspected. Take some gift bags and tissue paper and wrap when you arrive.
And one last helpful hint — no snow globes in your carry-on. I don’t know if they are a dangerous weapon or a toxic liquid, but there’s something about them the fine folks at TSA don’t like. Have a safe, and snow globe free Merry Christmas!

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