Tips For Safe, Hassle-Free Travel This Season

November 27 00:00 2002 Print This Article

As the holidays draw near and the urgency of planning this season's travel increases. A recent PhoCusWright study offers the following tips for ensuring a successful trip:

  • Comparison-shop. You don't have to go with a discount airline to get a discount price. For travelers looking for the best rates, offers low fares and the ability to view other airlines' schedules and prices.

  • "Hold" please. If you want to verify travel plans before purchasing tickets, find out if the airline will "hold" your reservation. Some airlines let customers place a reservation on hold for up to 24 hours and purchase tickets any time within that period.

  • Book online. In addition to booking low-cost airline travel, customers can use the Web to make car and hotel reservations. Customers booking air and award travel on receive up to 1,000 AAdvantage bonus miles.

  • Select a seat. Eliminate the hassle of not knowing your seat assignment by choosing it online during the booking process.

  • Check-in options. American Airlines customers have the added convenience of automated Self-Service Check-In machines in more than 50 airports nationwide-a fast way to avoid lines.

  • Flight status notification. Whether flying or picking someone up at the airport, log on to before you leave and sign up for automatic gate, flight time and baggage claim updates on your phone, pager or PDA.

Here are a few tips to remember as you head for the airport:

  • Pack smart. Small, lightweight luggage is easiest to handle. Protect yourself and your valuables by placing medicine, jewelry and cameras in carry-on baggage. Keep carry-on baggage with you at all times and label all bags-inside and outside-with your name, address and phone number.

  • Don't wrap gifts. Wrapped gifts may have to be unwrapped during security screenings. Consider shipping gifts in advance.

  • Carry-on items. Security requirements prohibit certain items in carry-on bags, including knives, cutting instruments and other folding or retractable blades. Ice picks, straight razors and scissors with pointed tips are prohibited. Disposable razors are allowed.

  • Arrive early. During the holidays, anticipate possible slowdowns caused by heavy road traffic, weather and busy airport parking lots, as well as other travelers. Allow additional time for international departures. Automated, self-service check-in machines can help people avoid lines at the airport.

Source: NAPSI

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