Air travel. A comfortable journey. Today most of us are waiting to travel, impatiently waiting! Or, at the minimum would like to see some light at the end of the tunnel, maybe some time frame, at least. When will the commercial planes touch the sky again? And when will w be able to admire the beauty of the world? The current situation doesn’t stop us from future planning and getting ready once skies will open again. I can’t wait, and you?
UP IN THE SKY
I love traveling. Exactly 30 years ago, I went for the first time abroad. And that’s how my international journeys continued, reaching 43 countries by now. Many of them visited multiple times, too beautiful not to return. Most I enjoy traveling by plane or car. Driving a car has its charm: freedom, speed (psss…), independence. But as I love discovering more and more unknown places, I opt for air travel. And luckily, here, I am not the ‘driver’. ?
Yes, recently I miss plane travels a lot. The last time I was on the plane three months ago. In February, we decided to cancel our tickets to Thailand (oops, not refundable ones) and some smaller domestic travel ideas. Somehow I believe that all happens for a reason, and maybe we will be more excited to travel again. I hope we will discover even more amazing places – with nature that is back to life – will welcome us shortly. I trust that the good things are yet to happen!
air travel – COMFORTABLE JOURNEY
When traveling, I love a bit of comfort. For many reasons: be it many intercontinental flights, more than one connection, less sleep the night before, or simply: to relax and enjoy the journey more. Be it at the airport, on the plane, or just after landing. Sometimes when I travel with multiple timezone changes, to overcome jet lag, I start exploring the place as soon as I arrive. So yes, being fresh and relaxed is a great feeling!
How can we turn air travel into a comfortable experience? What to do to arrive at your final destination still energetic? How to turn the journey into moments that you will love to remember?
Below I am sharing some of my personal experiences. They include different elements of the travel. I am starting with the initial planning and then the actual trip. From the airport, through plane and finally when you reach your destination or rather a hotel pillow! If you are traveling with a baby, you can explore my previous post. Do share your air travel tips in the comments section below – let’s benefit together!
As air travels are yet to be restarted in the world, bookmark this post. Add it to your favorite links so that you could use them later. And remember. Air travel = a comfortable journey. Welcome on board, fasten your seat belt and remember to enjoy this flight!
PRIOR TO TRAVEL
THE BEST SEAT BOOKING
Who doesn’t like to get assigned a good seating place on the plane! Hands up! No one? ? It is essential to do online check-in as soon as it is available. So what else can be done? Two highlights here.
When I am selecting my place during online check-in (or phone booking place – when traveling with an infant to book also the bassinet), I am referring to the Seat Guru website to have better visibility into the plane layout and seat allocation. Seat Guru plane maps include all information about planes that usually isn’t visible during seat selection: where are bassinets, bathrooms, or, for example, service areas.
If you are traveling in two people, and if the plane’s sitting layout has a row of 3 seats – book both the window and the aisle seat, leaving the middle one empty. It will increase your chances of getting one extra seat free. And if the plane is fully booked or with high occupancy – the person sitting next to you will always agree to swap the place, be it for window or aisle! ?
Joining airline programs can bring more than status points. They give a lot of immediate benefits that will turn your air travel into a more comfortable experience. Check during flight booking if you are already part of that program. If not – consider it! So what else can be offered next to the loyalty points? Some examples below (they will vary a lot depending on the membership level):
- priority check-in
- fast track option
- lounge access
- extra bag allowance
- free Wi-Fi onboard
- advanced seat selection
TRAVEL CREDIT CARD
Before travel, check your credit cards. Maybe you have one that gives you some extra travel benefits? Or maybe your bank has currently some good offer that includes it? Just recently, when one of my suitcases got lost, I reminded myself that my Visa World has also travel insurance! Useful!
When you reach the check-in desk or boarding counter (during connecting flight), ask for upgrade options. Maybe you will be a lucky one to find out that the airline has upgraded you for free? Or there will be a promotion going on to buy a cheaper upgrade (using money or frequent flyer points). Once I heard this great news from Emirates Airline that I got upgraded to business class! And the other time, I benefited from a 50% discount on the upgrade to Premium class. Worth checking!
Two small suggestions here. If you want your luggage to arrive earlier in your destination, ask for a ‘fragile’ sticker during check-in. It helps to speed up your suitcase, and you can be sure it will get some extra care! And if you love to travel hands-free, you can ask to check-in for free your hand luggage. Most of the airlines agree to it, especially if the flight is well-booked.
How about relaxing in a business lounge, especially during a long connection? Many airport lounges offer paid access (including free entry for children). It is great. There is an option to relax, take advantage of available food, snack, and drinks. Additionally, you could benefit from the Lounge Buddy website. They provide reviews on airport lounges around the world and give an insight into entry requirements. There, you can also buy advanced access to the selected lounge!
Many banks have an option of an additional Priority Pass card issued together with your credit card. Ask at your bank for it or explore which bank has such an option. My Priority Pass card allows me to enter selected airport lounges (which are part of the program) globally four times a year for free. You can also use the entries for your co-travelers!
In case I am traveling with connections, I always use the Google flights tracker during my journey. Be it at the airport or if Wi-Fi available during the flight – also on the plane. You can check the gate of your landing and next departure gate, plus planned timing for your arrival. The information is constantly updated. Once, it helped me significantly. I managed to understand my options for the next connection in case of significant delay during the first flight. I knew my plan well in advance!
When traveling alone, I always wait to hear “boarding completed” to lock my seat belt and keep my things around. If my seat isn’t the best and there are better seats available, I just let the air hostess know, and I quickly change the place. It allowed me many times to get three or even four seats for myself. I struggle to sleep sitting, so that’s the best as I can sleep!
How often do you pre-select your flight meals? Me? I guess every time I fly Economy or Premium. Two benefits here: your meal will arrive in advance, even if you sit at the end of the plane! And secondly, you can enjoy the selection you make, especially if you follow some specific diet. The option is available during ticket booking and later on, up to 24 h before your flight, in the ‘manage my booking’ section.
Are you celebrating a special occasion or traveling for an unforgettable moment in your life? Let your flight attendant know about it! Sometimes they can make this day even more special for you! Don’t be shy! Just speak up and share your joy with others! You might get surprised! Just like I was, flying Lufthansa for my wedding in India!
This post is about air travel tips, so just two quick ideas here once you reach! During travel planning and booking, consider apartment hotels. It is a great option, especially when you love to have more space (traveling with family or group). Plus, you receive all the services that are available in the hotels. We usually explore this type of accommodation when traveling. It is a big plus to have in the hotel not only a bedroom but also a living room, kitchen or washing machine.
If you do not hold your selected hotel’s membership, ask for it during the check-in process. Next to the loyalty program (points gathering), there can be great immediate benefits associated with it, for example, free Wi-Fi, club lounge access, complimentary breakfast. Again, worth asking! After air travel, it can turn your stay into a more comfortable one!
Yes! Air travel can mean a comfortable journey! Believe in it and make it happen!
Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.Unknown
Moments that matter, no matter the comfort.