11 Things You Should Always Do Before a Flight

Last week’s blog was about what you should never do before a flight. This week, we’ll be talking about what you should always do before a flight. Hint: one thing you should always do is reserve DTW airport parking well in advance of your flight.

1.    Use Your Airline’s App

Instead of standing in long check-in queues, download and use your airline’s app beforehand. Check that your reservation details are correct, then check in right on the app. Once you arrive at the airport, you can head directly to security. In addition, many apps let you automatically check in 24 hours before your flight. Many airlines also offer free onboard entertainment via their apps for you to use on your tablet or phone.

2.    Check Your Seating Situation

When booking, make sure you’re choosing a seat placement that is agreeable to you. Once you get on the plane and see that you’re located right next to the bathrooms or the galley, it’s too late to change.

3.    Check Real-Time Reports

Use your airline app to check the flight status of your plane. Do this especially before leaving home, as you will be alerted to any delays that may allow you to wait a bit before heading out.  From on-time performance to weather conditions to flight history of the aircraft, getting access to real-time information is advantageous for any traveler.

4.    Know Your Liquids

When packing your shampoos and lotions, remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 oz. or less per container, 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag, and 1 bag per passenger. Worrying about this at the airport may mean you have to toss a lot of things you were planning to use for your trip.

5.    Know Your Bag Size

Likewise, make sure your carry-on bag meets the airline’s size and dimension requirements. You can easily check on their website. And yes, they are strict about this.  

6.    Keep Your Gadgets and Documents in One Place

From phones and laptops to tablets and chargers, make sure all your electronics are together in one place to avoid scrambling for them when you need them. Side note: Charge all devices before leaving home. You don’t want to be tethered to an outlet sitting on the floor of the airport waiting for a charge. Likewise, keep all documents handy because you will be showing them over and over again. This includes passports, licenses, and plane tickets. International destinations such as Aruba also require an ED card with a green check.

7.    Wear Comfortable Clothing

The climate settings in most airplanes can range widely, from hot and stuffy to ice cold. There’s not much you can do about that, but you can control what you’re wearing. Wear multiple layers so you can peel a sweatshirt off if things get too hot.

8.    Pack Snacks

As you know, airport and airline food have some of the biggest markups in the industry. Plus, the food isn’t always of the greatest quality. If you have picky eaters with you, or you’re on a budget, you would be wise to plan out and pack snacks to take with you from home. This way, you can control your caloric intake while still getting the sustenance you need before arrival at your destination. This is especially important during long days of flying through multiple time zones with short connections.

9.    Stay Hydrated

Ever feel dehydrated after a flight, with chapped lips and dry hands? That’s because half of the air that circulates in the typical airplane cabin is pulled from the outside air, which has very little moisture at 35,000 feet, says the Cleveland Clinic. Drink plenty of water in the day leading up to your flight. Bring moisturizer for your hands and body to keep dry skin from getting worse. Also,  you may want to avoid having a cocktail because pressurized airplanes have less oxygen. So that one drink you had at the airport bar before boarding can feel like two or three upon takeoff. Ginger ale, juice and water are better choices. There will be plenty of time for that pina colada when you arrive poolside. 

10. Notify Your Credit Card Company

When traveling on vacation, especially internationally, it’s a good idea to tell your bank and credit card companies about it. That way, they can take extra precautions to prevent credit card fraud from happening, blocking transactions that deviate from your normal spending habits. This is also especially true if you don’t travel often. You don’t want to trigger something on their end and they shut down your cards while you’re trying to enjoy your vacation. You can always call and notify them so they can lift the hold after the fact, but this is much more of a hassle than if you were proactive in the first place.

11. Hang Out in The Lounge

Whether you know you have a long period of time before your connecting flight, or you just want to play it safe and get to the airport early, why sit amongst all the other passengers at the terminal when you can wait in style in the airport lounge? You can have a quick nap, recharge your batteries, hop on a business call, or use the shower. Many times, you can purchase day passes from the airline, but in general, you can gain access to these lounges if you have enough airline status points or through your credit card company. This way, you can board your plane in peace after having a quiet and restful wait in the lounge.

Don’t Forget: Book Parking Beforehand

Be smart and reserve your spot with us before you fly. From peace of mind to convenience, make this one of your routine pre-flight tasks. To book, call Valet Connections at (734) 992-4946.