Air Travel
11:07 am
Wed November 27, 2013

If You're Traveling By Air This Holiday Season Read This First

Dave Dunwoody speaks with Danielle Rudd of the BBB about holiday travel.

Travelers wait for their flight at Pensacola International Airport.
Credit Pensacola International Airport

It’s time to hit the road  or, for some, the air  for the holiday season. The Better Business Bureau has some tips to help make the trip home or to that fall vacation less chaotic.

Danielle Rudd with the BBB’s Northwest Florida office says rule number one is: if you haven’t already booked your flight, do it now! The earlier the better, and using an online travel site could save you some money by bundling air fare, rental car and  hotel room.

One way to shake up things this holiday season is doing something out of the ordinary. That could include celebrating in a new location, lie on a beach instead of sitting around a Christmas tree, and perhaps create a new holiday tradition.

Another say to save a few dollars, says Rudd, is avoiding major airports, all the better to keep track of your luggage. You can also avoid overweight baggage fees by packing light.

Be flexible with when you fly. The BBB says the most expensive flights are on the days leading up to Thanksgiving or Christmas. Check out flights on the morning of the holiday, because the rates may be cheaper and the lines shorter. Rudd reminds us that how you get to and from the airport also can be tough on the wallet; get a friend to drive you to and from the airport to avoid costly airport parking lots.

Since 9/11, one of the basics of air travel has become getting to the airport in plenty of time before your flight, about two hours, to go through the security checks. On top of that, airports during the holidays are extremely hectic; so don’t take any chances by being late.

A winter storm moving across the bulk of the U-S last week had a major impact on Thanksgiving airline schedules. Such weather is always a possibility this time of year. If you’re facing a cancelation, the BBB’s Danielle Rudd says it could be best in some situations to bypass the airlines, and booking your own alternative flight.

More information on travel – during the holidays and any other time of the year – can be found at www.bbb.org.