Whether it’s long lines at the airport, flight cancellations or over the top security measures, everyone looks to escape the annoyances of flying. Sophie-Claire Hoeller of Business Insider compiled a list of tips and tricks that will help even the most seasoned jetsetter avoid the inevitable hassles of frequent flying.
1. Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry – A time saving express lane designated for low risk travelers who are preapproved by the US Customs and Border Protection. As long as you’re not a convicted criminal, you’re good to go after little more than some light paperwork and a quick in-person interview.
TSA PreCheck ($85) makes US domestic travel simpler, allowing you to keep your shoes, belts, etc. on and cut security lines, while Global Entry ($100) makes returning from an international trip easier, eradicating paperwork and lengthy processing lines.
2. Book two one-way flights
Sometimes flying two different airlines and booking two one-way tickets is cheaper than booking a round-trip, plus it may get you better arrival and departure times as you mix and match flights. Some flight-booking sites, such as Kayak, already do this for you, but you should do your homework and check the airline websites yourself for even better deals.
3. Book non-US airlines if possible
Foreign carriers have better amenities than US ones, even in economy, where they often provide you with hot towels, pillows and blankets, and even — gasp — full cans of soda.
4. Understand Code Shares
Make sure you know how flight partnerships work before booking a flight on a partner airline for miles. Some partnerships will offer the same mileage; others will give you less. Others again may calculate miles based on the amount of money you paid for the ticket, rather than the distance flown.
5. Get upgrades by booking an economy ticket with a Y or B booking code
Basically just requesting an upgrade when booking should get your ticket marked with a Y or B booking code, which, according to TravelNerd.com‘s Amy Lee, means the flier is looking for an upgrade. In other words, should there be any open seats in the next class up from what you booked, you should get a complimentary upgrade. This works best if you’re a frequent flier and loyal to the carrier you’re booked on.
5. Volunteer to get bumped off a flight
If your flight is overbooked and you have no pressing plans, volunteer your seat to make some extra money. That said, be smart and negotiate your compensation — it helps to know what you’re entitled to. Ask for cash, or make sure flight vouchers don’t have tons of stipulations and blackout dates that would make them impossible to redeem. Also, make sure that even if you’re the first to volunteer, you’ll get the same amount of money as the last one to, as compensation often increases as the airline gets more desperate for people to give up seats. That said, double-check that you will not be on standby on your next flight or in any position to get stranded where you are (for example, if you’re giving up a seat on the last flight out for the day).
Read more at Business Insider…