Almost everything about the travel experience is more negotiable than you might think. There are lots of hacks, especially if you travel frequently.
None of them are rocket science, but getting the basics right can make you infinitely happier while traveling. Here are 5 of the best airport hacks…
You don’t always have to buy your food at an expensive Airport Restaurant/Food Court.
All airports have canteens for their staff and the food there is generally moderately priced. Try to find the staff canteens and head right there for your food. There are generally no checks while entering these canteens.
Don’t get into the line when your schedule changes
If your flight is cancelled or overbooked, following the herd to the gate attendants is like throwing gasoline on a fire sparked by frustration.
Instead, just call the airline; the operator can do everything the gate agent can, and probably much sooner than for all those suckers waiting in line.
Spring for an afternoon in the lounge
For a fee – usually about $50 a day, which you can pay on the spot – you can take advantage of the snacks, uncrowded bathrooms, and comfy chairs at most airline club lounges, plus you can get help from the club’s dedicated ticket agents.
Know the difference between “direct” and “nonstop” flights
And always opt for the latter. Unlike non stops, direct flights can touch down at other airports on the way to their ultimate destinations.
And while stops are built in to the total travel time, the potential delays they can cause aren’t.
Volunteer to get bumped off your flight
Airlines almost always overbook their flights in peak seasons like during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
If you can accommodate it into your schedule, volunteer to get bumped off the flight and take a later one in exchange for a gift voucher.
It certainly helps if you have a slightly flexible schedule, and you get other perks as well. You can ask for a first class / premium economy seat on the next flight, request food and a hotel room if you have to stay overnight, and lots more!