Travelling soon? Here's how to have a stress-free airport experience
TORONTO -- As Canadian airports continue to experience long lines, cancelled flights and even lost luggage, travel expert Natalie Preddie says there still are ways to ensure a less stressful airport experience.
ARRIVE AND FLY EARLY
Airlines have been recommending arriving three hours early for international flights and two hours for domestic. However, if you’re travelling for a special occasion such as a wedding, graduation or a cruise, Preddie recommends scheduling flights to arrive a few days earlier before the event.
“You don't want to show up the day before or the day-of, you need to give yourself time just in case there are cancellations or delays,” Preddie told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
While scheduling flights, it’s important to consider the departure time. The earlier the flight the better, as Preddie says earlier flights are less likely to experience cancellations or severe delays.
“There's less likely to be cancellations or delays with those first flights but you still need to get there early because rest assured at four o'clock in the morning, there will be a lineup to go through customs,” she said.
STAY UP TO DATE
To avoid arriving at the airport only to find out your flight has been delayed for several hours, Preddie recommends downloading the airline’s app for real-time updates on any flight delays or cancellations.
While on a family trip to Italy, Preddie says she was notified of a seven hour delay on her return flight home. Instead of lounging at the airport, she says her family was able to take advantage of the delay.
“We were able to spend some more time in Rome for lunch and we didn't have to spend those extra seven hours in the airport,” she said.
BOOK LONG LAYOVERS
As delayed flights become more frequent, Preddie says booking layover flights that have a wait time of a minimum of three hours will provide enough time to ensure you don’t miss your connecting flight.
BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
Long lines at the airport don’t end at customs but have been seen outside washrooms and food courts. To soothe bouts of hunger without the headache of standing in line, it’s best to pack snacks or any food permitted by customs ahead of time.
“The lineups for restaurants or fast food are huge and you could spend your whole time in the airport just standing in line, so bring your own snacks,” Preddie said.
Lastly, travel insurance has never been more imperative as travellers are experiencing more than one issue throughout their journey.
“Absolutely do not go without it,” Preddie said, emphasizing that most travel insurance plans will include all major concerns Canadians have been experiencing this travel season.
“For medical reasons outside of Ontario or outside of whatever province you're in, but also trip cancellations, trip interruption, lost luggage which we're seeing a lot of recently.”