Our Editors at Going Global put on a lot of miles each year. Typically we fly between 150,00 to 200,000 miles over about 50 – 75 segments, so we know a thing or two about flying, navigating airports and making the journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Flying can be hard, we’ll make it easy…. well at least easier.
So here are our best tips when flying. In fact these aren’t tips anymore, they’re habits and they’re tried and true.
Yes this sounds obvious but it is a truism, the more you plan, the more you research, the better deals you’ll get on flights and hotels. There are lots of articles telling you when the ideal time to book a flight is, believe them if you’d like. All we are saying is go to Google Flight Search or your favorite flight meta search engine and research the dates, destinations, routing, airlines and other options. Then if possible book directly with the airline as this makes it much easier to re-route or change a ticket if there are unforeseen delays.
Never fly on a ticket which earns points without making sure you collect the points. Ensure that your frequent flyer number is on the booking and check it again when you check in. If you’re on a carrier that you don’t have an account with check to see if you can credit the flight to an airline you do have an account with. This is easy with the three large alliances, Star Alliance, oneworld and SkyTeam. If there are no other options take the time to open a frequent flyer account with the airline you’ll be traveling on. Don’t forego the miles because in the future you may be able to swap or trade those points on Points.com.
3.) Check In Online
Most airlines allow, and in fact encourage, online check in 24 to 48 hours in advance of a flight. As soon as the window opens up check in. This way you can ensure you get a good seat if you weren’t able to book it at the time of purchase. You can also check to see if the airline has a Bid Upgrade program to allow you to move up to a premium cabin, and of course it’ll make your airport arrival much more pleasant.
4.) Never Check a Bag
The most savvy road warriors pack judiciously and carefully and make due with a rollaboard and large personal item such as a backpack, Louis Vuitton NevefFull bag or other tote. This requires thinking things through and often packing in advance. If you have the time and space, try to start laying out your clothes a couple of days early. You’ll find you probably have set out more than you actually need and can pull it back. Unless there’s a compelling reason, most people can get away quite easily with carry on even for a week or two. Try it you’ll like it.
5.) Arrive Early
In spite of the fact that we already spend a great deal of time at airports, we like to arrive early. Why? It’s easy, it’s less stressful and if there are any traffic problems on the way or issues with unusually long security lines, we’re covered. If you have status and can spend your time in a lounge, it can be quite productive and relaxing. If you don’t have status with the carrier you’re on or any codeshare or alliance partners, check your credit card, as many cards such as American Express Platinum and include lounge access. Finally if you travel a lot but often with different airlines because you care more about the deal than the status, consider buying a Priority Pass membership or apply for a credit card which offers it as a benefit. It can be handy.
We promise you if you learn these habits, your trips will be less stressful, easier and far more enjoyable. Flying can still be a great part of any journey. Stay tuned for even more indispensable rules for making travel better in the weeks to come.