Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and unless you want to show up in time to scrape the pans for leftovers, here are some travel tips to ensure your trip is as smooth as the whipped cream on your pumpkin pie. (You can thank us later.)
- Give yourself extra time. With an estimated 25.3 million passengers flying on U.S. airlines during this year’s 12-day Thanksgiving period, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for traveling to the airport and through the security lines.
- Pack strategically. Although you may plan to carry on that rollaboard, overhead space is limited and it might be necessary to gate check if the bins become full. Make sure to have your jewelry, prescriptions, keys, chargers and other valuables in a bag that can fit underneath the seat in front of you.
- Know the TSA rules for liquids, medications and food. All liquids and gels must comply with the 3-1-1 rule, and many food items are allowed through security, including pies! Check the TSA guidelines to prevent having to toss grandma’s homemade jelly or the bottle of wine you brought for your holiday hosts, and keep in mind that certain items may be subject to additional screening.
- Put your phone to work. Airlines continue to make investments in new technologies, like smart phone apps, that help make air travel a breeze. Check in from your device 24 hours before your flight, download a mobile boarding pass and skip the check in counter. If you check a bag, take a picture of your suitcase and the tracking tag so that you can easily access the information if there is a mix up.
- Be thankful. Although airports will be busy, keep in mind that you are sitting in a metal tube, flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour. For many of us, without the wonder of air travel, it might not be possible to sit around the table with your entire family and test out those new stretchy pants by eating all of the rolls. Or maybe you’re on a beach avoiding family altogether. Either way, it is Thanksgiving and we hope you will join us in taking a moment to thank the airline employees who are working hard to make our holiday plans possible.