The holidays are right around the corner!!! Yay!! That means many people will be traveling to be with the ones they love. It can be a stressful time, especially if you're travelling by air. There can be weather issues or maintenance delays that can impact your trip.
There are a few important things that you can do to reduce airline travel stress.
1. The number one most important thing is to be on time!!! We see it everyday at the airport. People rushing in at the last minute begging us to get them on their flight because they just have to be at their destination today. You cannot arrive at the airport at 12:15 expecting to get on a 12:30 flight. As agents there is nothing that we can do to check your bag in after the cutoff time. There is not a magic button to override the system. So don't ask us to do it. Please contact the airline that you are flying to find out their cut off times for check in. Many airports are dealing with long TSA lines so you also need to consider that when deciding when to arrive at the airport.
2. Know the baggage rules and fees for the airline you are flying. Most airlines charge baggage fees. Once again we as agents have policies to follow. There are weight limits to ensure the proper weight and balance of the plane. Please do not ask us to allow excess weight for free. Also please understand that the FAA regulates how many bags we allow you to carry on the plane. We're not being mean or picking on you if we tell you that you have too many bags or that your carry-on is too big. We're just following the policies of our company. Also new FAA regulations limit the size and weight of the stroller that you can take with you to check at the gate. Being a mom of four who has travelled with 4 kids ages 10 and under, I really dislike this policy. But once again it is a weight and balance and space issue.
3. Listen to announcements in the boarding area and on the plane. It's amazing to me at how many people miss flights or important information because they were not listening. When an agent or crew member is making an announcement, they are giving you valuable information for your trip. So listen....even if you fly all the time and know everything....listen. Take the headphones out of your ears, hang up the cellphone and listen.
4. In the event of delays or cancellations realize that we have no magic wands. We hate delays and cancellations as much and maybe more than you do. They make lots of extra work and frustrations for us. We search for the best alternate option to get you to your destination. When we tell you that a flight is full and we can't put you on it, please don't show us the app on your phone that says there is 1 seat left. We have no reason to lie to you. Believe me if there is a plane with an empty seat, you will be on it. We can't predict the weather and we can't change the weather. We don't know how to fix planes and we can't make planes just magically appear.
5. Remember that airline employees are people too. We strive to give our best customer service to each and every passenger. But understand that we are human and we get tired and frustrated. Sometimes we have bad days and don't give our best. Sometimes the passenger in front of you in line has pushed every one of our buttons and we're barely keeping it together. Sometimes we have chaos going on at home that we have to put aside when we come to work. Sometimes we spend a few minutes laughing and joking with our coworkers while we're waiting on a delayed plane. Don't take it personal. It's how we release stress and build our team. The team that comes together day in and day out to make sure that you get to see that new grandbaby or walk your daughter down the aisle or say a final goodbye to a loved one.
I hope these will be some helpful tips as you travel this holiday season.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.