COVID-19 has made travel a challenge, especially if you travel by air. Here are 6 airline travel tips to help you get where you need to go safely.
Airline travel before COVID-19 was already stressful, but in today’s world of face masks, quarantines, and lockdowns, travel is even more of hassle. Some countries require anyone entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days before taking care of business. Others have locked down their airports, stopping all travel. So how do you handle traveling by air during this pandemic? Here are 6 tips to help you make your travel less stressful.
Travel Tip #1: Have A Back-Up Plan
When you travel during a pandemic, have a back-up plan in place just in case they cancel your flight. You can purchase a Plan B ticket that is refundable just in case travel Plan A doesn’t pan out. Try to make the Plan B flight on a different airline. Also, make sure you understand what you need to do to get a refund on the Plan B flight if you don’t use it. Each airline has different rules about canceling a ticket.
Travel Tip #2: Try To Communicate With The Airline Using Different Communication Methods
Let’s face it: trying to speak to an airline agent to change your travel plans is hard nowadays. If you need to change a ticket, confirm a flight, add luggage, or anything else, try doing it on the airline website first. Some of them have a chat feature you can use and even if the airline representative can’t help you, they can point you in the right direction.
Travel Tip #3: Get Creative
If you absolutely must talk to an airline agent and you cannot get through on their main number, try calling one of the other numbers, such as airline reservations or even the frequent flyer program number. They will transfer you to an agent that can help you change your travel plans. Also, call during non-peak hours, like the middle of the night or bright and early in the morning. If you still can’t get a hold of someone at the airline and you have time to resolve your problem before you travel, hit up the airline’s social media. It will get their attention.
Travel Tip #4: Have Someone Help You Set Up An Airline Call Back
Say your flight has a 6-hour layover, but the airline is also offering a callback option that could get you on an earlier flight. Enlist the help of anyone you can—friends, spouse, kids, neighbor—and have them help you set up a callback. They can wait on hold to talk to an airline agent about your travel plans while you are setting up the callback option for another flight.
Travel Tip #5: Carefully Choose Your Flight Route Back And Forth.
Air travel is tricky with airports being closed or partially closed. Flights are being canceled left and right and your remaining flight options could be very slim. Choose as many flight routes as you can to get to your destination and home again. This is a lot easier if you travel domestically. Try to get a nonstop flight if possible. If you can’t, go for a longer than normal layover so you don’t miss your connection when you travel and try to layover at an airport that could put you up in a local hotel.
Travel Tip #6: Research Your Flight Before You Book It
Look at things like how many people are already booked on the flight, whether it has been canceled over the last week, and so on. Look at different airline carriers as well to see how they are faring with travel. While social distancing on an airplane is tricky when you travel, you don’t want to book a flight on an airline that might cancel if that flight is deemed unnecessary.
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