Holiday Air Travel Tips
Let’s face it – holiday travel can make you feel like you’ve been dropped into a zombie movie, especially when air travel is involved. People sleeping in airports because the weather has grounded all the planes. No sleep, too much coffee, families walking around in a trance. You think it’s the end of the world because you could be late to Grandma's holiday celebration.
Don’t panic. While we can't prevent the unexpected, we can at least offer a few de-zombifying tips to help you deal with this holiday travel season.
Undress comfortably. Wear shoes and jackets that are easy to take on and off. You know you have to remove these items during routine security screenings, so make it easy on yourself, and the people behind you in line.
Save the gift-wrap for Santa. The Transportation Security Association (TSA) may make a mess of any gift-wrapped packages. Your checked-baggage is also subject to search. Plan to mail any gift-wrapped items ahead.
Zip it good. All liquids, sprays and gels have to be in containers of three ounces or less. Then you've got to put them into a one quart, clear plastic zip-top bag. One per passenger. You can pack some items in your checked bag, but check the TSA website for any restrictions. You can always shop for items that don’t fit when you arrive.
Speaking of gifts. If you’re planning to give jellies or other food goodies, remember those cool jars won't clear security unless they’re each three ounces or less –– and in a one quart zip-top bag. The same goes for other gift items like lotions, creams, scented oils and perfumes. You might be able to include them in a checked bag, but read the website first. The good news is that the 3-ounce rule doesn’t apply to anything purchased at the airport beyond the security checkpoint.
Know your stuff. What's prohibited on a plane may seem like a no-brainer, but TSA may have a few rules that surprise you. Check out TSA's website to be on the safe side.
Don't play the comedian. TSA doesn't appreciate jokes for obvious reasons. Stay polite and friendly and avoid any jokes or threats about security and you’ll have a better chance of arriving at your destination on time.
Early bird still gets the worm. Book ahead, and get to the airport well in advance of your flight. At the very least you'll get the lower rates for early booking. Give yourself extra time to get to the airport to prevent you from running around like a mad zombie.