Don't Stand in the Customer Service Line
Smart travelers use their smartphones as travel assistants. From your mobile screen, you can check your flight status, check your gate information and even check into your flight. And when problems arise -- which they will -- use your smartphone to solve the problem; don't stand in the customer service line.
Before you travel, make note of your airline's customer service number, and if you have a smartphone download airline apps not only for the easy check in but for easier customer service as well. While your fellow passengers wait for an agent at the customer service counter, you'll have faster access to help through your phone's browser, an app, or a call to your airline's customer service number. If you're flying through a major hub, chances are good that the airport has an app of its own, which comes in handy not only when you're trying to make a tight connection and need to figure out the quickest path from gate to gate but also when you need to quickly find alternative flight routes because your plane's been grounded.
Author's Note: 10 Travel-savvy Airport Tips
I was 6 years old the first time I ever flew, and it was in a four-seater Cessna with my brother, my father and his flight instructor. I loved it. A few years later I had my first experience with a major airport and airline, and a traveler was born. But over the years of air travel -- and all the changes that have come to pass -- I've developed a travel anxiety: not having enough time at the airport from curbside to gate, despite my best efforts.
More Great Links
- American Airlines. "Suggested arrival times." (March 7, 2013) http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/checkingIn/arrivalTimes.jsp
- Baskas, Harriet. "Airports address fear of flying." USA Today. 2008. (March 7, 2013) http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/baskas/2008-07-08-fear-of-flying-classes_N.htm
- Berman, Mark. "TSA regularly finds loaded guns, hand grenades and more." The Washington Post. 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/01/28/tsa-regularly-finds-loaded-guns-hand-grenades-and-more/
- Boeing. "Making Flying Safer - How Boeing Helps to Advance Safety." (March 7, 2013) http://www.boeing.com/commercial/safety/index.html
- Concur. "Concur Study Reveals Most Stressful Airports in the U.S." 2012. (March 7, 2013) http://www.concur.com/blog/en-us/concur-study-reveals-most-stressful-airports-in-the-u-s
- Creager, Ellen. "Travel smart." Detroit Free Press. 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://www.freep.com/article/20130210/FEATURES07/302100051/Travel-smart
- Elliott, Christopher. "Airlines' Rule 240: Myth or magic bullet?" CNN. 2008. (March 7, 2013) http://articles.cnn.com/2008-03-12/travel/rule.240_1_rule-240-airlines-rule-american-airlines
- FlightView. "Airlines & Airports Face Increased Pressure to Adopt Innovation Travel Technologies." 2012. (March 7, 2013) http://www.flightview.com/corporate/news/20120723-IncreasedPressure.aspx
- Hartman, Daniel. "Expert Airport Survival Tips." Travel + Leisure. 2010. (March 7, 2013) http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/expert-airport-survival-tips
- iFly.com. "Check-in Online." (March 7, 2013) http://www.ifly.com/check-in-online
- Kallor, Amber. "7 Things Never to Wear to the Airport." Oprah.com. 2011. (March 7, 2013) http://www.oprah.com/style/What-to-Wear-to-the-Airport-Things-Never-to-Wear-to-the-Airport
- Oprah.com. "10 Airport Secrets That Only Insiders Know." 2012. (March 7, 2013) http://www.oprah.com/world/Airport-Secrets-from-Insiders-Airport-Tips-from-Travel-Experts/2
- Rodriguez, Salvador. "How to minimize the risks of using free public WiFi hot spots." Los Angeles times. 2011. (March 7, 2013) http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/22/business/la-fi-tech-savvy-wifi-20110922
- Stellin, Susan. "A Quest for Speedier and Smarter Airport Security." The New York Times. 2012. (March 7, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/business/a-quest-for-speedier-and-smarter-airport-security.html
- The TSA Blog. "TSA Week in Review." 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://blog.tsa.gov/search/label/Week%20In%20Review
- Transportation Security Administration. "Statement on Changes to the Prohibited Items List." 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://www.tsa.gov/press/news/2013/03/05/statement-changes-prohibited-items-list
- Transportation Security Administration. "Traveler Information." (March 7, 2013) http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "Global Entry." (March 7, 2013) http://www.globalentry.gov/
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "Trusted Traveler Programs." (March 7, 2013) http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "Join Frequent Traveler Programs." (March 7, 2013) http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/join-frequent-traveler-programs
- U.S. Department of Transportation -- Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement. "Fly-Rights: A Consumer Guide to Air Travel." 2011. (March 7, 2013) http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/flyrights.htm
- USA.gov. "Delayed, Damaged, or Lost Bags." 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://www.usa.gov/topics/travel/air/resolve-problems/baggage.shtml
- Yogerst, Joe. "Best and Worst Airlines for Lost Luggage." Travel + Leisure. 2013. (March 7, 2013) http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/best-and-worst-airlines-for-lost-luggage
We're talking about comfort, not safety and some seats are worse than others for this. HowStuffWorks investigates.