air travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9305/all en-US 5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/passenger-sleeping-airline-477799187-small.jpg" alt="passenger sleeping airline" title="passenger sleeping airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is unfair and so is air travel. Two passengers may pay the same price to fly the same route, but have completely different experiences. Because airlines have varying standards of service, your comfort depends a lot on which airline you choose. Before you purchase your next airfare, check to see whether the airline offers the little things that might make the flight more enjoyable for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Almost Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Seat Design</h2> <p>Airplane seats seem to shrink by the day. Passengers regularly fight over reclining seats and armrests. At the end of the journey, tall people limp off planes with bruised knees, while everyone else is just happy to be able to stretch again.</p> <p>To get more personal space in Economy Class, <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">stick with these airlines when you fly within the U.S</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Frontier Airlines</li> <li>JetBlue Airways</li> <li>US Airways, and</li> <li>WestJet.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">For international flights</a>, choose:</p> <ul> <li>Aerolineas Argentinas</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air Namibia</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Ghana International Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Royal Jordania Airlines</li> <li>Saudi Arabian, or</li> <li>Thai Airways.</li> </ul> <p>At the other end of the spectrum are airlines with extra small seats.</p> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">Domestic airlines with cramped seats</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>AirTran Airways</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>Hawaiian Airlines, and</li> <li>United Airlines.</li> </ul> <p>However, in the case of AirTran Airways, the prices may be <a href="http://www.hopper.com/research/airline-comfort-customer-satisfaction-per-dollar/">cheap enough to excuse such tiny seats</a>.</p> <p>And because small seats are even more painful for long international flights, you may want to <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">avoid flying Economy Class on these airlines</a> altogether:</p> <ul> <li>Air France</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Lufthansa, and</li> <li>Qantas Airways.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Entertainment</h2> <p>Experiencing the miracle of flight means staying still in the same seat for hours, staring at the back of the seat in front of you. This is why in-flight entertainment is crucial.</p> <p><a href="http://www.techhive.com/article/2070166/in-flight-entertainment-which-airline-offers-the-best.html">For domestic flights within the U.S.</a>, Virgin America provides the best in-flight entertainment, with free live TV and basic cable channels. If you're willing to pay more, you can gain access to movies and TV shows. If in-flight entertainment is important for you, you may want to avoid American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways.</p> <p>If you're flying internationally and want first-class entertainment, you can't go wrong with <a href="http://www.theemiratesgroup.com/english/our-company/Copy_of_awards-accolades.aspx?brand=Emirates">Emirates</a>. This airline has consistently won the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards for the World's Best In-flight Entertainment every year since 2005. Besides hundreds of channels of entertainment, Emirates also offers live updates from BBC News. You can also use the in-flight system to phone someone, send text messages, or send emails.</p> <h2>3. Food</h2> <p>Airplane food has been the butt of many jokes, but some airlines do try to offer decent food on board.</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">Delta Air Lines</a>, for example, creates its dishes by collaborating with Michelle Bernstein, who is an award-winning chef, and Andrea Robinson, who is a Master Sommelier.</p> <p>Thanks to similar efforts on the part of non-American airlines, you can get a taste of authentic international fares while flying. Some of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">the best</a> <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/diningtravel/restaurants/foreign-airlines-best-food">airlines</a> in terms of food are Air France, Turkish Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates Airline, and Etihad Airways.</p> <h2>4. Wi-Fi and Power Outlets</h2> <p>Gone are the days when you could truly unplug during flights. Not all airlines offer Wi-Fi and in-seat power yet, but it's now possible to stay productive in the air.</p> <p>According to a research by Routehappy, 38% of domestic flights now offer Wi-Fi on board. If this is something you want, choose Virgin America or AirTran next time you fly. Many of Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines planes are also equipped with Wi-Fi.</p> <p>Only a small percentage of international flights offer Wi-Fi. You'll have better chances of getting Wi-Fi on board if you fly Lufthansa.</p> <h2>5. Customer Service</h2> <p>It's tough to rate airlines based on something as intangible as their quality of service, but Skytrax, a UK consultancy company, tries regardless. <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Airlines/AirlineA-Z.htm">Skytrax gives airlines star ratings</a> based on &quot;the quality of their front-line product and staff service standards.&quot; Seven airlines have received its five-star rating: ANA All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.</p> <h2>Additional Resources</h2> <p>If you need more in depth information about the comfort and amenities of an upcoming flight, refer to these additional resources.</p> <h3>Routehappy</h3> <p>If you're a discerning passenger, <a href="https://www.routehappy.com">Routehappy</a> is the booking site for you. It gives every airfare a happiness score, which is determined by a slew of factors: seats, entertainment, Wi-Fi, power supply, food, airport amenities, and many more.</p> <h3>Momondo</h3> <p>When this website shows you its search results, there is a smiley (or frowny) face for every airfare. <a href="http://www.momondo.com">Momondo</a> rates every flight on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how long the flight will be and how cheap the airfare is.</p> <h3>Hipmunk</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hipmunk.com">Hipmunk</a> sorts its search results by &quot;Agony,&quot; taking into account the airfare price, flight time, and number of layovers.</p> <h3>SeatGuru</h3> <p>This site is a treasure trove of information on plane seating. If you already know your flight, <a href="http://www.seatguru.com">SeatGuru</a> can help you find the best seat in the plane. It has also rolled out a feature to search and book flights. Its Guru Factor (or G-Factor) rates flights on a scale of one to five based on seat comfort and in-flight amenities.</p> <h3>AirlineEquality.com</h3> <p>At <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com">AirlineEquality</a> you can find ratings and reviews on legroom and service. The website design needs a little updating, but it's run by Skytrax and has some useful information.</p> <p><em>How do you fly comfortably? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airline comfort flying Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Deia B 1230390 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flight-delay-499437107-small.jpg" alt="flight delay" title="flight delay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Call it the week that airline travelers couldn't take it anymore. Three different <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/another-passenger-fight-over-reclining-seats-has-caused-a-flight-to-be-diverted-2014-9">flights were diverted</a> so passengers could be removed, all of them squabbling over one issue: Reclining seat backs.</p> <p>In one case, a traveler <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-knee-defender-passenger-20140904-story.html">used a Knee Defender</a> device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. In all the cases, the real issue was that flyers are now packed so close together in coach airplane seats that they can't help invading one another's space.</p> <p>&quot;Travelers aren't sardines. There's a line there of comfort and the quality of experience,&quot; Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-09-16/dot-chief-speaks-out-on-knee-defender-controversy">Condé Nast Traveler</a> in an interview after the rash of in-flight meltdowns. &quot;My hope is that the industry sees these incidents as a message from consumers that maybe they are getting a little close to that line.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel?ref=seealso">The 8 Scariest Things Possibly Coming to Air Travel</a>)</p> <p>Legroom isn't the only issue bugging us in the air these days. Overall, airlines garner <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-18/business/ct-biz-0618-airlines-satisfaction-20130618_1_southwest-airlines-customer-satisfaction-jeff-smisek">worse customer satisfaction scores</a> than almost any industry. How far we have come since jet setters made selections from cheese carts and wandered freely through <a href="http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/03/13/lets-reminisce-airplanes-piano-bars-cocktail-lounges-pubs-restaurants/">lounges with live music</a>?</p> <p>Like flight delays, this list could go on forever, so we've kept it to the top five things that suck about flying.</p> <h2>1. You Can't Move Your Legs</h2> <p>It's not just the Knee Defender users who noticed.</p> <p>A standard coach seat has always been too narrow for most people to sit comfortably, with 17 to 19 inches between armrests. But as airlines have pushed to add revenue, they have moved the rows closer and closer together, so that now there is only <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/30/travel/airline-seats/">31 to 35 inches</a> from one seat to the one behind it. Not only does this cause reclining seats to bash into knees, but it makes it nearly impossible for a window seat passenger to get up and use the restroom without sticking her butt in the face of the middle and aisle-seat passengers.</p> <p>Many international flights now have an <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304384104579141941949066648">extra seat squeezed into each row</a>, too. Too-narrow seats force passengers to let their arms dangle into the aisle, where they get clobbered by the drink cart and by other passengers hauling bags and car seats.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>It's pretty clear at this point that Knee Defenders aren't the way to go, and besides, most airlines ban the devices. All you can really do is pony up for an extra legroom section like <a href="http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/products/travelproducts/Pages/EconomyPlus.aspx?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=business_pillar&amp;utm_term=extra_legroom&amp;gclid=CKif5_L47cACFUMYfgodYSMALA&amp;gclsrc=ds&amp;dclid=CLCo9PL47cACFTDPRAodRm4Anw">United's Economy Plus</a>, finagle an <a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/8067465/how-to-get-exit-row-seats-chart/">exit row seat</a>, or at least try for the aisle so you can throw your legs out there (watch out for the beverage cart).</p> <p>Also, consider leaving your own seat upright to avoid contributing to the discomfort of others. A recent survey revealed that if you recline your seat, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2757312/Which-passengers-make-flight-hell-Seat-recliners-taken-spot-new-survey-smelly-passengers-soared-second.html">other passengers hate you</a>.</p> <h2>2. You Can't Get Anything to Eat</h2> <p>Once upon a time, your wish was your flight attendant's command.</p> <p>&quot;People were given pillows, blankets, magazines, playing cards, pens and a hot meal, wine, top-shelf liquor &mdash; and that was just in economy,&quot; former Pan American World Airways flight attendant <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/airline-decline-flying-high-reached-lows/story?id=9832262">Anne Sweeney told ABC</a>.</p> <p>Nowadays, many airlines &mdash; AirTran, Southwest, Spirit &mdash; have no meals on board, while others &mdash; JetBlue, American &mdash; <a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/a-guide-to-airline-meals-and-snacks">sell boxed meals</a>. Most international travelers still get a hot meal, at least &mdash; probably to avoid violating any international treaties on torture of prisoners.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Not much, except carry a meal onboard.</p> <h2>3. You Can't Find Room for Your Bag</h2> <p>Spud Hilton, travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, kicked off a carry-on controversy when he created the the <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/23/carry-on-hall-of-shame/">Carry-on Hall of Shame</a> to highlight passengers trying to haul larger-than-regulation bags onto planes.</p> <p>They don't want to pay to check the larger bags &mdash; and who would? But Hilton says these passengers aren't just cheating the airline, they're cheating you.</p> <p>&quot;The increasingly aggressive disregard for the size standards &mdash; which has led to flight delays, a much longer boarding process, abusive passengers, and increased theft from gate-checked bags &mdash; also is disregard for everyone else on the plane,&quot; Hilton wrote on his blog.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Call out overhead bin hogs. If you don't have the nerve to tap someone on the shoulder to inform them that their suitcase doesn't qualify as a carry-on, you can snap their picture and <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/05/time-to-smack-down-carry-on-offenders/#24011101=0">upload it to Twitter or Instagram</a> with the hashtag #CarryonShame. The publicity could push the airlines to start enforcing their own rules.</p> <h2>4. You Can't Get Away From People Like This</h2> <p>Remember when people used to dress up to fly? Or at least get dressed?</p> <p>Passenger Shaming, on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PassengerShaming/photos_stream">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/passengershaming">Instagram</a>, posts photos of <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tBfOEfS6lk/?modal=true">shirtless</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tAjeJtS6po/?modal=true">barefooted</a> passengers, people <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tF5GMDy6jf/?modal=true">making out in their seats</a>, and even a kid <a href="http://instagram.com/p/s_ik5_S6pw/?modal=true">using a potty chair</a> in the aisle. Even <a href="https://twitter.com/Donald_Driver80/status/512666823523696640">Superbowl champions in first class</a> can't always avoid other passengers behaving badly. Then there's the auditory pollution from passengers who play movies with no headphones, and the air pollution from those who douse themselves in cologne.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Bring a <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/travel/ridiculous-travel-accesories-that-will-c1409151932617.html">curtain to shield your eyes</a>? Take a sedative and try to sleep through the indignity? Play Bozo Bingo? Whatever gets you through the flight.</p> <h2>5. You Can't Get There on Time</h2> <p>2013 was the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304347904579308640380117768">worst year for flight reliability</a> in the past five, with only 78% of flights arriving on time, according to FlightStats, Inc.</p> <p>The most miserable delays are tarmac delays, when passengers are stuck in planes on runways for hours without going anywhere. Tarmac delays have gotten so bad that the government stepped in to assert passengers' right not to be held hostage on runways, but they still happen. In fact, last year <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/10/25/dot-hits-united-with-record-fine-for-long-tarmac-delays/3188127/">United had to pay $1.1 million</a> in fines for 13 times it left passengers stranded in their seats for more than three hours &mdash; including two planes where the toilets weren't working.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Fortunately there are strategies for <a href="http://www.parksleepfly.com/blog/how-to-avoid-flight-delays/">avoiding flight delays</a>. Fly nonstop, fly early in the day, and don't connect in Denver in the wintertime. If you have a choice, some <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-airports-for-avoiding-flight-delays">airports have fewer delays</a> than others.</p> <p>This list could go on and on.</p> <p>Poor customer service, lost luggage, germy tray tables, out-of-control children, turbulence, security lines &mdash; what's not to hate about air travel these days? While there is not much we can do about many of these discomforts, we actually have a ton of power over the flight experience &mdash; of other people. Be the change you want to see in the air. Be polite. Help parents of small children. Don't leave your gum in the seatback pocket. Thank the flight attendant. Flush. Don't block the aisle. And for goodness sake, keep your shirt on.</p> <p><em>What's your worst in-flight experience? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airlines airplanes airports Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1224393 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-airport-78655089-small.jpg" alt="businessman airport" title="businessman airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is always a fun and exciting experience, but getting through the airport can be a struggle. If it happens to be an unlucky day, you'll get stuck with long lines, rude airport security officials, or delayed flights. Luckily with just a little bit of research, there are many ways you can make your journey faster and more comfortable. We rounded up all the tips and tricks so you don't have to! Learn to navigate airports like a pro with the advice below. You'll be surprised how much time and money you end up saving.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Expert-Travel-Tips-31926521">Expert Travel Tips You Never Thought Of</a></p> <h2>1. Bring Your Own Ziploc Bags</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/ziploc%20bags.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since TSA requires you to separate your liquids into clear plastic bags, it is always a good idea to bring spare Ziploc bags in case you lose one or if you're buying tiny travel liquids last minute. For carry-on bags, TSA has a <a href="http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-liquids-rule">3-1-1 liquids rule</a> and you are only allowed to have one quart-sized clear plastic bag.</p> <h2>2. Freeze Your Liquids to Bring on Planes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/frozen%20drink.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The only con to this trick is your liquids must actually be frozen solid like a rock. If you're on a long flight, however, consider freezing your favorite drinks.</p> <h2>3. Pack Your Own Snacks</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airplane%20snacks.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can, you should avoid buying snacks and drinks at airports because they're overpriced. Instead, pack nuts, cereal bars, candy, and other dry goods to munch on while you wait for your flight.</p> <h2>4. Bring an Empty Water Bottle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/empty%20water%20bottle.jpg" /></p> <p>Like snacks, water usually costs a lot more at airports. The best way to cheat the system is to bring an empty water bottle or canteen and fill it up once you get past security checkpoints.</p> <h2>5. Take a Nap at the Airport</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/napping%20airport.jpg" /></p> <p>Some airports, like London's Heathrow, offer <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2013-10-29/5-awesome-airport-nap-pods-around-the-world/2">sleeping pods</a> where you can catch up on rest between long flight transfers. Pay $39 for four hours and you can take a shower (body wash and towels are provided) and enjoy a comfortable nap (not on the airport floor). If you're traveling internationally, check to see if your airport location offers this sleeping amenity. Your body will thank you.</p> <h2>6. Pick the Checkpoint Farthest to the Left</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20security%20checkpoint.jpg" /></p> <p>If you hate waiting in line (and who doesn't?), research shows that most people are right-handed and tend to turn right first, so do the opposite and go left. For more on how to find faster airport security lines, follow <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/life/travel/2006/04/11/The-gate-less-traveled-Finding-faster-airport-security-lines/stories/200604110205">these tips</a>.</p> <h2>7. Sign Up For a VIP Airport Lounge</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20vip%20lounge.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're a frequent flier, you can use your flyer miles to buy a membership to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/vip-airport-lounges-how-to-get-in/1">airport lounges</a>. Most lounges also offer day passes (under $50). These private, fancy spots are perfect for resting and offer amenities such as a great bar and knowledgeable staff.</p> <h2>8. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Free Things</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/free%20flight%20gifts.jpg" /></p> <p>Especially when it comes to flight upgrades. Take advantage of special events; if you were recently married (on your honeymoon) or have a birthday, tell the airline staff &mdash; they may be willing to upgrade you. Traveling alone also makes it easier to ask for a flight upgrade as well as just simply asking! Do so quietly, and the worse that can happen is a polite no.</p> <h2>9. Bring Alcohol on the Plane</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mini%20alchohol%20bottles.jpg" /></p> <p>You're allowed to take bottles of alcohol that are 100ml or less through security as long as they fit into your one-quart Ziploc bag.</p> <h2>10. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/excess%20baggage.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Worried about your carry-on going over the weight limit? Wear the heaviest items and wear layers to get past security. Then head to the nearest bathroom and switch out of the clothes.</p> <h2>11. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/night%20flight.jpg" /></p> <p>If you really hate packed airports and rush-hour traffic and don't mind overnight flights, try booking a plane that leaves past 10 p.m. You can simply go to sleep and wake up at your next destination without all the usual airport hassle.</p> <h2>12. Collect Unused Hotel Toiletries</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hotel%20toiletries.jpg" /></p> <p>And bring them with you next time you travel. These mini bottles are the perfect carry-on items, and you won't have to shell out the extra money for reusable bottles or travel liquids.</p> <h2>13. Sign Up For TSA Precheck or Global Entry</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/global%20entry.jpg" /></p> <p>These programs allow you to bypass long lines and get into another country twice as fast. <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/locations">Check to see</a> if you can apply for global entry.</p> <h2>14. Store Your Laptop in an Easy-to-Access Place</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/laptop%20bag.jpg" /></p> <p>If you don't have a laptop case, invest in one. Security usually makes you scan your laptop separately, so always have it in an easy-to-reach spot of your bag or suitcase.</p> <h2>15. Always Check For Free WiFi</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20wifi.jpg" /></p> <p>There is also a trick circulating that adding &quot;?.jpg&quot; to the end of a URL allows you to access the Internet for free.</p> <h2>16. Wear Glasses</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/glasses.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you wear contacts, you'll notice how your eyes often get really dry during the flight (as well as the rest of your skin). Glasses may not make a fashion statement, but you'll be comfortable, and you can always switch into contacts once you land.</p> <h2>17. Bring a Light Scarf or Sweater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sleeping%20blanket.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Always expect an airport or plane to be cold. Bring a light blanket or extra sweater, hoodie, or scarf to keep yourself warm before and during the flight.</p> <h2>18. Bring Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/wet%20wipes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Planes are one of the easiest places to catch germs and a cold. Pack wet wipes to use during the flight or while you're at the airport. They'll keep your hands clean and refresh your face after a flight.</p> <h2>19. Check Airport Real-Time Conditions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/flight%20status.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Check to see <a href="http://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/">what's happening</a> at your airport (whether there's a delay in flights, long lines, or other issues) before you leave your home.</p> <h2>20. Wrap Your Luggage Handle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/luggage%20tag.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're the type to worry about someone else taking your luggage, make your suitcase identifiable by tying brightly colored fabric or ribbon to the handles. You'll be able to spot that red bow amid all the black suitcases rolling out.</p> <h2>21. Carry a Portable Battery Charger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/portable%20phone%20charger.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Airports have charging stations, and that's usually the spot everyone gravitates toward. And often you can't get a seat next to an outlet, so you end up standing off to the side while keeping an eye on your phone that's charging. To be on the safe side, carry around a small portable charger that you can pull out anytime.</p> <h2>22. Skip the Taxi Service</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/airport%20bus.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Check out the local transportation systems at your airport destination. See if there are air trains you can take to a regular metro or a bus that will take you to your destination. Avoid taxi services if you can, but if you really want to travel via car, check out services like Uber (which can be a lot cheaper in European countries).</p> <h2>23. Download Offline Google Maps</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/google%20maps.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In case there is no WiFi when you land at your destination and you have a limited online data plan, download the Google Maps app beforehand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The airport is no picnic, but you can make it bearable with this collection of clever air transport how-tos and workarounds. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Essentials-Help-You-Save-6349005">Pack These 11 Travel Essentials to Save Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Make-Money-While-Vacation-35370117">10 Ways to Earn Money While You're on Vacation</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Travel-Guide-Apps-33481576">6 Travel Apps For the Best Vacation Ever</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Travel air travel airlines airport flying Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:00:03 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1214846 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-traveler-124821906-small.jpg" alt="stressed traveler" title="stressed traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands up if you remember getting free meals on your flights.</p> <p>It wasn't too long ago that we got free checked bags, and did not have to pay for headphones or blankets, either. As time goes on, the airline industry is making changes that keep themselves in profit, and us wishing we had the money to fly first class. Or better yet, have our own plane. And things are only going to get worse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach (Almost) as Luxurious as Flying First Class</a>)</p> <p>Here are eight &quot;innovations&quot; that may be coming to an airline that you fly regularly. Don't be surprised if you see these changes sooner rather than later. What was once something comedians joked about is going to become the reality for almost all of us.</p> <h2>1. Vertical Passenger Seating</h2> <p>That's a fancy ways of saying &quot;standing seats.&quot; If that sounds like an oxymoron, it is. But, the one thing this invention has going for it is money. Fairuz Romili, an aerospace engineering professor at the Universal Putra Malaysia, says the standing seat would &quot;lead to a 21% increase in passenger capacity, while dropping ticket prices by as much as 44%.&quot; Think about that for a second. Yes, it sounds (and <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/10/travel/standing-cabin-plane-study/">looks</a>) very uncomfortable. Yes, it will also lead to a huge amount of people in economy class, meaning it will take even longer to get drinks and snacks. But, if it dropped the price of a ticket from $300 to $156, would you take it?</p> <h2>2. Limited Lavatories (Or Toilet Fees!)</h2> <p>Can you hold it? You might just have to.</p> <p>Cheaper airlines, also known as budget airlines, are looking into a few bathroom ideas that can chop the price of your ticket. One idea is to have just one toilet per plane. On a smaller aircraft, not such a big deal. On a 747 or 777, you better learn to cross your legs and think of something else. The other option is to charge you to go; literally, spending a dollar to spend a penny. Either one of these would be pushed on you with some great marketing spin. &quot;We're reducing frills to bring you the best possible price on your flight.&quot; Great&hellip; until you have to wait 45 minutes to answer the call of nature.</p> <h2>3. The Fat Tax</h2> <p>Some airlines are already &quot;suggesting&quot; or insisting that obese people buy two seats instead of just one. Sometimes, in the case of <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/obese-man-forced-buy-plane-tickets-seats-rows-article-1.1484738">Les Price</a>, they don't even give you two adjacent seats, which makes no sense at all. However, soon it won't be just purchasing extra seats. You may very well have to &quot;weigh in at check in,&quot; and if you tip the skills over a certain weight, the price of your ticket will go up. For example, males over 250 pounds and females over 200 pounds will pay extra to fly on the plane, even if they fit into a single seat just fine. This could also impact healthy people, like bodybuilders and professional athletes, who are heavy without being obese in the real sense of the word. Imagine being told your ticket will cost one third more because you're a bit on the heavy side. It's coming.</p> <h2>4. Women Only in the Cabin Crew</h2> <p>Not that having only women in the crew is bad for passengers, but it certainly isn't good for any men looking for a career in that field. How will that save money, or be beneficial? Well, we already know that women earn less than men in the same role. But according to GoAir, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/29/travel/airline-recruits-women-to-save-fuel/">hiring only women makes sense</a> because they are, on average, &quot;15-20 kilos lighter than the average man.&quot; Is that sexism, or simply a statement of fact from GoAir? Well, however you feel about it, you can expect to see either less men in the air, or only people weighing less than a certain amount.</p> <h2>5. In-Flight Phone Calls Are Coming</h2> <p>Currently, the U.S. government says <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-moves-closer-to-formal-rules-barring-in-flight-cellphone-calls-1407096288">no to mid-flight cell phone conversations</a>. However, lobbyists will change that sooner or later, and when it happens you can expect your flight to be filled with inconsiderate people who absolutely cannot wait to make that call. This is, without a doubt, going to be the most irritating and awful thing to change the way we fly. Pack noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs. Lots of earplugs.</p> <h2>6. You're Doing Everything Yourself</h2> <p>We all like autonomy, but when we're flying there are still some things we like to have a trained professional for. Sometimes, they can really help when it comes to getting us on different flights, changing times, adding to our itinerary, and so on. The future is going to be completely automated. Right now, you can get onto a plane without really seeing anyone if you're doing a short hop without checked bags. That is going to change. You will be tagging your own bags and loading them onto the conveyor belt. You'll use a thumbprint to identify yourself and get on and off the plane. You'll even have to get your own food and drinks on the plane. Why pay people when you can do it for the airlines for free?</p> <h2>7. More Overbooked Flights</h2> <p>In the past, you would often fly with enough empty seats on the plane to lie down and take a nap. That will never happen in the future. To ensure &quot;maximum profit margins,&quot; every flight will be seriously overbooked. This will result in more delays at airports, and incredible complications with connecting flights and hotel reservations. You could always go and complain to someone, but of course, you'll be greeted by a computer terminal with no feelings about the matter either way.</p> <h2>8. Massive Aircraft</h2> <p>We already know about the ginormous <a href="http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a380family/">Airbus A380</a>. That's only just the beginning. Plans are already underway to build something bigger. One such idea is the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2538651/The-future-air-travel-Three-storey-Sky-Whale-fits-755-passengers-virtual-reality-windows-self-healing-wings.html">Sky Whale</a>, which would hold 755 passengers split into three different classes (and only those in first would enjoy the experience). Getting onto a plane that big will take a long, long time. Getting anything to eat or drink will take equally as long. And getting off, well, don't make any immediate plans when you arrive at the airport. Of course, if one of these things ever crashes, it's going to be a devastating tragedy. And one day, Sky Dinosaurs could carry 1500 people at once. The cost of fuel by then will be so expensive, it will probably not cut the price of the ticket by much.</p> <p><em>What nightmarish future airline plans are you dreading?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airlines cost cutting customer service Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1211247 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first-class-airline-dv2073081-small.jpg" alt="first class airline" title="first class airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was once a time when you could show up at the gate early, dressed nicely, and have a smiling attendant hand you a free upgrade to first class without even asking for it. Now, access to the front of the plane isn't as easy, and requires a bit more of a scientific approach. But this doesn't mean you need to pay the full fare; in fact very few passengers ever do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks by Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 of the cheapest ways to fly first class.</p> <h2>Before You Go</h2> <p>Before you even pack your bag, here are a few handy tricks for nabbing a first class fare.</p> <h3>Search and You Might Find</h3> <p>Most people search for economy fares, figuring that first class fares are out of reach. However this isn't always the case. I was recently searching for a ticket from Toronto to Lima. I did the standard search on a variety of search engines, all in economy class of course. Then, I performed the same search in first class, and &mdash; glory be &mdash; I found a first class flight, for $50 more than the equivalent economy ticket. Airlines will occasionally (and very quietly) offer deep discounts on first class airfare. It always pays to search your desired flight itinerary in both economy and first class.</p> <h3>Mystery Shopping</h3> <p>Using your eagle eyes to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your experience, you can score half price flights, free hotels, and other travel deals with mystery shopping. Half price off a first class flight is a pretty good deal, but it's even sweeter if you wait for a seat sale and get half price off the sale-priced ticket, or take advantage of periodic mystery shopping promotions that entail a free upgrade to first class. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels?ref=seealso">How to Sign up For Half Price Flights and Free Hotels</a>).</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Miles</h3> <p>Although a somewhat obvious approach, I'm surprised at how many people stare at me with wonder when I tell them that all my long-haul flights are in first class, mainly due to frequent flyer mile accumulation. With a little patience and some attention to detail, you can acquire enough frequent flyer miles to fly in first class, which often represents the best value per mile you can get. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Mile Upgrades</h3> <p>Frequent flyer mile gurus will attest to the value of purchasing economy tickets and using miles for upgrading to first class. Although I can't attest to this technique (I usually book it in first class to begin with, just to be sure), you can learn more about it through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free?ref=seealso">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>.</p> <h2>At Check-In</h2> <p>You've still got an economy ticket in your hand and your bags are packed, but hope is not lost. Here are some techniques for cheap (or free) first class upgrades.</p> <h3>Mention a Special Occasion</h3> <p>Make it known (in as natural a way as possible) that you're just married, or traveling home to hug your mother for your milestone birthday, or celebrating a noteworthy anniversary, and you might find yourself upgraded to first class for free.</p> <h3>Dress the Part</h3> <p>If you dress and act the part, an upgraded boarding pass could land in your hands. Depending on the route and airline, however, don't hold your breath. If you fly frequently for work, you're more likely to score an upgrade with your elite frequent flyer status rather than by having a snazzy suit at check-in.</p> <h3>Ask About Miles/Cash Upgrades</h3> <p>Occasionally at check-in, you can nab a good deal for a cash or frequent flyer mile upgrade to first class. It might be worth an extra couple of hundred dollars if you're getting an upgrade to a first class ticket which sells for thousands more.</p> <h2>At the Gate</h2> <p>No luck yet? That's okay. Here's how to play your cards right at the gate&hellip;</p> <h3>Arrive at the Gate Early</h3> <p>After checking passengers in at the front desk, airline staff usually move to the gate to print out rosters and do other administrative things. If you're at the gate early, you might catch them in this lull before the next rush for boarding begins.</p> <p>If you're sitting there looking nice and were cordial at check-in, the gate attendant might shuffle a few seats around and bump you up to first class. A sob story/special occasion can help if you manage to get chatting with them and ask them for an upgrade. This is how I got my first-ever free upgrade to first class. I'd miscalculated the time after 20-something hours of travel and was sitting at the gate with hours to spare and got chatting with the gate attendant about my mammoth journey, at which point she decided to make the next leg of it much more comfortable for me. It happened again in Australia after a ridiculous amount of continuous travel. I asked (some might say begged) the gate attendant for some reprieve on my final flight, and she pitied me with an upgrade to first class.</p> <h3>Volunteer to Be Bumped</h3> <p>Some airlines overbook their flights, such that at the gate they ask for volunteers to be bumped off their pending flight. In exchange for your benevolence, you'll be remunerated with things like vouchers for food, accommodation, future flights (in addition to your missed flight being rebooked for you), straight cash, and sometimes, an upgrade to first class.</p> <p>If you're eager to take advantage of this deal and don't mind missing your flight, don't wait to be asked to bump; volunteer in advance by (showing up early, and letting the gate attendant know that you're available if they're overbooked.</p> <h2>By the Way</h2> <p>Don't forget about business class. With most airlines and routes, there is very little &mdash; if any &mdash; difference between business class and first class. Although in some cases first class flights offer an additional level of opulence, few people could turn their noses up at a business class upgrade or ticket. It's not &quot;first class,&quot; but trust me &mdash; it's better than coach.</p> <p><em>Do you fly first class &mdash; for cheap? What's your secret? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class" class="sharethis-link" title="The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airline business class first class seat upgrade Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1207169 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/angry-airplane-passengers-dv2074031-small.jpg" alt="angry airplane passengers" title="angry airplane passengers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By now you've heard of the contretemps aboard an airliner last weekend during which one passenger prevented the seat in front of him from reclining through use of a device called the Knee Defender. Frustration ensued until the passenger seated ahead doused the passenger seated behind and the Captain diverted to another airport and <em>both passengers</em> were escorted off the plane. Ever since, the Internet has been all worked up about whether or not the Right to Recline is an actual right (<a href="https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/08/29/poll-results-flying/">a recent poll suggests a majority of Americans think it's a right</a>).</p> <p>Economy air travel is not as comfortable as it could be these days. And certainly episodes like last week's are probably best avoided with the simplest knee defense of all &mdash; common courtesy. Crowded travel is uncomfortable for everybody. A little courtesy takes the edge off and brightens everyone's day.</p> <p>With courtesy the floor, what else can one do to make economy air travel more pleasant? Wise Bread's writers have had plenty of suggestions over the years. Here are a few.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=classicwb">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a> &mdash; Pro traveler Nora Dunn shares the tips and tricks she's learned about navigating that terrifying space between ground transportation and the plane &mdash; the airport.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=classicwb">9 Things You Must When Travelling With Kids</a> &mdash; Air travel is tough, but adding kids maxes out the difficulty setting. Elizabeth Lang walks you through it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=classicwb">6 Things to Keep You Sane on the Plane</a> &mdash; Kentin Waits shares what he stows in his carry-on to make a long trip bearable, and maybe even enjoyable.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-airline-fees-that-are-actually-worth-paying?ref=classicwb">8 Airline Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying</a> &mdash; Penny wise, pound foolish applies to air travel too, and Deia B explains which airline upgrades are worth the cost.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there?ref=classicwb">Alternatives to Air Travel: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a> &mdash; And if none of that makes air travel an attractive option, Nora Dunn suggests other ways of going. They may not be as fast, but they're bound to be more comfortable.</p> <p>Whether you're Team Recline or Team Knee, the next time you're on a crowded plane, remember this: your fellow passengers didn't decide to cram an extra row of seats on the plane &mdash; the airline did. Keep your cool, stay courteous, and aim your complaints high.</p> <p><em>How do you stay comfortable when flying? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips" class="sharethis-link" title="Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airline flying reclining travel Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Lars Peterson 1199892 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-sleeping-airport-78770981-small.jpg" alt="businessman sleeping airport" title="businessman sleeping airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to save money on drinks and baggage fees, skip airport lineups, get good prices on flights, keep the kids amused, and stay safe when arriving in airports at unwieldy hours? Then read on, because I've rounded up 10 professional travelers and invited them to share their <em>best</em> airport hacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>).</p> <h2>1. Apply for Global Entry</h2> <p>U.S. Citizens can clear customs quickly with <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/about">Global Entry</a>. (Citizens of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other countries have <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/other-programs">similar pre-screening programs</a> that work in tandem with Global Entry). Application involves a rigorous background check and interview, but once you're a member you can clear customs in a jiffy, and also take advantage of special security lines and procedures.</p> <p>Lisa Ellen Niver of <a href="http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/">We Said Go Travel</a> is a global citizen who has traveled to over 100 countries on six continents. After traveling with her parents and experiencing the benefits of Global Entry, she lodged her own application. &quot;After you apply and have your interview, you no longer have to stand in long security lines. You are whisked ahead with no need to remove shoes or take computers out of cases. It makes travel seem almost civilized again!&quot;</p> <h2>2. Bring Your Own Liquor</h2> <p>Are you taking a domestic flight (and/or flying a budget airline) and want to have a drink but don't want to pay the airline's prices for liquor? Carry on a mini bottle of your favorite libation and mix it with the free soft drink, says Tamara Elliott, who offers savvy practical travel advice on <a href="http://www.globeguide.ca/">Globe Guide</a>. &quot;This works well since mix (Coke, juice, etc) is already included on-board &mdash; plus, the TSA doesn't have restrictions about what liquids you can bring, just how big they are.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Hitchhike Into the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>Turner Wright of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>, who has lived in Japan, South Korea, Peru, Thailand, and New Zealand, has an unconventional method for accessing first class lounges:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Some first class lounges allow you to bring in a guest for free, so as long as you're not too smelly and relatively personable, just hang out at the entrance and ask someone if he or she wouldn't mind signing you in (including a sob story about how you've been cooped up for 30 hours and/or missing your family wouldn't hurt).</p> <h2>4. Pay for the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>If schmoozing into the first class lounge doesn't work (or isn't your style), you can often buy a pass. It usually costs $30-$50 and gives you access to all the lounge amenities such as comfortable seating, free food and drinks (including alcohol), Internet, and sometimes even showers and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have hours to kill before your flight or between flights, this can be money well spent.</p> <h2>5. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p>Benny Lewis as been on the road for over 11 years and was named National Geographic's Traveler of the Year in 2013. He travels with everything he owns (including books!), and flies budget airlines with over 80 pounds of gear without paying for it. His secret? He <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-creative-ways-to-avoid-airline-fees-like-wearable-suitcases">wears his luggage</a> with the unfashionable but arguably practical <a href="http://www.jaktogo.com/">Jaktogo</a>. &quot;It's not a great fashion statement, and uncomfortable to wear while you do it, but that's only necessary while you [check in and] board the plane (since that's the only time your number of bags are truly checked). The rest of the time, you can walk around the terminal and even go through security with it in its extra bag folded up mode.&quot; (Benny himself a polyglot who teaches people to become <a href="http://www.fluentin3months.com/">Fluent in 3 Months</a> with a variety of tools including a free crash course.)</p> <h2>6. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p>Matt Stabile, founder and Editor-in-Chief of <a href="http://www.theexpeditioner.com/">TheExpeditioner.com</a> and <a href="http://www.expeditionersafaris.com/">ExpeditionerSafaris.com</a> says the best way to avoid the hassle of getting through airports is to choose red-eye (overnight) flights, especially if it's a long flight. &quot;If you book a flight that leaves past, say, 10:00pm, you'll avoid rush hour traffic on the way to the airport, lines at check-in are going to be minimal, security will take a fraction of what it takes earlier in the day, and once you settle in for the flight, you can simply go to sleep and wake up at your destination.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Get Help Booking Flights</h2> <p>If flying red-eye doesn't appeal, Benny Lewis also recommends using <a href="http://www.flightfox.com/">Flight Fox</a> to book flights; he says they can often find a convenient travel time for the same cost as a red-eye flight.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Assistance</h2> <p>Airports usually involve lots of walking and standing in line, which not everybody can manage. If you or somebody you're traveling with has trouble getting around (due to age or injury), don't let pride get in the way; ask for assistance.</p> <p>Jeanne Dee of <a href="http://www.soultravelers3.com/">SoulTravelers3</a> discovered this life-saver while suffering serious medical challenges and traveling with her family. &quot;Airlines can help you with wheelchair assistance, making the whole process doable for someone with health challenges, and they escort the whole family through security and customs and such.&quot; Jeanne and her multi-award-winning digital nomadic family of three have been on the road non-stop for almost nine years, visiting 47 countries on five continents for $23/day per person.</p> <p>Although wheelchair assistance shouldn't be taken advantage of, it's a huge time-saver if you have a tight connection and are unable to move quickly. I discovered this myself after suffering a near-fatal accident and traveling to the States for medical attention. I would never have made the connection in my condition without being skirted through the airport's &quot;secret passages&quot; and ushered through special lineups. (Bonus: Your travel companions are escorted through with you!)</p> <h2>9. Eat at the Airport</h2> <p>Tiffany and Chris Soukup of <a href="http://www.vagabondway.net/">VagabondWay.net</a> have been traveling and working around the world for the last 10 years. They've learned through experience that eating a solid meal at the airport can actually be cost-effective, and arriving well-fed helps battle <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">jet lag</a> and even helps you make better (money-saving) decisions. Tiffany uses some hacks to make it cost-effective and fun. &quot;I can't say the airport is my favorite place to eat, but I look forward to walking around to find where I'll dine. [Also], look ahead to know what restaurants are at the airport and see if you can get coupons.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Family Travel Hack: Entertain the Kids Without Gadgets</h2> <p>Rachel and Greg Denning of <a href="http://www.discovershareinspire.com/">DiscoverShareInspire.com</a> have been traveling since 2007 with their five (now six) children. They know better than any parents how hard it is to keep kids entertained during long hours of waiting in airports, and they say using less technology (tablets, smartphones, etc) creates better travelers.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">The mind-numbing, easy entertainment of many [tablet/smartphone] games can lead to boredom, because children get accustomed to being passively entertained, instead of actively entertaining themselves. Reading books, talking, singing, playing games (cards, iSpy, etc.) can hold their attention and lead to bonding and personal interaction, which makes travel more enjoyable for parents and children alike.</p> <p>She adds, however, that if your kids are already addicted to technology, going cold turkey in an airport isn't wise; best to start &quot;weaning&quot; them several weeks before traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-digital-detox-how-and-why-to-do-it?ref=seealso">The Digital Detox &ndash; How and Why to Do It</a>).</p> <h2>11. Jump the Line (and Other Perks) With Frequent Flyer Status</h2> <p>&quot;The Guy&quot; dubs his website <a href="http://www.flightsandfrustration.com/">Flights and Frustration</a> for good reason; he has been traveling internationally with his work nearly every month for over 14 years. He has found a way to use business class and priority lineups even if he's flying economy. It's all about achieving elite status with frequent flyer miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>).</p> <p>&quot;A prime example is my KLM Flying Blue card. With higher status I can use my economy ticket and still go to the business class check-in queue.&quot; For those with miles but no status, try asking for a points-upgrade. &quot;Inquire at check-in (or even before you go to the airport) to see if you can redeem points to upgrade your ticket to business class. Then it is queue jumping and luxury travel all the way.&quot;</p> <p>Having status with one airline can give you access to perks on all airlines in the alliance. &quot;I collect frequent flyer points on my Singapore Kris Flyer card for Star Alliance flights. I held a Gold Status with this Kris Flyer card whilst checking in for a domestic flight in the US with United. Due to my frequent flyer status with Star Alliance, they waived the baggage fee.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Go Through Priority Lines Anyway</h2> <p>Turner Wright (of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>) doesn't even bother flashing a frequent flyer mile status card to jump the line. &quot;Depending on the rush, I find it pretty ridiculous to cue up in one security line when there's an empty one for first class or priority passengers. Usually I just walk up and ask if I can go through, assuming they don't just wave me in. The same goes for lines at immigration and customs.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Flash Your Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p>Even if you don't have super-elite frequent flyer mile status, you can flash a travel rewards credit card to gain lounge access. Stephanie Zito has been to over 115 countries living and working on the road for the last 20+ years. In addition to her humanitarian work and <a href="http://www.wanderingforgood.com/">Wandering For Good</a>, she's also the managing editor of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> and a travel-hacker extraordinaire.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">If you live and work on the road and take advantage of lounges for showers, meals, Wi-Fi, and free drinks, it's worth carrying a card that&nbsp;gets you Priority Pass which allows you to access more than 600 lounges around the world. If you just need a pass or two, many co-branded airline credit cards offer one or two lounge passes a year as a sign-up bonus.</p> <h2>14. Catch a Rest in the Chapel (and a Shower Nearby)</h2> <p>If you've got a long layover or delayed flight and need some peace and quiet, look for the airport chapel. It can be a great place to catch a catnap, meditate, or simply enjoy a cell-phone free environment. Stephanie Zito also says it might lead you to a shower in certain parts of the world: &quot;If you're traveling through the middle east, there is almost always a public shower room somewhere in the airport &mdash; you just have to find it. The trick is to locate the prayer area. The showers will always be nearby.&quot;</p> <h2>15. Sleep in the Airport</h2> <p>Wade Shepard has been traveling since 1999 as founding editor of <a href="http://www.vagabondjourney.com/">Vagabond Journey</a>, and he has a formula for sleeping in airports. &quot;I usually sleep in the airport when I have an early morning flight leaving between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. or when I land between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It's free, relatively secure, and cuts out the hassle of taking [costly] late night transportation and checking in/out of a hotel at an hour when humans are better off tucked away in bed.&quot; He even argues that it's safer to sleep in the airport than to navigate a foreign city late at night, where you might be more of a target.</p> <p>He consults <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/">SleepingInAirports.net</a> to find the best places to sleep, and likes to be out of the way but still around other people (who are preferably sleeping) so there is security in numbers. As for his luggage, he secures it: &quot;I either lock my bag to the chair I'm sleeping in or I tie it my wrist &mdash; so if someone was to try to snatch it I'd wake up.&quot;</p> <p>Wade even does this with his wife and child in tow. &quot;Having three people to fend for makes the money saved even greater! I also found it works better just to let my daughter stay up late, go crazy in the airport, then crash on the plane rather than waking her up in the middle of the night and moving her out [of a hotel].&quot;</p> <p>For more from frequent travelers, check out these 25 other fantastic travel tips and secrets: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have any reliable airport hacks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airport secrets airports credit cards frugal travel travel secrets Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:06:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1185372 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop-481775233.jpg" alt="flight search" title="flight searc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With so many travel booking websites out there, it can be tough to decide which one to use. But did you know that many of these websites are powered by the same search engine?</p> <p><a href="http://matrix.itasoftware.com/search.htm">ITA Matrix</a> is the powerful software behind such household names as Kayak and Orbitz. It's a great place to start when you're looking for airfares. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Why Have I Never Heard of It?</h2> <p>Unlike other flight search websites, ITA Matrix does not book flights for you. Other websites earn money through bookings, while ITA earns money through selling its software to the travel industry. This is why consumers are not likely to see their ads or find them by googling &quot;book cheap flights.&quot; What ITA Matrix does is search for flights so you can book them elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Get Dirt Cheap Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>Why Use It?</h2> <p>Using ITA Matrix does involve an extra step, but it's worth the extra time because it's the most flexible flight search engine out there. It can take into account many different factors of your trip to help you find the perfect airfare. If you have a flexible itinerary or if you're using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">air miles</a>, ITA Matrix can actually save you time by doing in one search what other websites can only do in multiple searches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-all-your-travel-the-ultimate-guide?ref=seealso">Negotiating All Your Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Searching for Airfares on ITA Matrix</h2> <p>At first glance, the search form looks like any other flight site's. You first choose between &quot;round trip,&quot; &quot;one-way,&quot; and &quot;multi-city.&quot; Then, you enter your city, the destination, travel dates, number of passengers, and cabin class. The magic lies in its other search options.</p> <h3>Flexible Dates</h3> <p>If you don't have specific travel dates in mind, you can take advantage of price fluctuations to get cheaper airfares. When you do a search on ITA Matrix, choose the &quot;See calendar of lowest fares&quot; option and enter the earliest date you can fly out. The website will show you a calendar view of the cheapest dates over the next month.</p> <h3>Flexible Trip Duration</h3> <p>If you can't decide how long to stay in your destination, ITA Matrix can help by showing you how much your airfare would cost depending on the length of your stay.</p> <p>For example, if you enter &quot;5-7&quot; in the &quot;length of stay&quot; field on the search page, you'll again see a calendar view of the airfares over the next month. But this time, when you hover over a date, ITA Matrix will show you how much the airfare would cost if you were to fly out on that date and stay for each trip length option &mdash; in this example, five, six and seven nights. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel?ref=seealso">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a>)</p> <h3>Flexible Airports</h3> <p>Another way you can save big on airfares is by choosing to fly out of less-busy airports. With other flight search websites, you may have to search each airport one by one.</p> <p>ITA Matrix allows you to search multiple airports at once. You can enter each airport by name, but where ITA Matrix really shines is when you click the &quot;Nearby&quot; link and let the software search all airports up to 2,000 miles.</p> <p>This is especially useful when you have several destination options and can't decide which one to choose. If you enter all your possible destinations, ITA Matrix will show you whether it's cheaper to go to Fiji or Australia.</p> <p>This feature is also great for when you want to explore an entire region and have no preference on where you start or end your trip. For example, if you want to book airfares for a trip to Europe, you may search the entire region to see the cheapest entry and exit points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy?ref=seealso">Get the Lowest Rates on Airfare Even After You Buy</a>)</p> <h3>Using Air Miles</h3> <p>If you'll be using air miles to pay for the flight, ITA Matrix is undoubtedly the best place to find your airfare. The software has all sorts of advanced search functions that allow you to make full use of your air miles.</p> <p>If you click &quot;Advanced routing codes&quot; on the search page, you can search by airline. You can also have ITA Matrix calculate the price per mile of your flight.</p> <h2>Choosing Your Flights</h2> <p>After you choose a date from the calendar view, ITA Matrix will show you all your flight options, arranged by price.</p> <p>You can narrow down your search at this point by playing around with the column headings. For example, if you click the &quot;from/to&quot; heading, you can choose to see only flights leaving from the JFK airport.</p> <p>Another neat feature is the &quot;Time bars&quot; view, which shows each flight as a color-coded bar from departure to arrival.</p> <p>Once you've made a decision, you can choose an airfare by clicking on the price button. ITA Matrix will show you all the flight details you need to make a booking.</p> <h2>Booking the Flight</h2> <p>Armed with the flight details, you can go to the airline website and book there directly. For example, if you choose a flight on United Airlines, just go to the United Airlines website and find the flight there.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can make a booking through a travel agent or another website. Check their prices as well because no one website &mdash; not even ITA Matrix &mdash; will always show the lowest fares every time.</p> <p><em>Have you used ITA Matrix? Where'd you go? How much did you save?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use" class="sharethis-link" title="The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel cheap vacations flight search flights flying Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:48:23 +0000 Deia B 1134184 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How the Major Airlines Determine When and How You Board http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane-467604169.jpg" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are a frequent flier or an occasional traveler, you know the frustration that can be involved when boarding a plane. Climbing over people to get to a seat is always a hassle. Wouldn't it be nice if you could have boarded the plane and gotten into your window seat before the person in the aisle seat? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>)</p> <p>What's worse, there's never enough overhead storage and someone is going to be forced to check their bag when they didn't want to. How do you make sure you get on the plane early enough to ensure that there is space for you?</p> <p>And what if you need extra time to get children situated before the plane takes off? How can you board the plane as early as possible?</p> <p>The answer to each of those questions really depends on which airline you are flying. There are five different ways that an airline determines who boards the plane. Read on to learn about each of those. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Get Free Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>First Come, First to Board</h2> <p><a href="http://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/airport-experience/boarding-school/">Southwest</a> appears to be the only airline that boards in this fashion, and it is because they do not assign seats ahead of time. Their boarding process is based on when you check into your flight, with a few exceptions. Southwest prioritizes their boarding passes as &quot;Group A,&quot; &quot;Group B,&quot; and &quot;Group C.&quot;</p> <h3>Group A</h3> <p>Group A is comprised of Business Select travelers, which are limited to 15 tickets per flight; &quot;A-List&quot; members, who are frequent fliers who have flown 25 (or more) flights in a calendar year; and anyone who has paid for &quot;Early Bird Check-In.&quot; Early Bird Check-In costs $10 and automatically checks you into your flight 36 hours before departure. It does not guarantee you a Group A boarding pass, but Southwest says your chances are pretty good.</p> <h3>Group B and Group C</h3> <p>Group B is usually those who checked into their flight 24 hours (and as close to that 24 hour mark as possible) in advance. Group C will be anyone who checked-in at the airport or only a few hours prior to their flight. You could also get in this group if your flight is full and there's a lot of people checking in early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel Luxurious</a>)</p> <p>There are many exceptions to these &quot;rules.&quot; Families with small children, those who need assistance, or people with disabilities board before Group B. Another exception occurs when someone with a Group A boarding pass cancels their flight at the last minute. A person checking in after that cancellation will take their spot, rather than everyone else moving up.</p> <h2>Priority Boarding First, Then Zone Boarding</h2> <p>United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, US Airways, and many other airlines use similar systems for boarding planes. The priority passengers who board the plane first consist of those with disabilities, uniformed military, and preferred customers. Preferred customer status depends on the airline.</p> <h3>US Airways</h3> <p>On&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/checkin/airportcheckin/boarding_process.html">US Airways</a>,&nbsp;first class boards first. This group is followed by each of the following groups, in order.</p> <ul> <li>Those with seats in the bulkhead or emergency exit rows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Another group of select rewards members.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The final group, beginning with seats at the back of the plane and ending with those at the front.</li> </ul> <h3>American Airlines (and Many Others)</h3> <p>For <a href="http://www.aa.com/i18n/urls/boarding.jsp">American Airlines</a>, when you board depends on whether your flight is domestic or international, but generally this means first class boards first followed by elite members. This is followed by zone boarding based on where your seat is starting in the back of the plane and moving to the front. Other airlines like Delta, Virgin, Continental, Frontier, and JetBlue all board their planes in a similar way.</p> <p><a href="https://hub.united.com/en-us/News/Company-Operations/Pages/arriving-at-a-single-boarding-process.aspx">United Airlines</a> boards their planes slightly differently but still within the &quot;priority first, and then in zones&quot; scheme. The first two groups are priority groups consisting of first class and elite frequent fliers. The remaining three groups are based on where your seat is. Boarding order is window seats, then middle seats, and finally aisle seats. (If you are traveling with someone, you should board the plane when the person with the earliest pass is called.)</p> <h2>Back and Forth Rotation</h2> <p>AirTran boards their planes in zones, but the zones are assigned by seat location and rotate back and forth. The first to board are business class and then a zone in the back of the plane followed by a zone in the front of the plane. This back and forth is rotated until the plane has completely boarded.</p> <p>As you can see, airlines differ in how they assign boarding passes. If you are planning a trip and want to make sure that you can fit your carry-on luggage into the overhead bins, it may be beneficial for you to consider how your plane will be boarded before purchasing your ticket. As with all airlines and most businesses, being a frequent customer has its benefits. Be sure to sign up for any rewards cards you can to reap the most benefits and board the plane when you really want to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><em>Any airline boarding quirks I've missed? Any boarding tricks you've figured out? Let me know in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board" class="sharethis-link" title="Here&#039;s How the Major Airlines Determine When and How You Board" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airline seats airlines boarding Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:48:19 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1126473 at http://www.wisebread.com Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel (Almost) Luxurious http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane-168690868.jpg" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you uncomfortable while flying? Cramped? Crowded?</p> <p>Well try this on for size: <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/07/travel/feeling-cramped-battle-airline-seat/">airplane seats are shrinking</a> even more. In the 1990s, the average airplane seat was 18.5 inches wide. Today, they're 16.5 inches wide.</p> <p>And while seats are getting smaller, passengers are getting bigger! In the 1960s, average females weighed 140 pounds and males weighed 166 pounds. Today, average females weigh 166 pounds and males weigh 196 pounds.</p> <p>Whew! That's a tight squeeze.</p> <p>But don't fret, here are seven tips to help you survive small seats and long flights comfortably. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Choose Your Seat Wisely</h2> <p>Unless you're flying first class, your airplane seat isn't going to be comfortable. But there are a few key factors in picking the right seat for you.</p> <h3>Emergency Exits</h3> <p>Emergency exit seats are great for legroom, but they don't recline. If you feel comfortable assisting those in an emergency and prefer legroom, ask if any emergency exit seats are available at check in. They tend to go fast, so the earlier you check in, the more likely you'll get one. If you can't get an exit seat, select a seat directly behind the emergency exit row seats that don't recline, so you have more room to work and move around. Also, if a passenger opts out of assisting others in an emergency, the flight attendant will ask for volunteers, and you might get picked. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-more-done-on-airplanes?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Get More Done on Airplanes</a>)</p> <h3>Windows and Aisles</h3> <p>Window seats give you the benefit of looking out the window and controlling the window shade, but are difficult to get into and out of.</p> <p>Aisle seats give you the option of extending your leg into the aisle (when a cart is not present) and the ease of moving about the cabin, but don't have a view.</p> <p>If you're traveling with a partner, don't compromise your preferred seat just for them. You can always sit in the same row in your preferred seat or different rows in your preferred seat. For example, my husband and I both prefer aisle seats, so we sit across from each other on the same row (e.g. Row 14C, Row 14D with the aisle in between) OR sit in different rows but the same seat (e.g. Row 14C, Row 15C). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards With Airline Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <p>Avoid seats near the restrooms and towards the rear of the airplane, as you'll be on it longer and near a lot of foot traffic.</p> <p>Always try to select your seat when booking your flight. Finally, a site like <a href="http://www.seatguru.com/">SeatGuru</a> can help you spot other roomier seats on any given flight, such as those behind bulkheads or in odd configurations (for example, the last two rows of many 747s have only two seats, rather than three).</p> <h2>Pack Light</h2> <p>Planning and packing properly can make or break your comfort level. Avoid shuffling around last minute and moving items from the overhead bin to your seat or vice versa. Or worse, having too many items in your seat pocket or foot area. Instead, pack a small bag for the items you'll need to access from your seat such as your wallet, water bottle, light snack, eye drops, Chapstick, book or kindle, headset, etc. and store everything else in the overhead bin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/roll-dont-fold-and-10-other-tricks-for-packing-fast?ref=seealso">Tricks for Packing Fast</a>)</p> <h2>Dress Comfortably</h2> <p>Forget looking like a jet-setter, and focus on being comfortable. Wear stretchy, layered, and loose-fitting clothes. When selecting your footwear, consider shoes that can easily slip on and off for getting through security and while on the flight. A warm pair of socks will help with the temperature changes in the cabin.</p> <h2>Charge Up</h2> <p>Before your flight, ensure all your electronic devices are fully charged. You can charge them at home or at the airport while waiting to take off. Having fully charged devices means you can watch movies on your iPad, read a book on your Kindle, or work on your laptop to help pass the time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-during-a-flight-delay?ref=seealso">Free Ways to Entertain Yourself During a Flight Delay</a>)</p> <p>Some airplanes have electronic plugs in case your battery doesn't hold a charge for a long time. Ask the check-in assistant if the airplane has plugs and if you can sit in a location where they're available.</p> <h2>Stay Hydrated</h2> <p>There's nothing worse than getting a tickle in your throat and not having water. Always have a full bottle of water. You can either buy a bottle after getting through security OR carry an empty water bottle through security and fill it up after. And more airports are providing filtered water systems for people to fill up their own bottles. If your eyes and lips are sensitive to the cabin pressure and temperature changes, bring eye drops and Chapstick.</p> <h2>Stretch and Move</h2> <p>To help prevent <a href="http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dvt/">Deep Vein Thrombosis</a> &mdash; a serious condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins &mdash; stretch and move around periodically during the flight. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, &quot;Increasing leg muscle activity during long periods of sitting improves blood flow in the legs. This may include walking around the cabin or exercising your lower legs and ankles while seated.&quot;</p> <h2>Snuggle In</h2> <p>For a long flight, consider bringing an inflatable neck pillow, eye cover, and light blanket to help you sleep. If you don't want to be interrupted while you sleep select a window seat so you won't have to get up regularly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you?ref=seealso">How Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You</a>)</p> <p>So even if airplane seats are shrinking and we're growing, by following these seven tips you can survive the small seats and long flights comfortably.</p> <p><em>How do you stay comfortable on long flights? Please tell us in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious" class="sharethis-link" title="Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel (Almost) Luxurious " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darcie-connell">Darcie Connell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel economy class flying comfort Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:36:08 +0000 Darcie Connell 1111399 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Travel This Holiday Season Without Getting Sick http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-this-holiday-season-without-getting-sick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-travel-this-holiday-season-without-getting-sick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-dv2073156.jpg" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="198" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband calls me &quot;iron guts.&quot;</p> <p>Not because I have six pack abs (sigh), but because I traveled through India for three months and didn&#39;t get sick. No Delhi belly. No cold. No flu. Nothing but a clean bill of health.</p> <p>How do I travel without getting sick? It&#39;s simple. I take care of myself and follow a few tricks &mdash; the same tricks that you can (and should) follow this holiday season when you travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Top Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Drink Water</h2> <p>Staying hydrated is important to your overall health. If you&#39;re flying, bring a water bottle with you to the airport. You can drink it during check in, carry the empty bottle through security, and fill it up before the flight. Plus, a lot of airports now have water filtration systems. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays?ref=seealso">Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a>)</p> <h2>Clip Your Nails</h2> <p>Long fingernails are a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117161">breeding ground for bacteria and germs</a>. And what&#39;s worse&hellip; many people bite their nails when they&#39;re stressed under the pressure of the holidays and traveling. So keep those nails short, and keep your health.</p> <h2>Blow Your Nose</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/nosick-sick-4249584-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Even if you don&#39;t have a runny nose, be sure to blow your nose throughout the day to clear any airborne germs. A good way to remember is to blow your nose after every meal or snack. And pocket-sized tissue packets are great for long travel days.</p> <h2>Sanitize</h2> <p>Highly used surfaces can easily collect germs and bacteria. Carry a travel-sized hand sanitizer and wipes with you to clean your hands regularly and surface areas (armrests, door handles, etc.). Don&#39;t forget to periodically wipe down your phone, keyboard, and other handheld devices.</p> <h2>Wash Your Hands</h2> <p>Frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. A trick is to list the ABCs or sing your favorite holiday carol while you wash.</p> <h2>Take Vitamins</h2> <p>Vitamins travel well and can help fight colds and flus and boost your immune system. According to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/colds-flu-immune-system">WebMD</a>, you should consider the following supplements: Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc, Elderberry, Garlic, Ginseng, and Andrographis.</p> <h2>Eat Well</h2> <p>With endless sweet treats and food, it&#39;s easy to let yourself go during the holidays. Try to squeeze in some veggies and healthier items into your diet.</p> <h2>Use Disposable Items</h2> <p>Try to use disposable products for any items that touch your mouth or hands multiple times. For example, instead of using a coffee mug, use a recyclable disposable cup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-buy-disposable?ref=seealso">When You Should Buy Disposable</a>)</p> <h2>Skip the Airline Blankets and Pillows</h2> <p>It&#39;s been rumored (<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2008/08/14/airplane-blankets-nasty-or-not/">again</a>) that airlines don&#39;t wash pillows and <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=118639">blankets after every flight</a>. Bring your own or skip using these items to avoid unnecessary contact with germs.</p> <h2>Don&#39;t Touch Your Face</h2> <p>While this tip might seem obvious, it can be challenging for people during travel. Keep your fingers away from your mouth and eyes. If you do need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.</p> <h2>Avoid Alcohol</h2> <p>Holiday travel is stressful and many people chose to drink to help deal with the stress. Be forewarned that alcohol can dehydrate you and weaken your immune system.</p> <h2>Dress in Layers and Stay Warm</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/nosick-149858470-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Airplanes are notorious for having extreme changes in temperature. One minute, it&#39;s 90 degrees. Then fast forward thirty minutes and it&#39;s freezing. Dress in layers and have a warm top layer readily accessible on the plane. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=seealso">6 Things That&#39;ll Keep You Sane on a Plane</a>)</p> <h2>Wear a Scarf</h2> <p>I always wear a scarf when traveling. Not only do they keep you warm, they can be used to cover questionable surfaces, block the light to help you sleep, cover your hands when opening dirty door handles, and the list goes on.</p> <h2>Listen to Your Body</h2> <p>If you feel a cold or flu coming on, get plenty of rest, take your vitamins, and eat well. Pack a few cough drops and cold/flu medicine gel capsules for emergency situations. If you do get sick, you won&#39;t have the added stress of finding and going to a pharmacy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold?ref=seealso">Frugal Ways to Treat a Cold</a>)</p> <p>So take care of yourself this holiday season and follow these simple tricks.</p> <p><em>What tips do you have for maintaining your health when you travel? Leave a comment below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-this-holiday-season-without-getting-sick" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Travel This Holiday Season Without Getting Sick" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darcie-connell">Darcie Connell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Travel air travel germs Health travel Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:31:19 +0000 Darcie Connell 1099942 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Through the Airport Faster http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/arptfast-78777813.jpg" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, the time and process of just getting to &mdash; and through &mdash; the airport makes flying an agonizing experience. It doesn't have to be! Use these tips to get through the airport faster and join the ranks of savvy frequent flyers.</p> <p>I recently a completed a three-week, eight-country <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/10/8-countries-3-weeks-2-hours-sleep-globaltravelernora/">whirlwind trip</a> through Europe. By using these tips, flying was a breeze &mdash; surprisingly so at times. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Before Check-In</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-100612849-ggnoads.jpg" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Preparation is key to getting through the airport faster. Here's your checklist.</p> <p><strong>Book Friendly Connections</strong></p> <p>If you miss your connection due to a delayed initial flight, you won't be getting through any airports quickly. Give yourself the best chances of having smooth connections by allowing at least 90 minutes between international flights. In cases of smaller airports or easy domestic flights, you can get away with 60 minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-flight-delays-like-a-pro">What to Do When Your Flight is Delayed</a>)</p> <p><strong>Check In Online</strong></p> <p>You can usually check in online up to 24 hours before the flight; check in as early as possible for the best choice of seats (see below). Don't worry about printing your boarding pass if you don't have easy access to a printer; you can pick up your boarding pass at the airport, and in some cases a bar code on your smartphone will suffice.</p> <p><strong>Pick Your Seat Wisely</strong></p> <p>Checking in online usually allows you to choose or change your seat. Keep <a href="http://www.seatguru.com/">SeatGuru</a> open on another tab, so you can look at their seating plans for your flight showing the best and worst seats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <p>In choosing your seat, the closer to the front of the plane you can sit, the faster you'll get through the airport on the other side. This is paramount!</p> <p><strong>Go With Carry-On Only</strong></p> <p>This is another crucial element to getting through the airport quickly. You'll contend with having to lug around your bags after check-in, but you save time having to line up to check your bag, and more time yet when you cruise out of the airport on the other side while people are still waiting for their checked bags. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-hack-7-tips-for-single-bag-travel">7 Tips for Single Bag Travel</a>)</p> <p>Traveling with carry-on only isn't that difficult. I can easily travel with this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">carry-on packing list</a> for up to (and beyond) three months at a time in varying climates.</p> <p><strong>For Checked Bags: Pack Your Liquids</strong></p> <p>If you must check a bag, then put all your liquids and toiletries in the checked bag. Not having liquids in your carry-ons increases your chances of getting through security quicker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying">5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>For Carry-On: Bag Liquids and Keep Ready</strong></p> <p>It's always best to seal liquids in a bag to prevent &quot;shampoo disasters&quot; on arrival. With carry-on luggage, seal your liquids in a quart-sized or liter-sized bag, and leave it at the top of your case. (You'll see why when clearing security).</p> <p><strong>Wear the Right Shoes</strong></p> <p>Easily removable shoes make the security process much smoother. They also give you more freedom to get comfortable on long flights.</p> <p><strong>Skip the Belt, Keep Pockets Empty</strong></p> <p>These are just more things to remove and replace while shuffling your belongings on and off conveyor belts at security. Save yourself the hassle.</p> <p><strong>Bring a Pen</strong></p> <p>You just never know when you need a pen. For international travel, you'll need one to fill out departure/arrival cards and other miscellaneous tasks; don't get stuck waiting to borrow somebody else's pen.</p> <h2>When You Arrive at the Airport</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-dv2073065-ggnoads.jpg" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Depending on where in the world I am, I tend to arrive at the airport about 90 minutes in advance of the flight (for easy domestic flights I might reduce that to 60 minutes). Although this may be longer than necessary to get in and out as quickly as possible, it allows time for things to go wrong &mdash; as they often can &mdash; with unpredictable problems or delays.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Passport Handy</strong></p> <p>Dorky as it may sound, I keep my passport and boarding pass in a small pouch hanging around my neck from the time I check in until I've cleared customs and immigration at my destination. It's always close at hand, in one place, and it's easily accessible to flash or reference my passport and boarding pass &mdash; as is required a few times throughout the process.</p> <p><strong>Head for the Kiosk</strong></p> <p>Print out your boarding pass at a self-service kiosk to avoid the check-in line. This is especially handy if you're traveling with carry-on bags only.</p> <p><strong>Check-In Line Options</strong></p> <p>If you're checking luggage: Print out your boarding pass at the kiosk, and head for the baggage drop-off line, which is usually shorter and moves quicker.</p> <p>If you must line up for whatever reason: Hopefully you're a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">frequent flyer mile superstar</a> and you're flying in business class or with membership privileges, so you can use the special reserved lines. If not, allow extra time for this process.</p> <p><strong>Go Straight for Security</strong></p> <p>Don't dally between checking in and clearing security. If there's a delay or problem (which hopefully there won't be if you follow the tips below), you want to allow time for it without missing your flight.</p> <h2>Getting Through Security</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-76750680-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you've used this checklist thus far, your security line experience should be a relative breeze. Make it even quicker with these tricks.</p> <p><strong>Get Behind Business Travelers</strong></p> <p>Business travelers are usually frequent flyers who know how to not only choose fast lines, but how to move through them quickly: win win.</p> <p><strong>Look for Lone Agents</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/choose-the-airport-security-line-based-on-the-number-of-1449986614">Lifehacker</a>, if there are two agents standing at the x-ray monitor, one is usually a trainee, which means the line will move slower. Lone agents manning the monitors will usually keep the process moving.</p> <p><strong>Have Everything Ready</strong></p> <p>Pack all electronics (laptops, e-readers, etc), so they can be taken out and put in the security trays. The same applies to your liquids (the ones you made easily accessible while packing, as per above). Scarves, jackets, belts, pocket contents, and often shoes need to come off. (Hint: Put anything that would go in your pockets into your jacket to limit the number of things you need to manage). While waiting in the security lineup, I usually start this process by pulling out my laptop and liquids so I can just chuck everything in the trays.</p> <h2>On Landing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-79071625-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you've applied the tips above, you'll be (close to) first off the plane, with your passport at the ready and forms filled to clear customs and immigration quickly. And if you're traveling with carry-on bags only, you'll be cruising out of the airport in no time flat!</p> <p>Here are some additional tips to keep your momentum up.</p> <p><strong>Know Where You're Going</strong></p> <p>Hopefully you have accommodations booked and some sense of how to get there. Even if you're planning on heading into town to sniff out a place to stay, research the airport online, so you know the best way to get to wherever you're going. Getting stuck in lineups for information or to book tickets will delay your airport departure.</p> <p><strong>Pre-Book Transportation</strong></p> <p>If you're renting a car, march up to the rental desk with the confirmation number from your earlier online reservation. You can often book bus and train tickets online as well; other times you can use kiosks in the airport to buy tickets quickly.</p> <p><em>What is your best tip for getting through the airport faster?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get Through the Airport Faster" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airports luggage travel Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:24:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 1098526 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-149381208.jpg" alt="woman boarding plane" title="woman boarding plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love to travel. It sounds cliche, but it's true. At one point, I had been out of the country every summer for six years, including a six-month stay in Europe that included the ubiquitous backpack. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe?ref=seealsotab">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a>)</p> <p>Now that I have a family, traveling is a lot more expensive, and airfare is a huge chunk of that. I haven't given up on future trips, though, because there are so many ways to get free tickets these days. Below are some of the ideas that have worked for me or for people I know.</p> <p>(<strong>Wise Bread Pick</strong>: Earn 20,000 miles (worth $200) when you sign-up for the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard. <a title="See more details about the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard" target="_blank" ref="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644811&amp;fot=1103&amp;foc=1"><strong>Click here for details.</strong></a>)</p> <h2>1. Volunteer to Get Bumped</h2> <p>If you've flown at all, you probably know this drill. A flight gets overbooked, and so the gate agent asks for people to give up their seats in exchange for some sort of incentive. Often, that incentive is a voucher for a free or discounted ticket in the future. When you volunteer, they will usually book you through on another flight, so you still have a guaranteed way to get wherever you're going.</p> <h2>2. Rack Up the Miles</h2> <p>Join an airline frequent flyer program, and begin collecting miles towards a free ticket. It really is as easy as that. And most airlines are fairly good about helping you redeem your miles, as long as you follow their rules and plan your travel well in advance. You can maximize miles earned by choosing the longest route when you do fly, and you can often earn additional miles by making purchases through the rewards program website, etc. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealsotab">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>3. Complain (Politely!)</h2> <p>Did something go wrong on your last flight? If you write a polite letter to the airline, you will often receive some sort of compensation in return. This is sometimes even a voucher for a free flight! Even if you don't get that big payoff, you will often receive a discount on future tickets or some sort of free upgrade for your trouble. <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_102656.html">Most airlines respond positively to polite complaints</a>. If something went wrong and you can document time, place, flight number, and personnel involved, you are likely to get something in exchange for your trouble.&nbsp;</p> <h2>4. Look for Incentives</h2> <p>These days, free airline tickets are offered as incentives for everything from opening a brokerage account with a certain minimum amount of money to taking out a mortgage. While you don't want to do these things just for the tickets, if you're going to do them anyway, you may as well get the free travel. If you're looking to make some sort of large investment, see if there's a way to do it that involves free tickets.</p> <h2>5. Redeem Those Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Credit cards have gotten a bad rap when it comes to actually letting you use your points to get free airline tickets. However, some of them actually do have quality programs. If you're looking for free tickets and will be using a credit card anyway, you might as well earn points towards your next trip. If you tend to fly one airline most of the time, you can also get a credit card that is strictly for that airline. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3847404&amp;fot=1103&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">American Airlines</a> has a particularly well-reviewed program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealsotab">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards)</a></p> <h2>6. Get a Job at the Airline</h2> <p>Airline employees often get discounted flights or <a href="http://www.airlinejob.net/travel-benefits.html">get to fly standby for free</a>. If you do a lot of flying, or would like to, and are open to a new or a second job, there's no reason not to try and get hired by an airline. As a bonus, many airlines also offer free standby tickets for immediate family members, so you can all fly for free together.</p> <h2>7. Ask for Tickets as a Gift</h2> <p>Ok, so this one may sound like cheating because someone is still paying for the tickets, but the key is that YOU are not paying for them. If there's a trip you'd particularly like to take and you're the plan-ahead type, go ahead and see if you can't get the tickets for Christmas. Maybe all of your friends or relatives could go in together. Even if they can't come up with the full price of the tickets you want, asking for contributions can lower your personal investment significantly.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Miles Rather Than Money</h2> <p>If you know someone who racks up the frequent flyer miles, see if they'd be willing to transfer some to you so that you can get a free ticket. This is particularly useful if the person giving the miles has more than they will ever use, knows that their miles will expire before they use them, or wants to give you a significant gift but really doesn't have the money. Try focusing your efforts on friends or relatives who travel quite frequently for work.</p> <h2>9. Win a Sweepstakes</h2> <p>There are many contests and sweepstakes out there that offer free airline tickets to winners. Sure, your chances of winning any single contest are low, but if you enter them systematically and frequently, your chances of winning eventually go up. While you can't plan your life around winning a sweepstakes, the tickets would be a nice surprise whenever your name comes up.</p> <h2>10.Watch for Airline Mistakes</h2> <p>A couple months ago, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/09/oops-united-airlines-accidentally-offers-airline-tickets-for-free/">United Airlines made a mistake</a> and offered a bunch of tickets for very cheap or free. While the mistake was only live for a couple of minutes, many people took advantage of it. If you frequent travel forums, though, you can catch these deals because people will post about them almost as soon as they happen. Sometimes, airlines will try to rescind the tickets sold during these mistakes, but most often they are honored. If you want free tickets, this is a great way to find them.</p> <h2>Bonus Standby Tip</h2> <p>Standby is no longer free, unless you or an immediate family member works for the airline. Flying standby used to be a great way to get free and/or deeply discounted airline tickets. However, most airlines now require you to have already purchased a ticket to even be eligible for standby flights, and many will charge you an additional fee, too. Each airline has a different policy, so check this out before you try to fly on a standby basis.</p> <p>Good luck, and good flying!</p> <p><em>How have you scored free or cheap airline tickets?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel Airfare cheap vacations discounts freebies travel Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:48:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1098642 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Compact Airplane Snacks for Frequent Fliers http://www.wisebread.com/6-compact-airplane-snacks-for-frequent-fliers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-compact-airplane-snacks-for-frequent-fliers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane%20snacks.jpg" alt="Father and child on a plane." title="Father and child on a plane." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Those who spend a significant amount of time on the road know that being stuck on a plane with no food service after running to make it through security and leaving your house at oh-crap-thirty in the morning does nothing but suck. Being prepared with sustenance without cutting into precious luggage space can be tricky. These six suggestions for compact and easy airborne snacking will satisfy your craving without over-stuffing your carry-on. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/precision-packing-for-the-frequent-business-traveler">Precision Packing Tips for the Frequent Business Traveler</a>)</p> <h2>1. Powdered Drink Mixes</h2> <p>One of the more efficient <a target="_blank" href="http://trekhound.com/2011/12/06/8-thrifty-tap-water-tips-for-the-road/">travel uses for water</a> is the preparation of powdered drink mixes on the plane. You can either mix them in your own reusable water bottle by pouring the drink mix in along with the free water provided by the flight attendants, or mix portions of your drink powder at a time in the smaller drinking cups the airlines make available. Adults might prefer a fitness drink powder such as Propel or a low-calorie lemonade mix packet like Crystal Light. Alternatively, you can add this to your list of <a target="_blank" href="http://financialhighway.com/tips-for-frugal-family-travel/">tips for frugal family travel</a> by packing drink mixes more suited to young people.</p> <h2>2. Instant Oatmeal Envelopes</h2> <p>There are also numerous <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-thousands-while-traveling-25-ways-to-use-hot-water">savvy ways to use hot water while traveling</a>, including being able to enjoy a hearty serving of oatmeal on the plane. My secret strategy for doing this involves one of my favorite <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/bargain-shopping-at-whole-foods-12-strategies-for-success">Whole Foods bargains</a> for travelers, the 365 brand boxes of organic instant oatmeal envelopes. Remember, the airlines make hot water available for coffee and tea just like they make cool water available for basic hydration. By mixing your oatmeal packet along with hot water in an insulated coffee cup, you&rsquo;ve got yourself a healthy bite to take the edge off. You can sip the oatmeal from the cup, use the flatware from the plane, or pack your own if you&rsquo;re the type of indie traveler who usually packs your own <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/zero-waste-lunches-how-to-make-your-own-executive-style-supply-kit">zero-waste lunch kit</a> anyway.</p> <h2>3. Individual Soup Mixes</h2> <p>I pick these up at the grocery store and use them the same way I use the individual oatmeal packets above. Simply pour them into the insulated coffee cup the attendant gives you and add the hot water to make soup instead of tea. There are a number of varieties for you to choose from, but if you&rsquo;re going to be mixing them up in the coffee cups anyway, why take up the extra luggage room with those soup-in-a-cup products? Simply purchase the ones in the flat envelopes to maximize your carry-on space.</p> <h2>4. Cracker Sandwiches</h2> <p>You can buy individually wrapped cracker sandwiches <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-are-worth-buying-at-costco">by the case at Costco</a> or your nearest Sam&rsquo;s Club. I&rsquo;ve seen cases go for $8 or less, resulting in a multi-trip supply that&rsquo;s within most people&rsquo;s budgets. They may not be the heartiest option, nor the healthiest, but they will take the edge off without costing a great deal of dough.</p> <h2>5. Power Bars</h2> <p>Personally, I&rsquo;m pretty much a power-bar girl when it comes to being prepared for long flights and missed connection drama. Both my daypack and my main bag have zippered pockets at the top that allow me to easily reach in and grab one when my head starts to pound from hunger. You can pay $2 to $3 a pop for them, or you can <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-amazon">make the case for an Amazon membership</a> to your significant other and order them by the case to be delivered to your home. When I&rsquo;m on the road for a few weeks at a time and run out, I can order replacements on <a target="_blank" href="http://trekhound.com/2011/11/21/product-review-why-we-dished-out-the-dough-to-purchase-amazon%E2%80%99s-kindle-fire/">my Kindle Fire</a> and have them delivered in advance to the next hotel I&rsquo;ll be staying at.</p> <h2>6. Trail Mix</h2> <p>You can certainly bring some from home, but as I covered in a previous article on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-score-free-travel-food">how to score free travel food</a>, trail mix packages are a great way to use the free meal vouchers that come with delayed flights. Often, the next flight availability is unpredictable, making a trip to the nearest restaurant a no go. Using the shorter time slots to grab snacks for the plane is a savvy way to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-flight-delays-like-a-pro">handle a flight delay</a> and grab some in-flight snacks at the same time.</p> <p><em>Do you have some favorite airplane snacks that also help save space?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-compact-airplane-snacks-for-frequent-fliers" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Compact Airplane Snacks for Frequent Fliers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/staff">Staff</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Travel air travel cheap snacks travel food Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Staff 972578 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid New Carry-on Luggage Charges http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-new-carry-on-luggage-charges <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-new-carry-on-luggage-charges" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5932957204_412f9a8196_z.jpg" alt="woman at airport" title="woman at airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Well, it&rsquo;s begun. A second airline dipped its proverbial toe in the water of new charges last week. Las Vegas-based <a href="http://articles.boston.com/2012-04-03/travel/31282210_1_baggage-fees-carry-on-luggage-overhead-bins">Allegiant Air will charge passengers</a> up to $35 to use the overhead bin space for stowing carry-on bags. Though frequent travelers and industry-watchers heard rumblings of the new charge months ago, it&rsquo;s always a bit shocking to see the first couple of slips on any slippery slope. Get ready for this novel charge to become the standard.</p> <p>The bright side (i.e., the last vestige of sanity) is reserved for travelers who pack light. Fliers who can fit/wedge their carry-on luggage under the seat in front of them will not be charged (at least for now&hellip;but we know how these things go). So the great puzzle begins &mdash; how do we pack necessities while avoiding the new carry-on fees and still manage to keep our feet somewhere approximately below our waist? Here are a few tips that might help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The 5 Best Travel&nbsp;Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Pack Light</h2> <p>Obvious, right? But packing light means more than just packing less &mdash; it also means packing smart. A small weekend travel bag is about the right size for fitting under a typical airline seat. That bag sets your boundaries and within those limits, you need to get creative. Literally every precious square inch of space has to be maximized. Everything you pack needs to be more compact, pull double-duty, fit inside something else, or be easily washed and worn again.</p> <h2>Avoid Dead Zones</h2> <p>Dead zones are those areas in your luggage that aren&rsquo;t maximized because of improper packing. The inside of shoes is the most common dead zone. Rolled socks, rolled neckties, belts, underwear, or cell phone chargers can fill these voids and make more space.</p> <h2>Hold It! Don&rsquo;t Fold It</h2> <p>Larger dead zones in luggage are created by stacking folded clothes instead of rolling them. Stacked clothes always leave peaks and valleys in a bag, and those areas waste valuable space. Rolled clothes wrinkle less, compress better, distribute volume more evenly, and ultimately use space more efficiently.</p> <h2>Choose Versatile Basics</h2> <p>Trips are fun, and we like to have some of our favorite clothes with us when we travel for pleasure. But for budget-conscious travelers, the days of multiple outfit choices may be long gone. Pack for versatility and wearability &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">jeans</a>, layered cottons or synthetics that can be easily washed, separate pieces that are interchangeable, classic cuts, and neutral colors are all great ways to start.</p> <h2>Go Small</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m a big fan of trial-size toiletries &mdash; at least in theory. The trouble is, they&rsquo;re expensive, not all products I use come in these smaller quantities, and some trial sizes are still too big for the squeeze-a-thon we call modern air travel. I improvise my own trial-sized containers by reusing smaller bottles, snatching sample makeup containers from friends, or recycling old pill bottles. My travel containers are about half the size of what you can pick up at the department store. And yes, my Ziploc toiletry bag is an engineering marvel &mdash; roughly the size of a teacup Chihuahua.</p> <p>As the airline industry gets more creative in its charges, maybe it&rsquo;s time for savvy travelers to match that creativity in-kind. I&rsquo;m not sure what the next wave of charges will be or how consumers will respond and adjust. Maybe we&rsquo;ll all be traveling with only single small fanny pack in 10 years and reminisce about the glory days when didn&rsquo;t have to use our tray tables as foot rests. Whatever the future holds, travel safe, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-hack-7-tips-for-single-bag-travel">pack light</a>&hellip;.oh, and stay limber.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-new-carry-on-luggage-charges" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Avoid New Carry-on Luggage Charges" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel baggage fees luggage travel light Mon, 16 Apr 2012 09:48:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 916319 at http://www.wisebread.com