Of course, you know we encourage travel every chance we get. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t. Besides, what’s better than getting away from everything for a few days? Well, maybe getting back home. The holidays in November and December make up the busiest travel time of the year. If you want to stay in front of the crowd, you might consider some of the tips below to help keep you on track…and on your scheduled flights. We know you love it here at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport, but we don’t want you to be here any longer than you’d like. So, in the spirit of giving, here are a few tips to help you get to your destination.
- Don’t Book Busy: Busy airports are crowded. Crowded airports have more overbooked flights. These are both things we’d all like to avoid. Book your flights to and from smaller airports. They’re easier to navigate, the staff are often more personable, and there is less chance your flight will be overbooked and you’ll be bumped.
- Gift Wrap at your Destination: Many, many people don’t think about this when traveling for the Holidays. If your luggage is inspected, the inspector will need you to unwrap Joey’s toy train so he can verify the contents of your bag. In the interest of saving time, and risking damage to gift packaging, wait until you’ve arrived at your destination to break out the giftwrap and transparent tape. You’ll be glad you did.
- Verify your Time to Fly: Many of you booked your travel plans well in advance. This is a great idea, provided you know exactly when you’ll be out of town. Before you leave your house on travel day, be sure to check your itinerary. It’s possible for flight schedules to change, even though they’ve already been booked.
- Print your Pass: You’ll also do well to print your boarding pass from home. Many airlines allow passengers to avoid some of the airport hassle by printing boarding passes from home, up to 24 hours in advance.
- The Early Bird Rests his Wings: While you’re doing these other things to stay ahead of the curve, you may as well arrive early too. This will not necessarily save you time, per se, but you’ll spend less time in line behind Mr. Cologne Shower and in front of Ms. Rambunctious Kids. Remember, Holiday travel is frantic for most, so if you’re already sitting in the terminal when the panicky passengers enter the airport, you’ll be all the more comfortable.
- Pay Attention to the PA: It’s easy to get lost in a book or listening to music while waiting to board, but this can cause serious stress. It’s not the norm, but it’s also not unheard of, for flights to board and depart ahead of schedule or to have a gate change, so listening will help keep you and your party in the know.
- Patience is Power: Sometimes we forget we’re not the only ones traveling. As a result, we get cranky and it shows. The TSA workers, flight attendants, pilots, and other airline/airport staff are doing their best to get you in and out on your way as quickly and smoothly as possible. There are bottlenecks and sometimes even confusion, but a deep breath and a smile can go a long way towards ensuring a better trip for you and your family. Smiles are the most contagious during the Holidays. Be a carrier.
There you have it. A handy dandy list of seven things to make your Holiday travels a bit smoother. Wherever you’re going you’ll be a lot happier if you smile along the way. We hope these tips can help you do that.
Happy Holidays from everyone here in Destin and Ft. Walton Beach at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport. Leave a comment and tell us how we can better serve you. Thanks for reading.