Know Before You Go

How to prepare so your trip goes smoothly

From checking your flight status and researching seats to checking in online and booking DTW parking valet service, we welcome you to research all these helpful tips before you leave for the airport to ensure a smooth, seamless transition from parking lot to terminal to takeoff.

1.    Research Your Seats

Especially if you’re going a long distance, you probably don’t want the middle seat for a couple of reasons: It’s not at the window so you can enjoy the view and it’s not at the aisle so you can pop up and go to the bathroom when needed. No one wants to crawl over anyone else, especially strangers when they have to move about. For a trouble-free exit to the restroom and extra breathing room, an aisle seat is your best bet. If you have kids, go for the window seat for a birds-eye view.

Whichever you choose, be sure to research your seat carefully prior to booking. Hint: check where the USB ports and power outlets are so you can easily charge up.

2.    Try a Red-Eye

Not keen on crowds? Got a flexible schedule? Are you on a tight budget? You may want to consider taking a red-eye flight (flights between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.). You will have your pick of seats because there aren’t many passengers on those flights, and enjoy the extra leg room. If a red-eye is just too extreme for you, opt for the earliest flight in the morning, say 5 a.m. Not only are the flights cheaper at this time, you don’t have to arrive too early because the delays haven’t started piling up yet.

3.    Check Flight Status Beforehand

Prior to leaving for the airport, go online and check the flight status online, updated in real time. No need to leave at that moment if your scheduled flight is delayed.  

4.    Download Offline Maps

Download registered maps offline with Google Maps before your flight, in case you don’t have free WiFi as you land. You’ll still need to navigate around, and a paper map is better than nothing.  

5.    Pack Snacks

With airport food being pretty pricey, bringing your own snacks is a good idea. Why shell out money for overpriced airport food (it’s not the best anyway), when you can pack your own snacks, sandwiches, energy bars, and dried fruits?

6.    Bring a Portable Charger

You’ve likely seen a bunch of people tethered to wall charging stations; don’t let this be you. Invest in a portable charger so you can charge up your devices at the airport and plane in peace.

7.    Check in Online

This tip will save you a lot of time. Now you don’t have to stand in long lines at the designated check-in queues or counters. Search for “luggage only” lines, which are faster overall.

8.    Take a Photo of Your Parking Spot

Everyone thinks they’ll remember where they parked, but it’s the last thing you’re thinking about when you return from vacation. Don’t add to the stress of ending your vacation: jog your memory by snapping a photo of your parking spot before you even leave – including signs advising you of the level.

Now you can easily pick up your car after you take the shuttle. Or, even better, hire a valet who can bring your vehicle to you!

9.    Ask About Free WiFi

Most airports have free WiFi access for guests, but don’t assume. Get the password beforehand so you don’t have to go searching for help when the screen on your phone prompts you for it.

10. Distinguish Your Luggage Handle

To distinguish your luggage from a sea of everyone else’s, use this tried-and-true strategy to save time and confusion. It’s a fact that most luggage in the world is black, which certainly doesn’t help you find yours amidst the others on the carousel. But even if you have red or blue luggage, chances are there are others of the same color. Don’t take any chances; tie a ribbon to the handle or some other marker so you can quickly grab it when you spot it.

11. Layer Up

Determine luggage requirements and weight limits before leaving. If you’re told you’ve gone over the limit, consider adding more clothing to your body before forking over the extra fee.  

12. Head Left

Most people are right handed, and research shows that most people will choose the line to the right. So, to avoid those long lines at the right, head left and get in line there.

13. Have Your Laptop Ready

When shuffling through security, be ready and have your laptop out so you can promptly place it in the bin. Don’t wait till the last second and hold everyone up. Getting caught off guard is stressful and causes panic and delays. Similarly, before reaching the head of the line, take off your watches, shoes, belts, and other metallic items before someone has to ask you at the conveyor. Use this time to sort out your travel documents, passports and ID, making sure they’re in an easily accessible place.

14. Bring an Empty Bottle

All liquids above 100 ml will not be accepted at the security checkpoints. Bring an empty bottle, even if it’s over the authorized limit, and it should pass through with no issue. Once through, fill it with tap water and get yourself a free water bottle. Why pay their high prices?  

15. Don’t Forget a Sweater

Airplanes and airports are chilly all year round, even on the hottest days. Dress in layers so you can peel some off if you get hot, or bring an extra sweatshirt to add in case you get cold.

Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking

Now that you’re enlightened with these airport preparedness tips, reach out to Valet Connections to make your trip even easier. We bring you affordable parking and valet service, with convenient free shuttles that come along regularly. Book your parking early when you contact us at (734) 992-4946.