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August 13, 2017

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5 Ways To Breeze Through The Airport

Do you love to travel, but hate the whole airport experience? You are faced with long lines to get through security. (Remember that opening scene in “Up In The Air” where George Clooney recounts the horrors of the TSA check point?) You also have to worry about the actual flight. Will a disgruntled passenger be kicked off the plane? Will your seat get endlessly kicked by a bored child? Do you have the aisle seat with the person sitting next to you at the window getting up every half hour? Let’s face it, we’ve all been there whether you are seasoned traveler or only fly once a year. 

 

Here are five tips to help make flying a breeze.

 

1. Get TSA TSA Pre✓®status. 

https://www.tsa.gov/

 

You can’t go wrong and it’s worth every penny to save you time and stress.

 

Benefits:

According to a TSA study, 96% of TSA Pre✓®passengers wait less than five minutes to clear security.

You don’t need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids (as long as you follow the 3-1-1 rule), belts, or light jackets.

You can apply online. The cost is $85 for five years.

https://universalenroll.dhs.gov

 

2. Have your documents in order.

Beginning in 2018 only states that issue REAL ID drivers licenses will be accepted as valid ID. Nine states won’t issue REAL ID. Check here to see if your state is one of them. 

 

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/12/12/tsa-notify-travelers-upcoming-2018-real-id-airport-enforcement

 

If you state is on the list, don’t worry. A passport, military ID or permanent resident card are acceptable.

Make sure you boarding pass name exactly matches the name on your ID. 

 

Benefits: 

You won’t miss your flight or be denied boarding if you take these simple steps.

 

3. Check in for your flight at home. Print your boarding pass or download it to your mobile APP or wallet

 

Benefits:

You’ll head right to the security check point and save time waiting in line at the counter or check in kiosk.

 

If you have to check a bag, use curbside check in. The same benefits above apply.

 

4. Pre-Reserve your seat.

 

Pre-reserve your seat through the airline when you book. It will cost extra, but you’ll have peace of mind and should be able to choose the coveted window or aisle seat you want. Note that if you book through a site like Orbitz or Priceline, they can not guarantee a seat. Take your reservation confirmation and log on the airline's website to request your seat.

If you don’t want pay to pre-reserve your seat, take your chances and wait until you can check in online. You’ll get first dibs at seats that weren’t pre-selected.

Benefits:

You’ll be able to sit with your travel companion in flight and won’t get stuck with the dreaded mid seat.

 

5. Don’t take prohibited items.

 

Nothing slows you down more than being pulled out of line at security for a bag check. This is easy to avoid if you comply with list from the TSA.

 

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring

 

I always comply with the rules, but the TSA screening process isn’t always accurate. I was once pulled out of line at London Heathrow. The machine scan said I was carrying liquids. If this happens, remain calm and polite. After being detained for thirty minuets and having my entire carry-on bag unpacked, no liquids were found. Getting angry won’t solve any problems. Mistakes happen. Just take it in stride and make sure you don’t have a tight connection that will cause you to miss your flight.

 

Bonus Tip: Fly on Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Year's Day. You'd be surprised how empty the air is on these day.

 

 

 

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