#1 Download Airline App for Flight Status and Preferential  Boardin

Immediately after booking your flight, download the airline app. This is how the airline stays in communication with you concerning check-ins and flight status. Most airlines allow you to check in 24 hours before your flight departs by using your app. This tells the airline you are ready for the flight and that you will be there the day of your flight. You save time checking in by using the app and avoid long lines checking in at the airport or at the airline’s kiosk station.

Check in 24 hours before your flight departs to get the best boarding group. On airlines with open seating such as Southwest, check in exactly 24 hours before your flight departs to get the best boarding group.

#2 Consider Paying Extra for Early Boarding

It’s better to pay a little extra to get preferential boarding pass, particularly on flights that are near full. This will allow you to board sooner and get overhead baggage space for your carry-on. Preferential boarding can be found on the airline app or online for your flight if booked online at the airline’s website. Preferential boarding is very convenient for travels with connecting flights. Once you pay extra for preferential boarding, that boarding preference extends throughout your connecting flights for most airlines. Check your airline for details.

#3 TSA Pre Check
Going through TSA Pre Check at airports can save you loads of time and is certainly worth the time it takes to get TSA credential. The TSA Pre Check line is a separate line for low-risk travelers. In this line, you are not required to take off your belt, shoes or jacket and you can leave your laptop in the carry bag. The best benefit of the line is the tremendous time saver since most people are going through the general TSA line. Even if you don’t travel much, the TSA Pre Check credentials are worth getting since it’s good for 5 years. Go to TSA Pre Check website and apply online. Credentials are done through a third-party contractor of TSA and the website will give you all the information to apply. There is an in-person visit and fee that’s required, but it’s all worth the time you will save at airports, especially during peak travel times and holidays.

#4 Travel Through Smaller Airports if Possible
If you travel from a very large metropolitan airport, you lose so much time in long lines. Finding parking can be a nightmare and very expensive. Many metropolitans’ airport such as Los Angeles International are near smaller regional airports such as Burbank, John Wayne, Ontario, or Long Beach airport that serve the suburban communities. Because airlines use the hub system to connect flights, you can take a flight out of these smaller airports and connect to other flights from a larger hub airport such as Dallas. The difference is that you are already at the airline gate and it’s a matter of just getting to your connecting gate at the hub airport. No TSA lines, no parking, and no checking in.  Using smaller airports is extremely convenient because it’s so much easier to travel from, with reduced lines, waiting times and parking cost. Sometimes, it’s even worth the drive to travel to a smaller airport many more miles away from the large metropolitan airport that you may live nearby.

#5 Search Online for Cheaper Parking Lots
Most airports have economy parking, and this is where you will save a lot of money. For trips of more than a week, you can save substantial money by using the economy lot or off airport lots. Do an online search for parking at your local airport and look for the parking rates. Look specifically for the economy lots and compare prices to the regular parking lots. Also do a search for off airport parking lots, especially during holiday season for big savings.

#6 Pack a Light and Healthy Lunch and Avoid Overpriced airport Fast Food
Airports now have all the fast foods restaurants that you will find at home. The difference is they charge up to 50% more. Pack a light, nutritious lunch for your trip. You will save money, especially if you are traveling with the family. Pack a sandwich, fruit, nuts, granola bar, chips, and a snack. You can not take any liquids through TSA so don’t pack water, juice, soda, or any soft food that jiggles. Most other solid foods are OK. You will feel a lot better eating nutritious food through your journey instead of the expensive junk food at the airport fast food restaurants.

#7 Check Flight Status in Advance, Especially in Bad Weather
Checking flight status through your downloaded airline app or online will always save you time, especially during holidays or bad weather travel. Airlines give you real-time status of their flights so you know in advance if there will be a long delay at your departure airport. If your flight departs at 3pm instead of the earlier 1pm, you now have 2 extra hours to get to the airport. This also helps you plan connecting flights if your initial flight is delayed. You can call the airline in advance to plan alternate flights if needed. Also, knowing that your connecting flight is delayed, gives you more time to get to your connecting gate.

#8 Add Extra Hours to Airport Arrival during Holiday Season
There’s nothing more stressful than standing in a long TSA line with 15 minutes left before your flight departs. This is a typical scenario during holidays or peak travel season. Always give yourself at least one hour or even 2 extra hours to get to the airport. During busy seasons, you will encounter unanticipated car accidents on your way to the airport, especially during bad weather. You will also encounter unusually long lines and difficulty finding parking space. This all translates into more time getting to your flight gate, so avoid the stress of being late and give yourself more time to get to the airport during holidays, bad weather days and peak travel season.

#9 Take Combination Airport Transportation and Uber/Lift for big Saving
Many large airports allow Uber or Lyft, but you will pay a premium for this service. Also, many airports have train and bus service to suburban or downtown destinations. The train or bus fares are usually very cheap, and you can get off anywhere along the route and request Uber / Lyft from the place you get off the train or bus. Use public transportation to get closer to your destination, then use Uber / Lyft to get to the last few miles of your destination for big savings.

#10 Search in Advance for flat rate taxi service to your destination hotel

Many taxis service charge a flat rate from the airport to your destination area. For instance, at the time this video was produced, Philadelphia taxis charged a very reasonable flat rate from Philadelphia Airport to Central City Zone that includes most downtown Philadelphia hotels. Do an online search in advance for the city you’re traveling to find out if a taxi flat rate is offered. This may save you substantial money over Uber or Lyft, especially in heavy traffic.

#11 Best Time to Book Flight for Cheaper Flight
Monitor airfares 3 to 4 months before departure for best fare and book no longer than 3 weeks before departure. You will find big savings by booking your vacation travel after Christmas and New Year Holiday when the airlines are starving for revenue. Mid-January through February are low travel periods for airlines, and they offer amazing low fares for future travel. Book your travel during that period for travel in spring, late summer or fall. If you enjoy winter vacation, you’ll find the lowest fare during travel in mid-January through March. Summer and holiday are the most expensive travel periods. Regularly review airline website for discount and get on their email alert for discount fare.

#12 Use Flight Fare App to Scan and Receive Alerts for Best Airfare Hotel Deals
Download app or use the online and email alert for finding best airfares. These apps monitor the internet for you and send alerts for bargain airfare as well as giving you the best real-time fares across most airlines and hotel properties. Skyscanner and Flightradar24 at the time of this video are two of the best apps, but you can check on the latest fare monitoring app by doing an internet search.

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