Saturday, October 9, 2010

How to get on a plane?

My oldest daughter daughter is getting married in Miami. The family is flying in for the wedding. So this how to get on a plane is really staring me in the face.

How do I help my family members get to the wedding. Both my sisters and their families missed their flights today.

My youngest sister was sitting at Midway Airport waiting for the next flight from Midway to Fort Lauderdale . She waited for two flights to leave out full. She and her daughter were just waiting for the next flight, until I called. I suggest that she asked the gate what is the next available flight out to Miami. When you miss a flight a to your destination, you can't just sit there waiting for an open seat on the next flight.  You should see the gate agent, ask them what are alternate cities to connect to your next flight.  How does it look for the direct flight. So we looked at  Louisville, Birmingham, and Houston. We finally settled on her and her daughter getting out on a flight to Houston.

If you have a laptop you can look at the airline route map or just look at the TV departure  monitor for possible connecting cities to your final destination.

My other sister missed her flight from Phoenix to Miami because her five year old granddaughter had to go to the bathroom while the flight was boarding. If your child has to go before the flight you should pre-board the flight and take them to the toilet on the plane. They were rerouted from Phoenix to D.C. So they ended up overnighting in Washington, DC. They will leave D.C. early in the morning and arrive in MIA.

My suggestion to travelers is to set aside a travel day. The art of getting on a plane when it is a holiday can be a challenge. You should give yourself extra time for surprises. If you can, travel the day before or two before a wedding or special occasion; never try to catch a flight on the day of you need to be somewhere.

Allow extra time for for checking-in baggage  one hour and security lines one hour; if you are returning a car or parking a car allow another hour before your boarding time. You should be at the airport two to three hours before boarding time. Also extra time for babies, children and traveling companions.
Only one of my children is a good traveler and be ready at moments notice; the others I just have to rush.

This is the most important tip to getting on an oversold flight. The earlier you check-in and get to the airport, the more your chances improve to get on a flight.
Checking-in for a flight should be done on the Internet if possible. You can check-in the airline website usually four hours before departure. If you have checked bags, you can check in a second time to check your bags at the airport or curbside. The curbside option sometimes can be faster than the waiting in line at the kiosk machine check-in. This is the way I usually do it.

See you in the air for more tips and suggestions.