Tis The Season To Reduce Stress: Airport Hacks That Make Flying Easier

December 17, 2014  |  
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Hate flying during the holiday season? You won’t anymore after you check out these trip-saving airport hacks.

Give Your Flight Attendant Chocolate

This is a time-honored trick that will butter up your flight attendant for the long flight. An unopened box of chocolate, candy or another treat can get you perks like mini bottles of booze or even a new seat in a roomier row.

Upgrade Your Airport Wait

Airport first class lounges have fee WiFi, free food, free alcoholic beverages and sometimes even showers and rooms for sleeping.

Don’t have a first class ticket? You can usually buy a day pass into the lounge for $30 to $50. That’s not a lot to pay to make a long airport stay more comfortable.

Extend Your WiFi Hours

Stuck at the airport and paying through the nose for browsing time? Just before your paid hour of WiFi is up, set your computer’s system clock back one hour and you can browse for two hours for the price of one.

Don’t Get In Line

Flight cancelled, rescheduled or overbooked? Don’t follow the crowd to the long line at customer service.

Instead, call the airline. The operator can do everything your desk agent can but faster. Phone wait times long? Stand in line while you wait and talk to the agent you can access first.

Avoid Weight Charges

Coming home from the holidays with a lot more than you left with? Ask for shopping bags at the airport gift shop and store your heaviest items in there. Airports can’t charge by weight with carry on bags and you’ll avoid overweight charges on your luggage.

Have too much to fit in shopping bags? The charge for an overweight bag might be more than the charge for a second bag. If it is, look for a cheap suitcase to throw your stuff in and save yourself some money.

Freeze Your Liquids

Britney Spears put everyone on to this airport hack when she was photographed carrying a giant drink cup through security.

Turns out, all that was in the cup was ice. And frozen liquids are OK with the TSA. Freeze your bottle of water and pack it and you can avoid paying through the nose for one at the airport store.

Get A Free Luggage Cart

Scoring a freebie after a long flight can really boost your mood.

If you want to avoid paying the extra bucks for a luggage cart, you can usually find an abandoned one for free if you walk over to the transportation/pickup area and grab one that someone was too lazy to put back.

Avoid Long Security Lines

Travel overseas for your holiday vacations? Apply for Global Entry. It’s a pre-screening program that involves a rigorous background check and and interview.

But once you’re in the program, you enjoy the shortest lines at customs and other abbreviated immigration procedures.

Fly The Red-Eye

Does the thought of a crowded airport give you anxiety? Catch a red-eye flight. Book a flight that leaves after 10pm and you’ll avoid traffic on the way to the airport, lines inside the airport and you’ll be able to sleep through your flight.

Banish Jet Lag

A hearty meal before your flight will help. And so will these tricks.

Get A Little Peace And Quiet

Need a quiet moment alone or a place to rest? Visit the airport’s chapel. It’s uncrowded and a good place to meditate, nap or just enjoy the silence.

If you’re traveling in the middle east, there may even be a public shower nearby.

Buy Your Tickets On Tuesday At 3PM

Budget airlines announce their new ticket sales on Tuesday mornings. By Tuesday afternoon, the bigger airlines drop their prices to to match the budget airlines.

Get More Leg Room

Websites like SeatGuru or SeatMaestro allow you to browse airplane seat maps. Not only can you find the seats with the most legroom, you can find those near outlets and away from the bathroom.

Workout Before Your Flight

Thirty minutes or so of exercise will boost your endorphin levels and keep your mood bright. It will also make it easier for you to sleep on the flight.

Avoid Turbulence

Does flying make you nervous enough as it is? Book an early morning flight. Early AM hours are when flights experience the least turbulence. Afternoon flights are when things are more likely to get bumpy.

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