8 Essential Tips to Make Your Next Flight Easier, by Harry R. Weber (AP airlines writer)
- Airport VIP lounges are not restricted to just members. Several airlines offer one day or monthly passes.
- Don’t fret the annoying checked bag fee when bringing strollers and infant car seats. Airline personnel will put those items on the plane for you for free when you get to your gate, and they will not count against your carry-on bag allowance.
- You don’t have to pay big bucks to fly in business class. Several airlines offer deeply discounted rates on upgrades to business class on the day of travel if there are seats in the front cabin still available.
- You don’t have to pay big bucks to fly period. Rick Seaney of farecompare.com says the best time to shop domestic tickets is Tuesday afternoon because airlines typically file sales Monday evening and other airlines match Tuesday through noon.
- Don’t worry about printing out your boarding pass at home. At some airports and with some airlines, travelers with Web-enable mobile devices like BlackBerry of iPhone can download their boarding passes, then hand over the devices for scanning by federal security screeners and airline gate agents.
- Traveling doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you fly at off-peak times like in the early morning hours on Tuesdays, Wednesday, or Saturdays, flights are less full, and often the lines at security are much shorter.
- Speeding through security is easy if you pack certain items in your carry-on bags before reaching a checkpoint.
- If you’ve ever wondered how close you are to your destination or how long the security line is at your airport, you don’t have to be in the dark. You can track your online by entering the flight number at flightaware.com