As the holidays draw near, many are now making plans to travel and spend some quality time with family and friends. Of course, as with any other major holiday, there are some pitfalls to air travel and airport transportation during this time.
Here are our top tips to get the best travel experience possible and to make sure you have a stress-free, safe, and enjoyable holiday!
Dodge the Crowds
The holiday season is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In fact, over 107.3 million Americans traveled by plane during the 2017 holiday season, and 6.4 million traveled by air. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the hassle and avoid the worst of the crowds. First, think carefully about the dates you are booking your travel. In addition to you potentially saving a significant amount of money by scheduling your flights on quieter travel days, it will also eliminate some of the associated stress with fewer people in the airport. If possible, try to travel as early as you can before the holidays and leave as late as you can after the New Year. If you really must travel close to the holidays, try and book an early flight that will whisk you away before large crowds and backlogs of passengers begin to accumulate at the airport.
It is always a good idea to arrive early for your flight, but you should be particularly keen to do so if you are traveling over the holidays. However much time you think you need at the airport, leave more! This particularly applies if you’re travelling with kids or a large group that can slow down the check-in and security process. You should also expect that major airports, like Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International will be extremely busy during the holidays. If you have traveled through these airports in the past, you may think you have the timing down to a fine art, but the holidays will bring longer lines through check-in and security and busier than usual amenities in the terminal building. By making sure you arrive nice and early, you’ll avoid the stress and last-minute panic of rushing for – or even missing – your flight. You can also consider reserving airport transportation from a professional chauffeured transportation service provider. At EmpireCLS, our airport transportation service ensures that you arrive to the airport with plenty of time to relax before your departure. And with decades of experience under our belt, we know how to ensure that your travels are seamless, regardless of whether or not you travel during the busy holiday season.
Take Advantage of Airline Rewards
Another sure-fire way to have a more relaxing and comfortable airport experience is by using the advantages that airline rewards programs will offer you. Once you get to a certain points threshold, you’ll be eligible for perks, such as seat upgrades, speedy check-ins, lounge access, and priority boarding. All of these little extras can really help to ease the hassle of flying over the extremely busy holiday season, and you’ll start earning points straight away! Even if you don’t qualify for any level of priority status just yet, it’s still worth checking if you can be upgraded on your flight. Oftentimes, airlines will have better seats still available and will bump you up on the basis that you are a loyal customer with a number of reward points to your name already. It’s always worth checking!
Get Up to Speed on Travel Requirements
It is important to know the rules before you fly, and with ever-changing TSA requirements, you really do want to be on top of all the latest regulations to be sure you avoid the stress of being unnecessarily delayed and potentially even missing your flight altogether. As the holiday season is such a busy travel time, it is imperative you have all your ducks in a row and don’t bring any items that are likely to be investigated or confiscated, no matter if they might seem innocuous to you. Make sure you have all your necessary travel documentation and confirmations so you avoid any last-minute issues, and be sure that you understand ID requirements depending on where you are traveling. If you are traveling outside of the U.S., make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before expiry, otherwise you might have problems – depending on the country you are visiting. Additionally, make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest Real ID regulations regarding the use of driver’s licences for domestic flights.
When it comes to the holiday travels, it is a good idea to try and limit your luggage to carry-on. This may be difficult, particularly if you’ll need heavy winter clothing, but you’ll definitely receive some benefits if you can. You’ll often save money by not having to add a bag to your booking. Plus, you’ll be able to check-in online and head straight to security when you arrive at the airport, avoiding any busy bag-drop drama. You’ll also be able to walk straight off the plane and continue your journey as soon as you get through arrivals, saving you valuable time. However, make sure you pack sensibly to ensure that you clear security with minimal hassle. For example, liquids should be kept to 100ml or less and packed in a clear plastic bag. Also, make sure you know the requirements for removing any food, electronics, or medications when you go through – that way, you’ll save even more time.
Use a Specialized Airport Greeting Service
To definitely be sure that you can enjoy a completely stress-free airport travel experience during the holidays, consider booking EmpireCLS’ V.I.P Airport Greeters service. Through this specialized concierge program, we help you speed through the entire airport process with ease and comfort, so you can concentrate on looking forward to your joyous holidays, rather than battling with parking, crowds, and long lines through security. The program, which can be booked alongside our chauffeured airport transportation service, provides expedited transport and other benefits at over 450 airports worldwide. So wherever you’re headed this holiday season, you can enjoy peace of mind and hassle-free air travel. With Greeters that make you feel like you have your own personal travel assistants, the EmpireCLS Airport Greeters service includes:
- Private check-in and priority boarding
- Carry-on luggage assistance for departing and connecting flights
- Cart service to speed you through the terminal
- Assistance through customs and passport clearance
- Greeters who meet you curbside to guide you through the whole airport process
- Porter service to help you get heavy luggage to check-in, and from baggage claim to your vehicle on arrival
- Assistance from the arrival gate right through to your onward transportation
Click here to learn more about how EmpireCLS’ V.I.P Airport Greeters service can help you have a stress-free, more enjoyable travel experience this holiday season!