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Holiday Travelers Will Need Patience

November 19, 2010 By: Staff

With Thanksgiving approaching, Travel Leaders is predicting that more Americans will be flying this holiday season compared to the last two years. Those larger crowds will be vying for considerably fewer airline seats than were available three years ago. One result: Travel Leaders is offering clients a checklist on how best to prepare.

"The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year, but with the end- of-year holidays falling on weekends, our Travel Leaders expect Sunday, January 2, to place a very close second,” explains Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “If travelers have not already purchased their tickets, we strongly recommend they do so immediately. For those who have, we are counseling them with handy tips that begin with one watchword: ‘patience.’ We’re also advising them on key TSA guidelines, including their ongoing 3-1-1 policy and their Secure Flight rules.”

Travel Leaders’ tips checklist begins with steps travelers should take before ever leaving home and culminate with completion of airport security. Travelers are advised to:

*    Place houselights on timer to make it appear as if you’re home
*    Temporarily suspend mail and newspaper deliveries
*    Ask trusted friend or neighbor to keep watch over your home. Provide your contact information to them
*    Charge cell phone or mobile devices prior to traveling
*    Pack strategically and as lightly as possible. Most airlines typically allow just one carry-on bag
*    Remember TSA’s 3-1-1 Rules for all liquids and gels you pack in carry-on luggage
*    Print boarding passes 24 hours prior to your flight
*    Place government-issued ID that matches reservation exactly into wallet or purse you’ll take with you. (TSA’s Secure Flight)
*    Make copies of itineraries and confirmation numbers for airlines, hotels and rental cars. Bring with you
*    Make list of important telephone numbers for airlines, hotel, rental cars and travel agent. Carry with you
*    Wear comfortable clothes and easily removable shoes. This will speed up airport security
*    Leave home with cushion of time to get you to airport at least two hours before domestic departures or three hours before international flights
*    Be prepared for crowds. Even for seasoned travelers, remember that this may be the only time of the year when many are traveling, so they may be less prepared or informed than you
*    Be prepared to pay for checked bags. Exceptions typically include those who have preferred status with the airline, those who are traveling in first class, and those carrying certain airlines’ preferred credit cards, including Delta’s American Express Card and Continental’s MasterCard
*    Know which items are prohibited by law
*    Place all metal items (wallet, watch, jewelry, cell phone, etc.) in your carry-on or in a security bin as you approach security
*    Remove laptops, DVD players and other similar items from bag and place into security bin. The exception is the TSA-approved laptop bag
*    Remove all coats, jackets and sweatshirts with front zippers and place into security bin
*    Remove shoes and place on security conveyor belt
*    Remember that patience is a virtue and that the holiday spirit begins with you.

“We remind even our most frequent travelers that if you’re going to pack one thing for the holidays, it had better be patience,” added Block. “That’s because the holiday period is often filled with throngs of travelers who may only travel once a year and are not as familiar or well-acquainted with security procedures or baggage policies as they would like to be.”


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