Tips for a Better Air Travel Experience

We can all recall that moment in the movie “Home Alone” that the family realizes they have overslept and race to the airport. After arriving at the airport, they rush to get on their plane. That is not the kind of relaxing holiday traveling experience most people desire. Thankfully, here are some tips to keep you and your family from having your own “Run, Run, Rudolf” moment:

Have the proper documentation:

Make sure to arrive at the airport with all the proper documentation in hand. If you are flying out of the country, make sure each person in your family has their passport in an easily accessible but safe place. Be aware of the requirements the country you are traveling to requires, and be prepared to present the proper documentation when you arrive.

Check-in early:

If you fail to obtain a boarding pass at least 30 minutes before boarding, the airline can reassign your reserved seats. Furthermore, if you fail to show up at the gate at least 10 minutes before your scheduled take-off, the airline is within its rights to cancel your reservation. To avoid this nightmare, make sure you check-in early.

Know your rights:

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one in every 10,000 passengers will suffer the fate of being bumped from their flight. This is more common during the busy traveling times around the holidays. If you are bumped and delayed for one or two hours, you can receive compensation. This compensation is usually equal to double your ticket cost up to around $650. However, if your delay is longer, the payment could be four times your ticket value. Know your rights ahead of time in case this situation occurs.

Know your options:

When a flight is delayed or canceled, there are no federal requirements that govern the actions of the airline. Each airline determines the types of reimbursements they will provide. If bad weather is the cause of the canceled flight, do not leave the airport without a confirmed flight. Even if the flight will not leave for several days. When lining up for a new flight, call the airlines reservation number to save some time in booking a new flight. Holiday travel is often very stressful. Dealing with crowds and canceled or delayed flights is taxing. This is especially true if you are traveling with children. For the most part, this stress cannot be helped. After all, during this time of the year, there will be crowds. However, if you apply the aforementioned tips to your next family holiday traveling experience, you will be prepared to deal with the inevitable headaches that come along with holiday traveling.

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Eric Blair writes about family travel, international tourism and the documentation from Travel Docs that is needed for a smooth trip.