Top ways to survive the busy air travel season

January 30, 2019

For corporate travellers who are in and out of airports all the time, we know that this time of year can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re surrounded by snowbirds flying south for their winter vacation. Here are some top tips to help you get through!

1. Arrive bright and early

Not only is booking an early morning flight sometimes one of the cheapest times to fly, you’ll get through the airport security lines faster.  Plus, these early flights have the best track record for leaving on time. And if by chance your flight does get cancelled, odds are in your favour that you’ll score a seat on another plane leaving that same day.  Arriving to the airport early will ensure a stress-free experience even if there are longer line ups.

2. Join Nexus / Global Entry + TSA Pre✓ + CLEAR

NEXUS is a bi-national, Canada-United States program for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering Canada or the United States (U.S.) at designated air, land and marine ports of entry.

The program enables its members to enter either country more quickly and easily by using automated self-serve kiosks in the air mode of travel, dedicated lanes in the land mode of travel, and by calling Telephone Reporting Centres (TRCs) prior to arrival in the marine mode of travel.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) program (which encompasses Global Entry and TSA Pre✓) get passengers who have been vetted by CBP through security lines more swiftly and with less hassle.

For travellers who frequently travel to and within the US there is also a program called CLEAR, a private Trusted Traveler program that will get you past even the TSA Precheckers and to the front of the security screening line. CLEAR works in partnership with the airport security authorities. For $179 per year, CLEAR escorts you to an alternate dedicated screening lane (which one might say is even hard to call a line, because there is virtually no wait time), skipping past both the regular TSA screening line and the TSA PreCheck line.

3. Work those loyalty points

If your travel policy has rules on what cabin you can fly and what you can spend on an airline ticket, look into using some of your airline loyalty points for an upgrade. Whether it's a business class for a coast-to-coast flight or a premium economy seat for more legroom, it can be well worth it.

Check out the airline lounge if you have a long layover or early check-in. Airline lounge staff can also assist you with a new seat assignment.

4. Carry on light

As more passengers want to avoid paying baggage fees you’ll want to double check that your own bag meets the airline’s size regulations for carry-on. Some airlines and types of aircraft will enable you to gate check your bag for free at time of boarding so consider taking advantage of this service on a full flight.

5. Don’t delay if there is a delay

Once you find out that a flight has been canceled due to inclement weather, a mechanical issue or some other problem, get rebooking. Give us a call and we can help rebook your flight and hotel.

6. Fully charge your devices

Having a full charge on your cell phone and laptop/tablet will help you be the most productive while on the road. Finding an outlet at the airport can sometimes be challenging when it's busy. Having a full charge is even more important if there is a delay or cancellation and you need to make alternative arrangements. And be sure to pack a portable wireless charger to give your device a boost on the fly.

And to while away any non-working hours at the airport make sure you've downloaded movies and tv shows and e-books!