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Navigating The 12 Hassles Of Christmas Travel

In the next few weeks, millions of travelers will take to the skies to go home for the holidays, but getting there isn’t always full of good tidings and joy. As our gift to you this season, Airport Parking Reservations is giving you the 12 holiday travel hassles and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

1. Snowy winter weather. While it’s impossible to control the weather, you can be prepared for it. Check the forecast for your destination the night before you leave, so that you can pack accordingly. Also, check your local forecast to find out if your area is expecting inclement weather that could delay your travel plans.

2. Standing in line. Skip the stress of waiting in line at the ticket counter by printing your boarding pass at home or at the airline’s check-in kiosks. Many airlines also allow passengers to download their boarding pass to their smart phones.

3. Security line pat-downs. The last thing you want to deal with when traveling is a pat down from a friendly airport security officer. To avoid security line headaches, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s tips for travelers before you leave, and remember you must remove your boots (or shoes), coat, belt, Santa hat, and sleigh keys before going through the scanners.

4. Crowded, confusing airports. The holidays are airports’ busiest time of year, and the large crowds can be especially overwhelming if you’re in an unfamiliar airport. If you’re arriving or traveling through an airport that’s new, consider printing out a map of the airport before you leave and maybe bringing along some cookies. The map will prevent you from getting lost and missing your flight, and the cookies will come in handy if you have to bribe an airport employee.

5. Sky-high baggage fees. Don’t let the airline company be the Grinch that stole Christmas. Before you start packing, check your airline’s baggage policy, including the number of bags allowed per person, weight limits for baggage, and fees for additional luggage and bag weight. If you don’t want to pay baggage fees, pack light and carry your bags on. Most airlines limit carry-on luggage to one bag and one personal item, such as a purse, laptop case, or other small item that will fit under a seat.

6. Food that’s worse than fruitcake. Most airport eateries are not known for their five-star cuisine. If you are a picky eater or you are traveling with one, pack a snack to tide you over while you are airborne. Just remember that you can’t take more than three ounces of liquid through security.

7. Unwrapping gifts. You know the gift-wrapped box in your luggage contains a reindeer sweater for Uncle Arnold – not a bomb – but the TSA elves don’t. Save yourself from the hassle of unwrapping gifts in the security line and wrap them when you arrive at your destination. You can also ship gifts to your destination ahead of time and avoid traveling with them all together.

8. Hacking holiday travelers. Tis the season for holiday colds, the flu, and other contagious ailments, and with thousands of people passing through each day, airports are a breeding ground for germs. Don’t let a sickness spoil your holiday, remember to wash your hands often, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest before you leave.

9. Holiday thieves. It may be a holly, jolly season for most people, but some like to spoil the merriment by stealing from unsuspecting travelers. Keep crooks at bay by paying close attention to your luggage, purse, and other personal belongings when you’re in crowded places. You may also want to safeguard your home before traveling by installing automatic timers on lights, arming your security system, and notifying a neighbor that you are going out of town.

10. Missed flights, cancellations and delays. There’s a good chance you might end up stuck in an airport for longer than you planned this holiday season. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers are frustrating, but you can make the most of your extended airport stay by bringing some entertainment, such as a book, computer, DVD player, or iPod. Make sure to arrive at the airport at least an hour early so that you don’t miss your plane or get bumped from the flight. You should also consider booking your flight earlier in the day when flights are more likely to depart on time.

11. Pushy people panicking. Traveling is stressful for a lot of people, and when you add the holidays into the mix, even the most well-mannered person can morph into Ebenezer Scrooge. Don’t let pushy, rude, or impatient people get the best of you. If you’re confronted with such a person, don’t lose your temper. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and remember that you’ll soon be amongst family and friends. And if the person’s especially mean-spirited, wish them a happy holiday.

12. Finding a parking spot at the airport. This travel pain is easy to remedy! Just visit www.airportparkingreservations.com to make your airport parking reservations, so that you can park quickly and be on your merry way! Also, check out the coupon codes in this newsletter for additional holiday savings at some of our airports.

A Surprisingly Good Summer for Air Travel

Economic times might currently be difficult, but more people took flights in June 2011 compared with the same month for 2010. This is the announcement from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which recently announced that in June 2011, US airlines were responsible for carrying 66.1 million passengers in total.

This is up by 1.6 percent on June 2010, showing that air travel is still has popular as ever. The three busiest airports in the United States for June 2011 were Atlanta International (ATL), Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) and Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW).

ATL Airport, which is the busiest airport in the world, saw a total of 4 million passengers enplaned in June 2011. ORD Airport saw a total of 2.7 million passengers in the same month and DFW Airport enplaned a total of 2.5 million in June.

Andy Maclean+

Passengers Advised To Plan Ahead For ATL Terminal Changes

A new terminal is set to open next spring at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. One of the main aims of this new terminal is to make things easier for international travelers, who previously had to go through a slightly confusing process of checking in their bags then rechecking it after clearing customs, before taking a train to the main terminal.

One issue that does arise from this new terminal is making sure everyone knows which terminal they need to use at ATL. With many travelers so used to the current layout of Hartsfield-Jackson, the airport faces a challenge in educating the public about who can use which terminal – and how to get to each terminal. For instance, while international travelers need to take one road to get to the new international terminal, another road is needed for domestic travelers heading to the main terminal.

With the new ATL terminal due to open next spring, for all regular visitors to Hartsfield Jackson Airport it’s worth planning in advance to make sure you avoid any confusion.

High Fuel Prices Leading to Flight Reductions?

It has been reported that rising prices of jet fuel are encouraging airlines to cut back on the numbers of flights they are offering from a range of US airports. For instance, one airline is reducing its flights from Newark Liberty International Airport by 3% and from its hub at Houston by 3.8%.

Another airline has been reported as reducing its flight capacity from LAX by 4%, from Washington Dulles Airport by 4.9% and from Chicago O’Hare by 7.2%. Also, Denver International Airport is set to see a reduction in seating capacity from one airline of between 11 and 17%, making it one of the hardest hit airports.

Despite these cuts in flights, possibly due to high prices of fuel, there are few signs that passenger numbers are dropping at the major air hubs such as those mentioned above. This suggests that there will be the same number – or even more, depending on growth – of passengers trying to access fewer flights.

This can lead to TSA delays when checking into airports, which is naturally something that all travelers want to avoid if possible. One option is to book and reserve off-site parking online before you are due to fly; this ensures you have a parking space ready for when you need it, allowing you to park and then take the free off-site shuttle to the airport, rather than driving round in the hope of finding a space at the airport and ending up late.

At a time when anything you can do to make the flying experience easier is welcome, making plans for your airport parking is definitely a good idea.

Andy Maclean+

Flight Reductions at Denver International Airport

It has been reported that the number of flights scheduled to leave Denver International Airport is set to fall, and yet there is nothing to indicate that passenger numbers are falling. This means that there is likely to be crowding at DEN Airport as the same number of passengers tries to access fewer flights than there were previously.

One of the reasons given for this reduction in DEN flight capacity is rising fuel costs and, although other airports have also been hit by the issue, it seems that Denver International Airport is experiencing a bigger reduction in flight capacity than most.

Between September and December 2011, one of the major airlines serving DEN is cutting between 11% and 17% of seat capacity at Denver Airport and, overall, it is predicted that there will be around 450,000 seats fewer.

One issue that could well arise from this is greater TSA waiting times, which means it’s more important than ever that passengers flying out of DIA do everything they can to make sure they are on time for their flights. One option is to book and confirm off-site parking in advance so you are sure your space is reserved in good time for your flight.

There are several different off-airport parking lot operators close to Denver International Airport. These off-site providers offer free shuttle transport to take passengers from the parking lot to the airport terminal, making sure that as long as you reserve your parking space in advance, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be on time for your flight despite the other issues that are currently affecting the airport.