May 20, 2015

The plain truth about travelling by plane

It seems I’m constantly going somewhere. The only thing that seems to change is the mode of transport and the destination. Good thing I like traveling.

I love watching people when I travel, especially in airports. They are always in a hurry and rarely in a good mood.  Some travel for business, some are on holiday and some should have taken the train!

There are two simple things to remember when traveling by air: Be prepared and be patient.

No one likes to stand in the security line. But I would rather go through all that than end up on a flight like American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93.  If you aren't familiar with those, just remember what happened on September 11, 2001. It maybe almost 14 years later, but the threat hasn't decreased any.

The TSA has prepared a brochure that can help get read for your travel. Get it HERE. It's only two pages, but has a wealth of info to get you through the security line.

Be prepared for delays, cancellations and a lot of waiting. If you have to be there for a meeting, consider traveling the day before the meeting rather than the day of. Take a book or two. Small electronics like smartphones, tablets and e-readers can now be left on and used during take off and landing as long as they aren't in a transmitting mode. That means cellular reception, WiFi and bluetooth must be off. If a plane has WiFi, you can usually log on after the flight has taken off and reached 10,000 feet. Instructions for in-flight WiFi usage can usually be found in the in-flight magazine in the seat pocket in front of you.

It costs money to check a bag these days. Many will pay the extra money not to have to deal with luggage especially if they are changing planes. Doesn't mean that your bag won't get lost. Be prepared for that. Always carry a change of underwear at least.

Most of all, remember that air travel is mostly a hurry and wait situation. So patience is a virtue. There is a reason that airports have bookstores, restaurants, and coffee shops. It’s always good to have something to keep yourself entertained.