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How To Escape Airport Hell

  • What’s the best way to avoid a delay?
    Book the first flight of the day. The morning flights have a huge advantage because the airplane is already there. You don't have to worry about delays or the weather in the city your plane is flying in from.

  • What should I be aware of when booking a flight?
    Connection times! If you have 45 minutes or less to connect to another flight, you’re flirting with a potentially stressful situation. If you can, skip the larger airports in favor of smaller ones. Smaller airports have more on-time departures.
  • Is a nonstop flight the best way to avoid delays?
    Yes, but remember that direct flights aren’t the same as nonstop! A “direct” flight could still stop somewhere -- you just don't have to deplane. An early morning nonstop flight is your best bet.
  • What can I do to speed through check-in?
    Check in online before you leave for the airport. If that’s not possible, do curbside check-in or just bring carry-on luggage to save time. Cruise through security by not wearing a lot of jewelry, belts, chains, or boots you can't take off easily.
  • What if my flight gets delayed, and delayed, and then delayed again?
    Call the airline’s reservations number. The one or two agents at the gate are going to be stressed and less likely to be able to research all your options.
  • What’s your advice for getting through a delay?
    Stay calm! Distract yourself with a movie, book, or television. You can’t control the weather. If you’re stuck on the tarmac and the pilot is giving you an update on a delay, believe him. People tend to mistrust what the pilot/airline is saying. Everyone (including the pilot) wants to get home safely and on time.

Nestpert Flight Attendant Betty, BettyInTheSky.com

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-- Margaret O'Malley

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