From large crowds to frequent flight
delays, traveling during the holiday season is no easy feat – especially when
2.5 million people fly around the country during the holiday
season, which typically stretches 18 days in December.
While it may seem like a good idea to rush through the airport to
your gate like it’s any other time of the year, you may be doing
things that are slowing you down and even affecting your fellow
Here are a few things you should avoid doing at the airport to
make your holiday travel go that much smoother.
Do not arrive to the airport late.
It seems like a no-brainer, but there’s always that one person or
family begging security to skip the line because they are about
to miss their flight. Don’t be that person. The security line is
bound to be significantly longer because of the holiday season –
Don’t drive yourself to the airport.
Airport traffic is especially busy around the holiday season, so
the parking lots at airports will be especially full. There will
be people fighting over the few remaining spots, and it will get
costly. Instead, leave your car at home. Consider asking someone
to drive you to the airport or use a car service.
Don’t travel with wrapped holiday gifts.
While traveling with gifts is allowed, there are
some restrictions – some airports or items will require gift
bags instead of wrapping paper. If your gifts are flagged,
security will have to inspect your gifts and even unwrap them. In
the process, you will slow down the security line.
Some gifts are also
better checked than taken as carry on. Although it may be the
more expensive option, it may be easier to just ship your
presents to your destination.
Don’t travel with your holiday meals.
Just like gifts, traveling with food has the potential to slow
down lines at the already crowded airport, as most foods will
require extra screening. Although you can take pies,
turkeys, and hams on planes, your bag will most likely be
pulled aside for inspection.
Also, keep the 3-1-1 liquids rule in mind as you pack. Really,
just do yourself and everyone else in line a favor and buy your
holiday meal at your destination.
Don’t try to outsmart security.
TSA agents have a job to do. Do not try to outsmart the agents by
knowingly breaking restrictions
and hoping they won’t find your bottle of wine. You’re just going
to get your bag pulled aside and slow everything down.
In the same vein, be prepared to remove liquids and electronics
from your carry on, and take off your shoes and big winter coats
as you wait in order to speed things up.
Don’t lose your temper.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in line as someone behind
you huffs and puffs. This isn’t the time to lose your temper or
your patience. Everyone wants to get through the line and to
their destination, but it’s going to take time. Don’t make it
more unbearable than it has to be.
Additionally, don’t lose your temper with TSA agents. If your bag
is pulled aside for inspection, do not give them an attitude, as
they are just doing their job and keeping you safe.
Likewise, don’t start a family fight at the airport.
Tensions are high while traveling, especially when trying to
navigate the crowded airport with your entire family. But that
doesn’t mean you should take it out on each other. This is
neither the time nor the place to start a fight.
Do not separate from your family.
The airport is an easy place to get lost, especially for younger
children in the large crowds. It’s important to know where
everyone in your family is, and no one should go off alone. If
you stick together, it will be easier to get to your gate on
Don’t get drunk before boarding.
Getting drunk before boarding may hamper your ability to navigate
the crowded airport and may even cause you to miss your flight.
you may not even be allowed aboard your flight.
Don’t forget to check the flight boards a second time.
During the holiday season, airports must accommodate an influx of
passengers, as well as fluctuating weather conditions, so expect
changes. Your plane may be delayed
or even canceled.
However, more commonly, your gate may simply have changed.
Therefore, don’t forget to check and re-check the departure
board. Don’t just sit at your gate and expect everything to go
according to plan because you may end up missing your flight.
Don’t forget to download the airline’s app.
Many airlines have apps that send flight updates straight to
your phone. Everything from a canceled flight to a gate
change will be at your fingertips, so you’ll never miss a thing.
The app also allows you to check in on your phone, allowing you
to cut down on time at the check-in counter.
Don’t try to jump or cut the boarding line.
Lastly, when it’s finally time to board, keep it civil. Don’t try
to cut people in line or inch towards the front to cut people
off. There’s enough room for everyone on the plane, so wait your
turn. This way, you’ll make the boarding process go smoother and
faster, and you’ll be able to enjoy your holidays that much
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