Most of us who travel frequently are fully aware of the travel woes associated with flying. There is so much of rush on airports, so much of rush for booking flight tickets that sometimes it becomes daunting to plan for a trip thinking about the rush. Not many of us are able to plan out travels too much in advance. And consequently we end up in trouble while making bookings and finding the right seats. If however, you have made last minute bookings, try to travel light and make a web check in as soon as possible.
An even better solution would be to select your seat the moment you book your flight ticket. In most airlines, it is mostly possible to choose your seats online itself well within 90 days of the flight departure. However, check out the policy of the airline you are flying with to confirm the same duration so that you end up selecting your seats comfortably. But remember you also have one more shot to snag a favorable seat when you check in online for your flight. Remember the 24 hour rule. Checking in through the internet a minimum 24 hours prior to boarding will mostly make sure that you get the prime selection of seats. However, you must also bear in mind that most airlines today also charge extra for pre booking of seats of your choice.
Quite a few airlines also have this concept of open seating which essentially means that would be no pre assigned seats for flyers. Seat selection follows the principle of first come first serve basis. This is where early check in helps. Flyers board the flight in large groups and the group that does the first boarding gets to choose its preferred seats.
Another compelling reason to make an early check in is that airlines almost always, habitually oversell their flights. So the passengers who are most likely to be involuntarily thrown out from an already full flight are the ones who normally check in last. The concept of last in first out is followed in such cases.
If you are willing to shell out a few extra bucks for some comfort, there is nothing like it. A lot of airlines today charge for seats located on the exit row. The fees might range anywhere from $5 to $75. This fee depends on the distance traveled as well as the airline.
A lot of airlines today are tinkering with some special seats located at the frontal part of the plane. The reason is that such seats offer about four to six inches of extra legroom. If you are willing to redeem your loyalty points or pay a premium, then you would be glad to know that most flights provide extra legroom economy seating with perks like early boarding, free drinks and so on. Some airlines offer a Premier Access program at certain airports that also include access to security lines, priority check-in lines and boarding passes.
So it would be wise to make an early check in wherever possible as it will save you hassle and money. This would make your travel enjoyable.
Do you want to make your trip a memorable one? Then the first thing you need to make sure is that your journey is a comfortable one. Check online to make sure you are able to pick and choose your seats carefully. This may appear to you like a daunting task, but various services are today making this search process simpler for you. Some travel sites have come up with innovative color coded aeroplane maps that make it easy and convenient to figure out the most spacious seats that are away from the bathroom. This innovative service is being offered for both short and long haul flights. Some such sites have come up with comfort rating system that does the grading of the in-flight experience with simple tags such as “like it,” “love it” or “live with it.” Grading is done on the basis of scores generated depending on the legroom, in-flight entertainment, comfort in terms of seat type, width, seat pitch and recline, Wi-Fi, and several other factors.
Just remember that the legroom of bulkhead seat or an exit row can be similar to business class of certain airlines. However, today most of the airlines have started charging a premium fee for coveted rows. This obviously has its own shortfalls like narrower seats.
Certain travel websites also track over a dozen of Happiness Factors pertaining to the seat ranging from legroom to the chair width and the connection length to the layout. Some websites actually sort the search results using agony factor, which is a mix of the price, number of stops and duration.
Snag your seat as soon as you have made the booking for your flight. If you have not done that, do it at least 24 hours prior to the boarding. Select your seats, especially the ones that you really desire, as soon as possible or else it might go out of your hand. Also, check it back once every month to ensure that your seat has not been altered. It is possible at times that the models of the plane have changed because of which you have been automatically moved from your selected seat to a new seat on account of operational reasons. Checking back will actually bring to your notice any seat openings that have arisen from unanticipated cancellations. This holds especially true during the week of travel. See if you can download and install seat alert apps on your smartphone to make the process more convenient.
If you have not been able to get a seat of your choice upon booking, do not lose hope. Any cancellations or alteration in the seats might bring your desired seat to you later. Also, since cabin baggage allowance is also restricted, try to travel light. If possible, check in most of your luggage and just walk into the aircraft with a small cabin sized bag so that you can easily adjust it in the overhead bin above your seat. If you are traveling with just a cabin baggage, then it makes traveling even simpler for you. Do a thorough web check prior to the day of travelling and print your boarding pass to get going.
For those who travel frequently, you would be aware of this new concept called the Clear Card which is available for a certain annual fee per person and additionally charges a certain amount for a child or spouse. You could consider investing in it if you happen to be an avid traveler. It allows you to jump the security queues at certain airports. Another affordable option could also be the Pre Check program that provides eligible travelers an expedited pass via security by allowing them to walk through an X-Ray scanner without having to remove their laptop, shoes, coat, watch, or belt.
It can’t be emphasized enough about the importance of traveling light. Do not ever be the person who is trying to fit in his large oversized luggage bag into the overhead baggage bin leaving other passengers sighing and stuck in the aisle, waiting for you to clear up your mess. Do yourself and other passengers the favor of clearing up fast. The most ideal thing would be selecting a functional cabin size bag having pockets not exceeding nearly 9 x 22 x 14 inches. Trim down your luggage down to the essentials only. Bear in mind that you would be able to buy your supplies at your destination. Get layers in place of a bulky coat. Try to conserve the space in your bag by rolling your clothes or even zipping them inside airless baggies. Keep any electronics and medications in a pocket where you can easily reach out to secure them wherever and whenever needed.
Try and save your miles wherever possible. These provide you not just a free ticket but also bestow upon you the elite status on the frequent flier program. This will be your golden gateway to priority boarding, class upgrades and zero fee bookings of bulkheads, premier exit rows and other seats. Some airlines also waive off checked in luggage fees. By becoming an elite flyer with one airline, you also get to access the benefits on a whole family or alliance of airline carriers. If you fly a certain airline in every alliance, you would be entitled to availing the same privileges and perks on all carriers in that alliance. You get to board the plane first, place your bags before others, get a special security line or check in line and you would be also able to make a requisition for a bulkhead or an exit row at no additional cost.
Most airlines provide their lowest level of elite status to flyers who hit the desired 25,000 mile mark. Even in case you aren’t a frequent flyer, certain airlines allow you to move over to the exit row if you check in 24 hours prior to the flight. The best way to acquire the best seat in the flight is to invariably check with the gate attendant for the presence of any open seat adjacent to yours. If you happen to be an elite frequent flyer and the gate attendants know that the flight will not sell out, they will block the seat adjacent to yours if you ask politely.
Most airlines have deteriorated the quality of food that they serve to their passengers these days. You can save yourself from that awful food and also save a good cost by bringing something to munch from home.