What Happened to Airline Travel?

It’s not like it used to be. I am sure that you have heard that about airlines. The pressures of operating a successful and sustainable airline business continue to increase. Here we explore some of the changes and what might be done about it.

Increased Security, rising costs (fuel, staff and other resources), changing loyalty programs – where will it end. Seems like as airplanes are replaced the new ones seem to have less room for the travellers and their luggage. So, the weight limits continue to reduce for both cabin and check-in luggage. The meals are not as good and often we have to pay extra for them, if at all they are available.

Here are a few tips that might help.

Firstly, plan your itinerary including your time at the airport. Give yourself plenty of time by arriving early. Always have your travel documentation ready for presentation at both check-in and security. (This includes your boarding pass, if they allow you to print it)If you have a choice, travel at non-peak times to miss the bulk of the business travellers. Take the opportunity to check-in online (usually up to 48 hours prior to boarding) and you may have a shorter queue at baggage check-in. Choose your own seat. Choosing an aisle seat will also give you a little flexibly during the flight for stretching your legs.

Secondly, choose your flights carefully, and let it be known that you are flexible, particularly if you are considering and upgrade. You can also save money by taking alternate routes – they may take a little longer but you may get better value. Taking this direction means that you are shaping your travel around the airline’s programs.

Thirdly, when traveling on budget airlines, take a snack and purchase a drink at the airport. You will know what you are eating and it will be good! Make sure that your cabin bag (and your check-in bag) comply with the airlines requirements. However, do take the items that make ‘congested flying’ a little more comfortable, like noise-cancelling earphones, eye mask and small pillow.

It is unlikely that the airline will ask you how they can serve you better. During these changing times. It is far better for you to understand that system and take advantage of any gaps. Nevertheless, thorough planning is a great start and a discussion with your travel advisor may also provide a few extra hints. Happy traveling on the new improved airplanes.

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