Spring is in the air. And coincidentally, we are, too—and in record numbers.
The Los Angeles Times just published a story, predicting a 3 percent increase in air travel this Spring Break season. An estimated 140 million U.S. airline passengers will hit the airways in the months of March and April. That’s 4 million more passengers than last year.
If you’re among the spring breakers, rushing into the madness, here are some tips to help you enjoy a less chaotic air travel experience.
Get Your Act Together
Don’t be the person in the security line who waits in line for 20 minutes then gets to the security checkpoint and can’t find her ticket or forgets to ditch her liquids (and then complains to TSA about how expensive or hard to find that bottle of perfume, lotion, hair conditioner, whatever was).
You have plenty of time to go over your mental checklist. Have everything you need accessible within a few seconds. If you’re prepared (and you know it), you’ll be less flustered with the crazy airline process. Plus, you won’t earn the scornful eye of your fellow air passengers.
Sign Up for TSA Pre-Check
If you’re a frequent traveler, it may benefit you to sign up for TSA Pre-Check. Your Pre-Check status may not be validated before your spring travels. But if it does, you’ll get to cruise through security quicker and you’ll likely get to disassociate yourself from the rowdy crowd of muscle shirt-clad college spring breakers.
Get There Early
Airlines usually recommend heading to the airport 1.5 hours before your domestic departure and three hours before international departure. Normally, many of us overrule that advice and mosey on in with our rollerboards 30 minutes from our boarding time.
But if you don’t feel like spending the night in the airport during March Madness with a crazed traveling student section, you may want to heed that advice in order to make your flight. Also check your airport’s wait time the day of the flight for a better gauge of how much earlier you should get there.
Sure, if you can wear heels and navigate the escalators, moving walkways and other hurdles with little difficulty, then congratulations.
But if you can’t and you’re slow, know that we are judging you. If you choose to wear heels, an impossible belt, pocket-less pants or any other article of clothes that’ll delay your entry through security, then remember, we, the angry passengers behind you, are judging you with bitter, uncompassionate contempt.
Plus, you’ll be dressed the part should you need to sprint to a connection.
Pay a Little Extra
You’ve likely already paid an exorbitant amount to fly during spring break season. But it may be worth paying just a little bit more for your peace of mind. Some airlines allow you to pay extra for add-on perks, such as earlier boarding. If you’re planning to carry your luggage on, then consider this option to guarantee your luggage makes it on to the plane.
Also, look into splurging on your flight carrier’s lounge pass, especially if you arrive early to your flight. It’s normally hard to find an empty seat that’s not close to the creepy mustard-stained guy at your gate. In the private lounges, you can charge your devices, stretch out and enjoy their complimentary snacks and beverages. When your flight is ready to board, then you can return to the gate with the mustard-stain guy and your other fellow passengers.
Hope this helps! Bon voyage.
BMWK, do you have any other tips for air travel during high traffic seasons?