Airport Travel and Security Tips for Infrequent Flyers: Part 2

Many flight disruptions are beyond anyone’s control; however, every traveler can take actions to help make their flight as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Following are airport travel and security tips for after you arrive at the airport.

Infrequent air travelers should take some steps before they leave for the airport to make their air travel as simple and hassle-free as possible. See pt1 for what to do before you arrive at the airport.

Infrequent air travelers should take some steps before they leave for the airport to make their air travel as simple and hassle-free as possible. Following are some actions and tips to make airport travel and security as easy as possible.

Airport Travel Tips for the Holidays

At The Airport

  1. Do not argue with the airline check-in staff. If their written policy clearly states one bag weighing up to 30 lbs is $25, and you have one bag weighing 45lbs and you want to argue with the staff – and hold up the entire line – because you believe the airline is robbing you blind. If you don’t like an airline’s policies, don’t fly with them.
    1. Airline baggage policies are in place for many reasons. Yes, baggage fees are a way for the airline to make money. But the baggage policies are also a way to
      1. Monitor and control the weight of passengers and luggage on a flight
      2. Scan and monitor checked luggage for security risks
      3. Manage the number of passengers and amount of luggage on a flight with the space available on the flight for safety issues
  2. Listen to the TSA’s instructions, and then follow them. Many airports have their TSA lanes divided into expert travelers, average travelers, and infrequent or special needs travelers. Just because the line is shorter do not get in the expert traveler lane if you only fly once or twice a year: not only will it take longer for you to get through security, it will inconvenience the people around you. And they just might be sitting on the plane next to you.
    1. The rules are the rules are the rules. TSA rules are not consistent from day to day, nor from airport to airport, nor even from TSA agent to TSA agent at the same security point. That’s because there are different things going on that might constitute a higher security risk and procedures at one airport, and not another, and information doesn’t always get communicated smoothly. That is simply a frustrating fact of today’s air travel. Do not argue with the TSA agent’s rules: they are not the decision makers, they are merely trying to follow the rules. If you think you are being treated unfairly:
      1. Calmly ask to speak to a supervisor. You are entitled to be heard and to be treated respectfully and without discrimination.
      2. Calmly ask to speak to a supervisor. You are entitled to be heard and to be treated respectfully and without discrimination.
      3. Do not make threats, use inappropriate language, or create a scene. Even if you are in the right, causing a disruption and inciting anxiety and distress among other passengers can result in your being denied passage to the gate: even if you are right. If you are determined to be unstable or a disruption the airline or TSA have the right to deny your entry to the gate area or to board the plane.

    2. Several airlines are experimenting with new TSA security rules during this holiday season, designed to expedite the security process. As might be expected, things have not gone smoothly with new procedures and a busy travel season. Be patient, and try to have a sense of humor about it. The rules are designed with everyone’s safety in mind.
  3. Follow the flight attendant’s instructions regarding luggage and personal belongings when boarding your flight. Planes are flying at capacity, it is winter time, and passengers are carrying additional holiday baggage.
    1. Permitted carry-on baggage may need to be checked at the gate due to space limitations. You may have followed all the rules, and my be boarding your flight when you are informed there is not room for your carryon luggage. Typically on the walkway the attendant will take your bag, give you a luggage claim check, and inform you whether you bag can be reclaimed on the walkway or at baggage claims. Be sure to remove any valuables from your carryon luggage such as purses, laptops, and jewelry.
    2. Most airlines permit one personal bag and one small piece of luggage as carry on. The airlines request that your personal luggage be placed under the seat in front of you, and your luggage in the overhead. Be considerate of other passengers and do not put both of your carry-ons in the overhead compartment: save room for your fellow passengers’ carryon luggage.
    3. In the winter months many travelers are wearing bulk coats. Do not put coats, boots or other cold weather clothing in the overhead unless the flight attendant gives the OK after all passengers have boarded.

Patience and preparation at the airport can make your air travel as safe, simple and hassle-free as possible.

Safe Travels and Happy Holidays
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