Airport Traveling Tips To Help Get You Through The Holidays

Anais Villafana, Staff Writer

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During the holiday season the airports can become hectic and stressful; especially for travelers who don’t know to get through quickly and efficiently. As an O’Hare employee, I’ve realized there are a few things travelers can do to help make their traveling experience an easier process this holiday season.

Tip #1: Arrive early

When traveling during the holiday season, most people still continue to stick to the two hour window when arriving early. Travelers don’t realize that because of the added volume of travelers, two hours is usually not enough time to get them through the large security lines. Coming at least three hours early can give you enough time to get through all of the check-in steps, including the long security lines, and not have to worry about missing your flight.

Tip #2: Carry-Ons

When dealing with security lines, one should always be sure that their carry-ons are valid. With many different airlines now charging passengers for their checked baggage, many passengers want to avoid that fee and so bring several carry-ons. The problem with this is that you’re only allowed a certain limit of carry-ons.

If you have more than the allowed number of valid carry-ons you will not be let through the security check points. So, it is always a good idea to check online or call the airlines ahead of time and become aware of the limits for carry-ons allowed and the sizing of bags allowed as carry-ons. Otherwise, you may be forced to return to the airline’s ticketing counter and check your carry-on as baggage which may result in a fee. This could further result in a missed flight if you’re running short on time.

Tip #3: Important Documents

Bringing all your documents, print-outs of reservations, and more than one form of identification can be a very beneficial thing because with the large number of travelers and the different confusions that can occur with boarding passes (such as misspellings, name changes, etc), bringing back-ups and proofs can help avoid that drive back home to go get them.

Tip #4: Bring Supplies

When traveling at the airport you should come prepared with basic essentials. Once you pass through security towards your gate, there is no going back (unless you want to go through security again) and everything inside the airport is more expensive than outside of the airport.

Food, magazines, clothing and accessories are sold at the airport, but the prices are much higher than what most people expect. A bottle of water in the airport can cost up $5, while at your local grocery store it may be $2.

What many people don’t know is that you can actually pass solid food through security and empty water bottles as well. As long as there are no liquids being passed through, travelers should have no trouble bringing them through security. If you bring your own food in, you can avoid the cost of the food in the airport. If you bring your own empty water bottle once you reach the inside of the airport you can refill the bottle with the drinking fountain water.

Tip #5: Be Ready For Changes

Once travelers have gotten through the long security lines with their food, they must still pay attention to avoid missing any flight changes. Because the holidays can bring rough weather, flights can be delayed or even leave early. So, it is always a good idea to constantly check the departure flights screens and be attentive of announcements in the airport in order to know where to head to for your flight.

Hopefully these tips will help you and your loved ones with your holiday travel!

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