Flying today can be a frustrating experience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an important job to do, keeping us all safe during USA domestic flights and they have implemented numerous measures in the address of these concerns. Then add to this fuel prices, airfare wars, and all the previous existing challenges, you have a big mess that comes with your cheap flights. I have found a few methods of streamlining the experience that I would like to share with you. Proper preparations can convert a horrid experience into a pleasurable one. Really, it is not hard.
- Purchase tickets to airlines online
- Reduce or eliminate checked baggage
- Proactive snack preparation
- Inventory yourself before you go to the airport!
Purchase Tickets to Airlines Online
If you have ever stood in line at an airlines ticket counter then you already understand the pleasure of eliminating this experience. Lines are long and slow. Internet purchases have eased the experience considerably. You are able to print a boarding pass right in the comfort of your own home. When you arrive at the airport, you are able to proceed directly to your gate.
Reduce or eliminate checked baggage
Many airlines are now charging for checked bags. I have seen up to 20 dollars per bag as the fee. This is a direct result of fuel prices and allows agencies to offer seemingly cheap flights as these fees are paid at the airport. I bring only carry-on luggage. A simple man, it is not difficult to pack three days of clothes within the carry-on bag I use. When I am flying to family, I will ship bags in advance. The cost is comparable and the airport hassle is great to miss. You must stand in those lines at the counter to check bags.
Proactive snack preparation
When in flight, snacks are few and drinks are expensive. I always prepare for a flight with a couple bags of peanuts, a candy bar, and a bottle of water. The key is to proceed to the gate with all things in unopened factory sealed condition. I always place them in my carry-on and have never had issue. When I get on the plane I will retrieve my snacks prior to storing in the overhead storage; I am flight ready!
Inventory yourself before you go to the airport!
When you arrive at the TSA checkpoint, you will have a big trouble if forgetting something in your pocket. Cigarette lighters, pocketknives, and other seemingly harmless items will trigger a response that can lead to airport delays. Inventory yourself at home and walk out of the door. Easy it is to slip up and have a minor nightmare at the TSA gates.
I do these couple small things each time I fly. I hope you find them helpful in some way. Remember, when purchasing cheap flights check the baggage fees when booking tickets to airlines online. USA domestic flights do not have to be miserable experiences.