Holiday travel

Flying this holiday season?

Take a deep breath and be prepared for a lot of company!

There are a few things you can do to make sure your flying plans stay on track, and if something does happen to be prepared.

1. Always watch your reservation at the airlines website for schedule changes, delays and cancelations.  If something does happen call the airline right away to confirm the changes or ask to re-booked on another flight.

2. Check-in with the airline at the earliest possible time, usually 24 hours before your first flight.  Checking in online will usually get you a seat assignment,m and allow you to make changes to your seat if you aren't happy with the one you already have.  If you are not able to confirm a seat while checking in get to the airport early to have a seat assigned.  With no seat you risk being the first one bumped off a flight if it is oversold.

3. Make sure the airline has your contact information and your frequent flyer numbers.  Airlines are doing a good job of being more proactive during irregular operations (irrops), calling customers to let them know of changes.

4. I always have a back-up plan, I know which other flights the airline operates that will get me to the same destination, and the flights of other airlines if I need to ask to be moved to another carrier.

5. If something does go wrong and you are at the airport don't wait for the airline staff to tell you what to do.  Get in a customer service line immediately AND call the airlines 1-800 number, use which ever one you get to first.  If you are at a big airport and an airline hub they should have customer service desks located throughout the airport.  Sometimes a desk a couple gates away will have shorter lines.

6. If it looks like you are going to be stuck at an airport overnight call a hotel and make a reservation right away, before the rest of the crowd catches on and beats you to the last available room.

7. Remain calm, remember that there will be a lot of other people in the same situation, you will do yourself no favor by getting angry at the airline staff, they control the seats, and being nice might just get you that last seat to grandma's house.

Happy Holidays

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