Life Lessons & How Tos Travel

Best Tips on Flying: Before, During and After Your Flight

Best Tips on Flying

Ms. Hughes tested the policy revision herself recently. Asked to remove her jacket, she told the agent it was her “outermost garment.” The agent responded, “You mean you’re not wearing a blouse?” Ms. Hughes recalls. When she said no, the agent let her walk through. “Here’s to reclaiming the friendly skies,” Ms. Hughes says.

Middle-Seat Wish List

The skies could be friendlier. Here are 10 improvements we’d like to see in air travel:

  1. REAL-TIME WAIT TIME at TSA checkpoints.
    • The Transportation Security Administration keeps track of how long it takes to get through its screening lines.
    • Let’s post the data on the TSA’s Web site the way the Federal Aviation Administration makes real-time information available about airport delays.
    • If you know the lines are long, you can leave early.
  2. BETTER MANAGEMENT of security lines.
    • Airlines know how many passengers are coming.
    • Why isn’t TSA staffing better aligned with flight schedules and passenger bookings?
    • What’s more, maybe travelers should be assigned screening times at busy periods, especially in the morning.
    • If your flight doesn’t leave until 9 a.m. but you’re in line at 7 a.m., you might make someone miss a 7:30 a.m. flight.
  3. A PRIORITY-LANE list from airlines.
    • Some airports have special lanes for elite-level frequent fliers, and some don’t.
    • Why don’t airlines tell us where they are, and where they aren’t?
    • FedEx can keep track of your package, but an airline typically has no idea where your bag is when it gets lost.
    • Airlines need to move faster on this.
    • The technology is getting cheap.
  5. BLOCK THE MIDDLE SEAT next to elite-level customers, if possible.
    • United and some others do this; all airlines should.
    • United has cutouts in its cabin dividers so that people sitting in bulkhead seats can store bags on the floor in front of them.
    • Why haven’t others done this? It’s handy.
    • United Airlines lets you listen in to communications between air controllers and your plane.
    • It’s an interesting way to ease boredom and keep track of your flight’s progress — even if you aren’t a pilot and don’t know all the lingo.
    • Other airlines should offer it as well.
    • Delta now has displays that show your rank on the standby list or the list for first-class upgrades.
    • Quite handy.
    • Our lives run longer on batteries than they used to, but sometimes batteries alone aren’t enough.
    • Airport terminals need more power plugs for passengers.
    • It seems airlines hide them as much as possible, perhaps to force power users into their airport clubs.
    • Hey, we can dream.

Share Your Best Tips on Flying

Do you have any best tips on flying you can share? Please contact us and we’ll add them to our article.

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