How NOT to miss your flight

Your vacation or honeymoon is coming up soon.  Your bags are packed.  You have your travel vouchers and you’re ready to go.  Here are some helpful tips on how not to miss your flight:

  1. Before our clients depart for their vacations or honeymoons, My Vacation Lady sends a reminder and the top reminder is to RECONFIRM their flights.  While we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to check in online for every flight and print your boarding pass (you can’t do it with a few of the international airlines- like Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui), you do want to make sure that you have reconfirmed the departure time.
  2. Make sure that if know how much time you will need for check in.  Did you know that for Aruba, you will need to be at the airport 3 hours ahead of the flight departure?  Same thing with Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui and Fiji Airlines.
  3. Know the terminal and gate ahead of time-  Sometimes international flights will depart from a different terminal than the domestic flight that you took as your first flight segment.  This is common in LAX (Los Angeles).  Your United or American or Delta flight from the East Coast landed in LAX in the domestic terminal but your flight to the South Pacific departs from the international terminal.  OR your flight from the west coast arrived at EWR (Newark) at the domestic terminal and your flight to Europe departs from the international terminal.
  4. Did you allow for enough of a connection time?  So often our clients will say that they only want a short connection time.  Technically, 45 minutes is a legal window for connecting but what happens if your first flight is delayed?  While there is no set rule for how long of a connection you should book but 90 minutes is usually a safer bet than 45.  If you are coming back from the Caribbean through Miami or Atlanta or Houston and need to go through customs, we might recommend a 3 hour window to be safe.
  5. Have the right documentation and ID-  This may seem like a no brainer but many of our clients don’t realize that you only need a driver’s license or valid government issued photo ID to get to Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories.  You need a valid and CURRENT passport to go to elsewhere.  In some cases, your passport must be valid for 6 months prior to the date of return in many destinations, like Costa Rica, Israel, The Galapagos and now some nations in Europe are starting to require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your date of return.  Make sure that your name on your airline ticket matches your ID exactly.
  6. Give yourself enough time to get to the airport.  Just because the GPS says it may take 30 minutes to get to the airport, that doesn’t mean you won’t hit traffic on the way to the airport or even at the airport.
  7. Allow enough time to get through security-  We will typically tell our clients that 90 minutes is sufficient for a domestic flight and 2 hours for an international flight but depending on your airport, going through security may be much longer.
  8. Factor in busy travel days- Early morning flights on Mondays attract business travelers.  Flights during holidays (the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Memorial Day weekend and more) will be busier than other days so allow plenty of time for delays at security.

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Where ever your travel dreams take you, My Vacation Lady can help make your vacation and honeymoon dreams become reality.

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.