By Chuck Mai, AAA
Here are some simple ways to cut down on airport travel stress.
Print boarding passes in advance
Check in online 24 hours (or earlier) prior to departure using the airline’s website. Avoid check-in lines, confirm flight schedules and check baggage less expensively.
Know baggage fees
It’s $0 to $25 for the first checked bag; up to $70 for the second depending on destination. A good travel agent can help assess costs. Fees increase for overweight or oversized bags, some specialty items are exempt and special rates are available for sporting equipment.
Dress for Stress Success
The Travel Security Administration (TSA) requires removal of bulky jewelry, belts, wallets, jackets, sweaters, pocket change and cell phones, before passing through Advanced Imaging Technology. Use your carry-on bag for some items. Wear slip on shoes.
3 ounces, 1 quart, 1 bag. This is the TSA rule for carry-on luggage. Liquids, gels, and aerosols are permitted in 3 ounce containers, placed on the conveyor belt in a 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag, 1 bag per traveler. Yogurts, pudding and other gel-like substances are not allowed. Notify a TSA office for larger quantities such as medications, baby formula and food. If in doubt, put liquids in your checked luggage.
When possible, don’t pack oversized electronics (laptops, full-size video game consoles, DVD players and video cameras that use cassettes) in checked baggage. However, if these things are in your carry-on bags, they must be removed and submitted separately for X-ray screening. Small electronics, such as iPods, can remain in carry-on baggage.
Going for Christmas?
Do not carry wrapped gifts in your carry-on bags. TSA will probably unwrap them.
Rule of thumb: arrive 60 minutes early for domestic and 120 minutes prior for international trips. Many carriers mandate baggage check in at least 45 minutes before departure.
Check with a travel agent you trust. They can supply information that may make to your airport visit easier.