16 May 2008

Airline Travel...What You Really Need To Know!!!

"BlkAv8tor Checking In!!!"

Hello to all, I'm the BlkAv8tor and I'm a career airline and aviation industry professional!

Coming from someone who has worked almost every position in the airline industry the traveler today needs to slim his travel weight as much as possible. Now not including the hardcore business traveler people need to start truly planning their trips before they leave to go to the airport. Excess and overweight baggage charges, blankets, food and entertainment are many variables that if people would really plan ahead they could be charged less or next to nothing by becoming a savvy flyer.

Buy your food you will like before you go to the airport (security hasn't been taking peoples food yet that I heard of)

Ship your bags to your destination before you leave and have a SMALL carry on with basics in case of delays and cancellations,

Blankets??? Carry your own sheet because you washed it and you know where it's been and most airline blankets are sheet thin anyway and will roll up into a small square...Just a few things for passengers to do that they can control.

Assume your going to be delayed and or have your flight get cancelled...don't assume your going to show up at the airport, walk in, board the plane, fly and land on time...it happens less and less everyday. Give yourself something to do and depend on the airline for anything.

Parents be smart when traveling with your kids. Pack them a back pack of toys, books, snacks, video games, DVD's etc. You ask why I say this....You would be surprised how many people who get up in the morning to take a trip with the family forget as soon as they get in the terminal that they have kids. Then they wonder why the kids act the way they do on the plane...sheer boredom after the first 30 minutes or so has passed. Bring kids a map of the route of flight and see if they can follow it while in flight (weather permitting).

Have a back up plan in your route of flight even though you have paid for tickets to go one way. That way you’re not held to go that way when delays and cancels happen.

Don't wait for the customer service agents to tell you what is going on with your flight. The very basics are available to you before you get to the airport or if your online. I track my friends when they travel and they call me to find out delays and problems in the US before they even go to the airport so "they are informed about their flight" when they get to the airport and not waiting for the CSR for the airline to inform them of something.

Sit in the boarding area as close to the departure podium and between the boarding door so you can hear second hand conversations by the employees. They talk and they will discuss flight ops before telling the passengers something and even a minute of heads up on a cancellation could mean a call to reservations by you, rebooking, new seat assignments and you going to get a
Starbucks before the rest of your flight is any wiser.

Weather changes by the minute and hour...Don't think the airlines have decided to delay your flight because the weather is bad at your destination...then you call to a friend or family member at the destination and they tell you the weather is fine. 99% of people don't live next to the airport...So unless your friend/family is a member of NOAA and working that airport don't trip. Airlines don't delay flights for the hell of it! Airlines are made to fly in the worst of weather but ultimately it's the captain’s call if he wants to go or not. Weather can be enroute even when you can't see the storms or weather phenoms like "CAT" (Clear Air Turbulence) turbulence not associated with a visible storm or build up. There is more to getting flights to depart when the weather is bad than when it's good...If you think you can do it better (non pilots) let me know and I'll prove you wrong every time!

This is my attempt to help all the poor travelers who have gotten the raw end of the deal when traveling and I'm open to anyone who wants to offer solutions that seem to work. I'm not airline bashing but airline educating and when I'm teaching I'm learning too.
More stuff will follow in the near future to help make that airline flight a little more enjoyable and so that you can be the one laughing at people who didn't "Think" ahead and you almost knew what was going to happen before it happened...in a sense anyway

Keep The Blue Side Up!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 10:36 AM

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