Despite your best-laid plans, air travel can be fraught with frustration and annoyances – it’s almost to be expected. Just when you think you’ve prepared for everything, a problem pops up that throws your whole plan right out the window, leaving you angry and defeated. It happens to the best of us (quite often), but the first thing to do is don’t freak out. Getting upset only makes things worse. Here’s what you can do to avoid the things about air travel that drive you crazy.
1. Excess Baggage Charges
They’ll get you every time. Most airlines have limits on how much baggage they’ll allow you to bring for free. Many of these limits are extremely low – North American airlines usually allow up to seventy pounds. Unfortunately, excess baggage charges can be pretty high, so to avoid this pitfall, do a little research beforehand to find out what the limit is for the airline you’re traveling. Distribute your belongings among your bags and check what you don’t absolutely have to have: it’s often cheaper to check extra baggage than to pay for overweight ones.
2. Refused at Immigration
If you’re traveling to another country, it’s important to have the required documentation in order to gain entry. Fail to provide it and you’ll be sent packing on the first flight home; sans refund. Avoid this trip-breaker by making sure you have any documentation you think you may need and then bring some more. It’s always better to have too much proof than not enough.
3. Your Flight Has Been Delayed
This is probably one of the most annoying parts of air travel. There’s nothing worse than making sure you’re on time for your flight, only to discover that the airline isn’t. Whether it’s a broken plane or bad weather, delayed flights can put a huge damper on a trip. Since this situation is out of your control, the best thing you can do is pay attention to the announcements. If you’re told the delay will be a couple of hours, don’t take that as a sign you need a drink in the airport bar or something to eat in the restaurant – most airport PA systems don’t work in there. Should the problem be fixed earlier than anticipated, be sure to check back after an hour to avoid turning a delayed flight into a missed one.
Air Travel Pitfalls Shouldn’t Ruin Your Trip
Air travel has come a long way since Wilbur and Orville’s first flight, but as most well versed travelers will tell you, there really is no such thing as a perfect flight. Your best bet is to stay calm, expect the unexpected and plan ahead as much as you can. Allowing yourself more time than you think you’ll need is often the best thing you can do where air travel is concerned.
This guest post was written by Juan Petrello
image via thinkstock