Staying in the Holiday Spirit at the Airport

With the holidays just around the corner, offering advice for keeping in the holiday spirit while braving the airports seemed like a timely message.  The combination of large crowds, the weather, and travelers’ strong desire to get to their families in time can result in a harrowing airport experience. But there are things you can do to prevent stressful airport episodes from occurring.

Arrive at the Airport Early

Allow extra time for traffic and weather. Remember, airport parking lots can fill up quickly, so finding a spot can be difficult. Holiday travelers often have to park in alternate lots and take shuttle service to the terminal. Long lines and crowds also slow you down, and with the possibility of the airlines overselling flights, passengers who check in the latest are likely to get bumped from their flight. Denver International Airport suggests at least two hours prior to departure for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Passengers Who Get Bumped Have Rights

In the event your flight is overbooked, the Department of Transportation requires carriers to provide passengers with a written statement explaining their rights. These rights can include alternate travel arrangements and compensation if the new arrival time is more than on hour later than the originally scheduled time. Passengers should check with the desk agent to learn more.  Of course, this applies to the passenger who arrived at the airport in the required time.

Know Baggage Limits and Keep Gifts Unwrapped In Case of Inspection

With security heightened, packages are inspected more frequently. Be sure to tag all carry-on and checked baggage. For added safety, only write your work phone or cell phone and work address on your tags. It’s also policy now not to lock your checked bags, but you can secure them with special TSA locks. Pack as light as possible for your holiday travel. Since more airlines are getting stricter on baggage limits and weight allowances, packing less and lighter suitcases could save you money and time. If you’re planning holiday travel to be with your family and friends, consider shopping online and having your gifts shipped to your destination. This strategy will help cut down on luggage and minimize the risk of losing any special gifts.

Steer Clear of Influenza

Winter travel can be a frequent contributor to the cold and flu time of year, adding a miserable element to your winter or holiday travel stress. Before you leave, visit your doctor’s office to get the flu shot or nasal spray flu vaccine, which is only available for ages 5 to 49. Most germs will spread by contact, so wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer constantly.

Keep Constant Watch of All Belongings

Pickpockets love crowds. You should always be mindful of your surroundings and keep a close watch on your belongings, including your watch and wallet.