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How can you make your flight as comfortable as possible? Avoid the lines, get into business class, save money on baggage, and get connected to Wi-Fi. What else? It would be nice to be able to withdraw cash in any ATM in the world for free, wrap your luggage in protective film for free, and make babies (yours and other people’s) sleep well through the entire flight. All these things are possible.
We at Bright Side have spent quite a few hours on planes. And of course, we don’t like worrying about our luggage or waiting in long lines. This is why we have put together a few life hacks to help you avoid any issues. And in the bonus section, you will find links to the websites that will help you travel more comfortably.
Did you know that there are ways to avoid the long lines?
You can apply for a security clearance program like Global Entry. It’s operated by U.S. Customs, which has access to the TSA Pre✓® program and offers streamlined security screening.
There are also companies like CLEAR that can help you verify your identity before you reach the TSA, using things like fingerprints or eye scans.
Many airlines offer their own early boarding privileges to various passengers. It can sometimes be as easy a joining a rewards program to qualify.
Checking in online is also great because you only need one member of the family to check in the bags, while everyone else can be having lunch at a nearby restaurant. It is very rare when a full family is asked to be present for checking in bags.
Rushing at the airport is not only pointless, but can also be harmful. Still, it sometimes helps to just walk faster after you leave the plane and are going through customs or passport control. It might help you leave the airport sooner.
If you don’t want to be in line with other people, always turn left before passport control. People prefer going in the direction of their dominant hand, which means that most people will walk to the right. And statistics prove that lines on the left sides are usually shorter.
A Pikabu user accidentally found a life hack for checking in baggage the fast way: “I was at the airport and the line of people for the ‘X-ray’ of luggage was about 20 people long. I was a little bit nervous and started looking out from the line. An officer then comes up to me and asks me to open my bag for a personal check. I think I was really scared about my place in the line (and there were 20 more people behind me). He spent 3 minutes checking my stuff and then took me past the line. I would have spent at least 40 more minutes there if I had had to wait in line. Later, in Lie to Me, I found out that looking out from the line is a sign that you are hiding something.” © nikcll / pikabu
It is possible to upgrade your ticket to business class without paying extra money.
You can use loyalty programs. The most obvious way is using a credit card that gives you extra miles as a bonus, which can be used for cabin upgrades.
Sometimes, airlines offer cheap upgrades to business class right at the airports. If you come to check-in early, you might get this chance.
Watch the offers from your airline (your travel agent can help you with this). Sometimes, airlines change planes for their planned flights and you can upgrade to business class, often for a small fee. Business-class passengers enter the plane without lines, they have access to special VIP waiting areas, they eat better food during the flight, and they have access to more movies.
It is possible to legally board a plane with tea or coffee. You just need to know how.
You can bring on baby food in jars in reasonable amounts. Not too many, of course, but it is possible.
There is a way to bring a bottle of water, tea, or coffee on the plane. But the liquid has to be totally frozen. The only case where this is worth it is when you have a long flight ahead of you, so the liquid will have time to melt.
If you think that freezing water is a little too much, but you don’t want to pay a lot of money for Starbucks or drink tea from tiny cups on the plane, take a travel cup and drink tea from that. Flight attendants can fill it with hot water during the flight, even multiple times if you need it.
The pricing policies of some airlines can ruin your flight.
We’re talking about the cheaper tickets, that don’t include baggage or food. Sometimes you can’t even choose your seat on the plane for free. If you are ready for these limitations, you can avoid being disappointed.
It is a good idea to buy a ticket that doesn’t include luggage in 2 situations: when you don’t have a lot of stuff or if you are in a group of 2 and can fit everything into one bag. In any other situation, you won’t save any money. Also, if you have to pay for the baggage, it might be cheaper if you do it online, rather than when you are at the airport.
If you don’t have food included, you can get a few burgers from McDonald’s or a different restaurant. The other passengers will be jealous.
Babies have a lot of cool options and they have no idea.
Passengers with babies have the right to use special bonuses from airports and parents traveling with babies can access special services.
Economy class passengers can use business check-in counters if they are with children younger than 3 years old.
Depending on the airline, you might be able to get a cradle if you call the company in advance and ask them. This may take some time, but it is definitely worth it. Just imagine: the plane flying over the ocean, your baby is asleep without any issues, and you are enjoying the flight along with the other passengers.
Business privileges for economy class
There is a business-class lounge in most airports. Spending time in it is a great idea, even if you are not flying in business class. What you must have is a priority pass card. But keep in mind that a pass to this area might cost over $400 (at the end of the article, there is a bonus about an app that can help you find these areas in airports, that don’t require this type of card).
You can be the first person served on the plane, to do this you just have to order from a special menu, for example, kosher or vegetarian.
Loyalty programs are not just about miles.
Bonuses can include:
Free bag wrapping
Withdraw cash for free, from any ATM in the world
Cheaper cell phone connection
Discounts for transportation
A personal assistant
Of course, the bonuses depend on the specific program.
Wi-Fi definitely works next to the business-class area. This is very important when you need to make an urgent call.
If you have a charger, but you can’t find a power outlet, find a working TV, and plug your wire into its USB port to charge your device.
Effective ways to charge your phone or get a Wi-Fi signal
How to buy tickets the cheapest way possible
It is very convenient to look for the best ticket offers on websites like Anywayanyday. But most of the time, it is cheaper to buy tickets directly on the airlines’ websites. The price will be almost the same, but if some conditions change, the company will inform you directly and not some other website.
Sometimes, flight tickets with connections might be cheaper and you also get a chance to spend some time in a new country. Make sure you have a special visa and plan for what you want to see in that limited time.
SeatGuru — you can use this website to see the location of seats on any plane and decide in advance which row to ask for when checking in. You can also read reviews left by passengers about different seats.
HotelTonight — this is a website for people who quickly need to find a hotel room for the night.
TripCase — this is a free app that can build the itinerary for your trip, including the flights, accommodations, rental car, restaurant reservations, and many other things. In order to build the itinerary, you need to send e-mails to TripCase to confirm the trip and the app will do the rest. The next time you launch it, you will see the completed plan for your trip.
LoungeBuddy is an application that can help passengers find VIP rooms in almost all airports around the world. You can also find information about prices, food, drinks, and showers.
Hopper tracks the prices for plane tickets and regularly informs you about whether you should buy something now or keep waiting. What makes this app really cool is how detailed it is. You will not only find out that you need to wait for a better price, but you will also even know how long you should wait.
Which tricks do you use to make your trips easier?
Preview photo credit nikcll / pikabu