The holiday season is the busiest time of year for air travel, with the Sunday after Thanksgiving serving as the single busiest travel day for the past several years, according to TSA. Many airlines are already prepping for the uptick in travelers, a surge that is expected to last through the end of the year. With thousands of flyers hitting the airport over the next few weeks, we spoke to our flight attendant friend Linzey to get her biggest pieces of advice for making your holiday travels as smooth and painless as possible.
What's one mistake you see flyers making around the holidays?
Not giving yourself enough time. Whether it’s showing up to the airport earlier than you normally would because there are more people traveling, or giving yourself an extra travel day in case flights get delayed or canceled because of winter weather. I hate spending extra time in the airport and typically show up just before boarding starts but during the holidays everything seems to take longer so show up earlier.
How do you personally prepare for holiday air travel?
Staying flexible! Giving myself extra travel days in case of delays or cancellations, packing an extra change of clothes (and my own snacks because airports are expensive) in my carry-on in case I have to sleep at an airport unexpectedly, and keeping a positive attitude when those things inevitably occur because I was prepared for them.
Any tips on staying healthy when traveling during the holiday sick season?
HYDRATE. Drink lots of water. Bring your own bottle and fill it up in the airport (after security lol). I also take Emergen-C on travel days on top of my regular vitamins. Wash your hands, bring your own hand sanitizer or wipes. Wear a mask if you want to and please stay home if you’re sick!
What's one thing you wish flyers knew about flight crew during this busy time?
Most airlines are not paying their flight crew (pilots and flight attendants) during boarding and deplaning. So please be kind to us! I promise we want you to get to your destination just as much as you do but we don’t control the weather or mechanical issues so please be patient with us if we don’t have much more information for you.
Any last tips or tricks around making holiday travel easier?
For those traveling with children — if there are two adults with an infant, one of you should pre-board with all the luggage, car seat, etc., and the other keeps the baby off the plane and boards last. That way baby isn’t confined to a seat for an extra 30-40min.