Travel during the holidays can get particularly hairy. It’s a hectic mix of crowded airports, full flights, wintery weather and flight delays. Not to mention the travelers that are on their one trip of the year and can’t seem to remember how to get through TSA.
Whether you’re making a business trip and just trying to arrive in time to make your meetings or flying home to see family, here are a few tips to help you survive your flights this holiday season.
The best thing you can do to keep your schedule on time is book a nonstop flight. It eliminates the potential of missing your connecting flight due to holiday travel mayhem and delays. All it took was one bad connection and I swore off holiday layovers forever.
Hopefully you’ve already booked all your flights well in advance of the holiday season, but in case you haven’t here’s how to find a flight at a price you don’t hate.
Whether you need inflight wifi to work or stay in touch, it’s a great amenity to have. Not all wifi plans are created equal though. I was recently charged upwards of $27 for wifi (that didn’t even have a strong enough signal to work!) on a 5 hour flight, but I’ve also paid as little as $8 for an entire day (thank you, Southwest). Check the deals your airline offers to see if the cost is worth the purchase.
If the wifi is too expensive and you don’t have to stay connected, turn to inflight entertainment. Some airlines will let you stream various channels or television shows without purchasing a wifi package, but verify whether you need to bring your own device.
For example, Virgin America has a selection of satellite television channels on their seatback devices, but Southwest has a portal that allows you to stream shows on your own phone or laptop (in which case, don’t forget your charger!).
When all else fails, bring your own entertainment. You could go old-school and pack a book or just download your favorite shows on Netflix. Had you heard they now let you binge offline?!
If you do get stuck with a layover, or worse yet, a delay, buy a day pass for an airport lounge. Once you know where your layover is, check for rates online. They are sometimes lower than what you would pay in person. Then, settle in and relax or get some work done in a quiet space away from the crowds.
The holiday season just may be the best time to cash in on your status and try to score an upgrade. Nothing like a little extra personal space and pampering to maintain your sanity, right?