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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Let technology make your next flight stress-free

Sep 03, 2019 01:15PM ● By Adam Cochran

This is a great time of year to begin making your holiday travel plans. If you haven’t flown in the last few years, these tech tips will make preparing for your journey a little less stressful. (Most of this advice applies to reserving hotels and rental cars as well.)

Pre-flight

• Before even beginning to schedule your trip, research the baggage restrictions for each airline. Some airlines have much lower ticket prices, but they nickel and dime for various amenities that other airlines have included in the ticket price.

• Sign up for the airlines’ rewards program, even if you don’t travel much. Some airlines offer incentives, such as seat assignment, and free or discount luggage check for anyone who has signed up for the free membership.

• Research the cost of the ticket purchased directly from the airline before purchasing through a site that offers discount tickets. Tickets purchased directly from the airline may be a few dollars more, but offer free cancellation, transfer or date change.

• If you have a smartphone, download the app for your chosen airline.

Packing

• Make a strategy for traveling with your technology. It doesn’t do any good to pack a charger for your phone if that charger ends up in your checked luggage.

• Keep your phone in your personal item (coat, purse, or backpack). If you are traveling with a laptop, you probably won’t need it until you get to the hotel, so place it in your carry-on to be stored in the overhead bin.

• Do not place laptops or anything with a rechargeable battery in your checked luggage. Make sure your laptop or tablet is accessible; you will need to remove it when you get to security.

Checking In

Every major airline now allows you to check in via their apps, a process that only takes a few seconds and also generates a digital boarding pass. If you have downloaded and checked in through the app and don’t have any luggage to check in, you can skip the line and go straight to security. You will still need your ID, but your phone will act as your ticket once you’ve checked in.

Boarding and flying

The airline app will keep your ticket updated with any changes in your flight. It will also provide accurate gate information, so keep your phone handy until comfortably seated on the plane.

Generally, personal items go under the seat in front of you and your carry-on goes in the overhead bin. Take the time at the gate before boarding to remove headphones, chargers and other items you may need during the flight. Few people have the dexterity or opportunity to access these items after take-off.

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