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Tips for Air Travelers
What do experienced air travelers know that you might not? MSN offers 20 tips from seasoned fliers on ways to make air travel better.
If you regularly fly the same airline, an airline credit card can help you accrue miles as well as get additional perks.
Book as early as you can. And look for flights on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, which tend to be least expensive.
Consider a red-eye flight if you can sleep on a plane. Overnight flights are usually significantly less expensive.
Dress for flying. Avoid belts and tight clothes, and wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on. But avoid sandals, unless you don’t mind strolling through security barefoot. Gross.
Consider shelling out $85 for five years’ worth of TSA Pre-Check, which lets you zip through security – usually without removing your shoes or your laptop.
Don’t check bags. With a little planning, you should be able to fit everything into your carry-on bag and personal item. That saves you money, and it also saves you time at baggage claim.
If you absolutely have to check a bag, make sure it’s easy to identify. Consider bright-colored suitcases, or tie something colorful to the handle.
Weigh your bag. Most airlines charge hefty fees for bags that weigh more than 50 pounds.
Pack your chargers in your carry-on. You might be able to charge your phone or laptop on the plane, and you won’t be without a charger if the airline loses your luggage.
Avoid premium seating. Despite promises of things like extra leg room and free beverages, there’s very little of both. First class seats, on the other hand, offer a truly superior experience – if you can afford it.
Bring your own food so you don’t have to buy overpriced airplane food. Just remember your food must be dry and solid.
Volunteer to switch flights if you have the flexibility and your flight is overbooked. Airlines are likely to offer you money – sometimes a lot -- or miles in return.
Pick your seat when you buy your ticket. If you wait until later, you could end up stuck in the middle.
Arrive in plenty of time. Most airports suggest getting there two hours early. You probably will end up sitting around for a while, but you will avoid a ton of stress.
Check in as soon as you can – usually 24 hours before your flight. This lessens the chance that you will be bumped.
Download your music, movies, TV shows, etc., to your smartphone or laptop. You can’t count on having wi-fi, and even if you do, it can be expensive.
Pack an empty water bottle, and then fill it at a water fountain after you are through security.
If you want something stronger, you can bring mini bottles (1.7 ounces) of alcohol under 140 proof in your carry-on. Put them in a quart-size plastic bag with your other liquids. Then you can mix your own drink for a lot less.
If you are flying with kids, safeguard your sanity and the sanity of your fellow travelers by packing extra food and games in case of delays.
Bring your own headphones. But Bluetooth headphones won’t work on planes, so dig out the old wired ones.