Flight Checklist

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  • Shop early and look for deals on tickets online or through an agent. Make sure your agent books you to the correct location!
  • You'll probably want to choose an airline operating out of an airport nearest you. Certain airlines have the most direct routes between specific destinations, so shop around.
  • Be flexible You can save enormous amounts of money by celebrating holidays a little early or late to avoid high priced tickets on holiday weekends.
  • Traveling late at night or in the wee hours of the morning can also garner you good deals.
  • Once you are at the airport, you may be able to sweet talk your way into an upgrade - or if the flight is overfull, many airlines offer a bump in class if you agree to take a later flight.
  • Combine your miles with timely deals to get the best pricing. Don't forget to factor in fees not covered by miles.
  • Plan how you will get around once you arrive at your destination.
  • Book well in advance for the best rooms. Some discounts may apply to all inclusive airfare / lodging / auto rental packages
  • Never pack all the most important stuff in one bag. Certain items have to be in checked luggage, but aim to have at least one full set of clothes plus shoes and a jacket in your carry-on.
  • Make sure your carryon fits within the airline's approved parameters.
  • Double check the tags before surrendering your luggage - an improperly typed country code can leave your suitcases stranded in a totally different location!
  • Remember that kids will need to be entertained on the flight, so pack accordingly.
  • You may find it easier and less stressful to employ a taxi service to drop you at the correct gate.
  • You may be able to get an approximate time from the airport about when you should arrive.
  • Pack your bags with an eye to security - if you get tagged for a heavier security check, you want the contents to be transparent.
  • If a meal is served in flight, you may need to check ahead of times if you have religious or medical food restrictions or allergies.
  • You can always try for a better seat, but be extra polite to airline staff - honey works better than vinegar!
  • Ensure that you have your tickets, boarding passes and passport (if needed) in order.
  • Dress comfortably, in clothes that won't rumple and shoes you can kick off if needed during a long flight.
  • All personal stuff you usually carry in your pockets can go in a fanny pack. This eliminates delay caused by extra metal (such as change and keys) at checkpoints.
  • You can't control weather or how much sleep the pilot got the night before, so don't stress. Meditate, read, or listen to music. Sleep if you can.
  • If you are really freaking out, popping a doctor prescribed sedative or anti-nausea pill might be just what you need.
  • If you can reach a headphone jack, odds are you can juice your gadgets while in route.
  • Your carryon should be simple to reclaim, and your checked baggage should be at the carousel.
  • You may need a cab, or have rented a car.
  • Call the hotel and let them know you are on your way. If you don't have transportation, they may offer free shuttle service.
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Whether you are cheerfully hopping on a plane and flying off on vacation or are a white-knuckle flyer reluctantly forced on a plane for a business trip, there are a lot of things you can do to make the flight easier on yourself. There are also pitfalls that you should avoid for a safe and happy flight with the least amount of hassles. From ticket buying to seating to making the flight on time, there are a lot of things to remember. Using the checklist below can at least help you streamline your activity prior to arriving at the airport, and can possibly make the process a little easier after you've gotten on the plane and during your flight. As long as you've followed protocol for packing and checking your luggage, and tried to cover all possible eventualities, you can at least know that you've done your best!


In between the confusion of packing, trying to remember what government regulations are about nail polish or shampoo and worrying about how to find the right terminal, you may be overstressing before you even get to the boarding gate. Take a deep breathe and start at the beginning,. If you are fully prepared by the time you have to leave for the airport, you can sit back and relax a little, maybe have a drink at the bar before getting on your flight (just one, please!) and enjoy yourself instead of being consumed with anxiety over whether or not you checked luggage made it onto the right plane. Probably the most worrisome item on everyone's minds these days is security. How long will it take to get through the checkpoints? How can you be sure you've allowed enough time? You want to get there early enough to allow for time spent standing in line. You also need to factor in traffic around your chosen airport, and the possibility of flight delays.

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