AirTran Airways won’t be around this time next year as the discount airline is being snapped up by the largest budget airline of them all – Southwest Airlines. That isn’t stopping AirTran from having some fun as it encourages Thanksgiving week travelers to get prepared early for what is certain to be a busy holiday travel season.
1. Layer your ingredients – Much like your favorite Thanksgiving dessert, layers work best. Pack a layer of clothes, then a layer of electronics, another layer of clothes and then any heavier items. This allows transportation security officers to see what’s in your bag quickly, thus moving lines along faster.
2. Set your timer – With increased airport traffic during the holidays, it’s best to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to takeoff. Airport parking lots will be more crowded, ticket lines will invariably be longer and other passengers, who aren’t as prepared as you, could hold up security check points. Arriving to the airport early helps to alleviate concerns about missed flights due to elongated check-in procedures.
3. “Dressing” for success – Avoid wearing clothes and accessories that have metal, as they will certainly slow down the security process. All footwear must go through the security screening process as well.
4. A liquid diet – Airport security guidelines do allow for travelers to bring liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on luggage. However, the items must be stored in containers no larger than three ounces and must be placed in a single, quart-sized zip-top, clear plastic bag.
5. Protect your bounty – Place your wallet, keys, money clips and cell phone inside of your carry-on luggage prior to arriving to the security checkpoint. This is extra protection from thieves and will expedite the item retrieval process once you’ve passed the checkpoint.
6. Check the status of your “pilgrim”age – It is a good idea to confirm your flight status before heading to the airport. Visit www.airtran.com to check the status of your flight, check in for your flight online and select your seat assignment. You can print your boarding pass and a receipt from your computer.
7. Tag Your Luggage – A baggage tag with your name, home address and telephone number must be placed on the outside of your bag. For easy identification upon arrival, passengers may also want to use a ribbon or other easily identifiable item to mark their bag.
8. Harvest Your IDs – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security procedures require that all travelers 18 years of age and older show a government-issued photo ID, such as a valid driver’s license, a passport or military ID. If you do not have one of the above, you may show two forms of non-photo ID, at least one of which must be issued by a local, state or federal government agency such as the following: birth certificate, Medicare card, voter registration card or Social Security card. Ensure that the name on your itinerary matches the name on your identification.
9. Invest in a security friendly laptop bag – If you want to avoid having to remove your laptop at the security checkpoint, buy a laptop bag that is free of outside pockets, metal snaps, zippers or thick padding that can obstruct a clear X-Ray view of the laptop. Also, keep cords and batteries separate from the laptop to avoid having to remove the laptop from your bag.
And how busy is the 2010 Thanksgiving travel season expected to be? According to the Air Transport Association, travel is expected to increase by 3.5 percent this year over last. Moreover, the busiest days over the 12-day holiday flying period are expected to Sunday and Monday following Thanksgiving followed by the Friday and Wednesday before the holiday. If crowds annoy you, then fly on Thanksgiving Day – that’s when traffic will be at its lowest.
Source: AirTran Airways