12 Pro Tips for Hassle-Free Airline Travel

5. Take Your phone Off Airplane Mode ASAP

This is critical if you have a layover. Why? If you leave your phone on airplane mode, it won’t get a signal which means it won’t update the time if you passed through a time zone. Flights depart on local time, so if your phone hasn't updated and you rely on it for time, you may miss your flight. Believe it or not, this happens often.

6. Direct Flights Are Best

Let me put it this way: If you have a direct flight and it is delayed, you will eventually get to your destination. If you have a connecting flight and your first flight is delayed, your second flight isn’t going to wait around for you. Once you miss your second flight, you are now stuck. You are neither home nor at your destination, so you will either have to find a new flight or get an airline-issued toothbrush for the night.

7. When You Have a Layover, Get to the Gate ASAP

This is true even if you have a long layover. Get to your gate first and then find food or charge your phone battery. At your gate you will be able to hear announcements and know what is happening to your next flight. Furthermore, a missing airplane at your gate might indicate that you need to make new travel plans. The sooner you get to the gate, the sooner you'll find out if you need to make these new last-minute travel plans.

8. Take Advantage of Standby

Here is another reason not to check your bags: You can’t fly without being on the same flight as your checked bags. Often, if you have a long layover you may discover that a different, yet earlier, flight is heading to your destination. If you have no checked bags, this means you can get added to the standby list. If that flight has an open seat, you get to head to your destination early and spend less time in the airport.

9. The Week Before is the Best Time to Change Seats

Often times, at the last minute people change their travel plans. This means there may be some good seats that become available during the week before flying. It is often worth a look a few days before your departure date to check to see if better seats have opened up.