This Year’s Can’t-Miss Holiday Travel Tips
By: Jen Smith The holidays are a whirlwind time to travel for everyone — and knowing the right way to
By: Jen Smith
The holidays are a whirlwind time to travel for everyone — and knowing the right way to navigate transit can make or break a holiday getaway experience. If an unforeseen obstacle comes up in the itinerary, know your rights — and benefits — as an airline passenger and keep these methods and services in mind. These Thanksgiving Travel Tips will help you get from A to B headache-free.
Come One, Come All, Come Early to Take Advantage of These Holiday Travel Tips
The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, estimates that over 2.5 million people will travel during Turkey Day in 2022. Those numbers hover in pre-pandemic amounts, so plan to start the pre-boarding process at least two hours early for domestic flights and three for international routes. In other words, arrive as early as possible during these hectic times.
Choose The Right Check-In Service
The benefits of expedited check-in can make or break a flight plan. Consider choosing one of these add-ons to make the worst part of airport travel a breeze.
TSA PreCheck: One of the most popular choices, TSA PreCheck has its own designated line and moves passengers through without the hassle of removing shoes and tech from personal and carry-on items. Memberships are obtained by appointment and are good for five years of travel for a one-time fee.
Global Entry: International travel is made easier with Global Entry, which facilitates the documentation process and operates in a similar manner to PreCheck. Anyone moving through US Border Control and Customs checks will bypass hours-long lines with documentation clearance. This service is also eligible for five years.
Clear: Clear uses body scanning to identify passengers and move them through without an ID check. This is available for pairing with PreCheck and Global Entry at select domestic airports.
SENTRI and NEXUS: Helpful for travelers between Canada, Mexico and the United States, respectively.
Compensation is Key
When travel doesn’t go according to plan, knowing what passenger compensation entails is crucial.
United States national law provides a set amount of passengers are unable to board a plane if the airline has oversold a flight. The limit stands at $1,550 USD for arrival delays for domestic flights over two hours, and four for international flights. If a flight is delayed or canceled, the airline is not required to return any trip funds to passengers. No compensation is provided if passengers miss a flight of their own accord.
European law poses a different set of standards. Passengers are eligible to receive up to $700 USD each for overbooked flights, delays that exceed three hours and cancellations for any reason. This practice is exclusive to European Union carriers or flights traveling within an EU region. This does not include airline reimbursements, so follow up with your chosen carrier if any problems should occur in transit.
It should be noted that accepting vouchers forfeits your right to monetary compensation. A general rule of thumb is to not accept vouchers unless the amount offered greatly exceeds the cash value.
Luckily, services that can facilitate the claim process are ready to help you. Passenger rights advocacy firms like AirHelp will work to get you the compensation you need, and can help navigate the confusing process of submitting information and communicating with airlines regarding disrupted travel. The window for compensation can span back years, so keep track of those trips when seeking assistance for interrupted travel.
Enjoy Lounge Access Prior to Boarding
If the terminals are extra cramped around the holidays, look into airport lounges to escape the crowds. Several airlines offer complimentary lounge access through travel rewards credit cards and loyalty membership perks. Admission can also be purchased, if traveling on an airline that’s not the typical choice.
Make Holiday Travel Stress-Free
The number one way to reduce travel angst and ensure that a trip goes according to plan is to start bookings well before the holidays. No matter how long plans are booked ahead of schedule, it’s easier than ever to travel with confidence knowing that services like Airhelp and check-in facilitators are on your side this holiday season.