Have you braved the airport recently? The times they are a-changin’! Every time you turn around, there’s a new rule, a new regulation, a new fee, a new trial to get through before you can get to your final destination. That’s why it’s nice to have contacts in the business who can keep you up to date. So World Travel, Inc. has put together some of the latest and greatest in travel news and tips, just for our friends in Eagleview. PreCheck: Later this fall, the TSA is going to extend “PreCheck” to all travelers willing to submit to a background check and pay the $85 fee. This means two things: 1) You’ll now have the chance to experience life in the fast lane, literally, by breezing through security lines. 2) The TSA may be countering forced budget cuts with a new revenue stream. The fine print? Your PreCheck status won’t apply to your family when you’re traveling together, the fee only covers five years, and you’ll have to jump through some hoops (background check, fingerprinting, etc.) to get approved. The good news? The overhead bins will still have room for your carry-on by the time you get through security and to your gate.
Ancillary Fees: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: get used to them. Ancillary fees aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re proliferating. Get ready to pay your hotel to hold your bags before check-in, and pay the airline for a gate-check. The latest trend is a sliding scale of charges for your checked baggage. Book your checked baggage when you book your flight to get the best price on some airlines. The charges for checked luggage increases through kiosk-check, counter-check, and gate-check.
Save Hassle: Take the stress out of travel by booking with a professional. Yes, we’re all autonomous people who can navigate websites by ourselves. But a professional will be able to quote you multiple fares according to different airlines, flight times, airports, and days, all in a fraction of the time it will take you to go it alone. For those complicated multi-segment trips, or for overseas travel, stick with the professionals. It’s trustworthy and easy. Just something to consider.
Alerts: There are a number of companies outside of your airline that provide flight status updates. The new phenomenon is that oftentimes these companies are faster and better at tracking flight times and status changes than the actual airlines are. So sure, check the little box that says, “notify me if my flight status changes” when you check-in online. But consider signing up for FlightStats™ or equivalent companies to let you know when your flight is delayed. You’ll be twice as likely to know when you need to make haste to the airline concierge before everyone else in your gate gets the word the flight’s been cancelled.
Layovers: They’re not fun. Ever. It’s just the nature of the beast. But many airports are trying to provide you with a better experience when you’re stuck in limbo. So before you curse the flight gods, find out what’s going on in the airport. Discover art exhibits in Philadelphia, live music in Austin, a yoga room in San Francisco, and slot machines in Vegas. Feeling sleepy? Check out MinuteSuites in Philadelphia or Atlanta and catch some quiet time before your next departure.
Save Time: Not sure when your scheduled departure is? Google the flight number (ie: US 232) and it’ll pop up. Send the URL to your loved ones, and they can easily keep track of your arrival time. TSA also has a website that provides security wait time estimates – sometimes it’s faster to clear security in Terminal B and walk to Terminal C than it is to stand in a line that stretches all the way past Terminal C’s moving sidewalk.
Happy World Travels!
World Travel, Inc. 620 Pennsylvania Drive Eagleview Corporate Center | Exton PA 888.979.0400 | WorldTravelInc.com