Are you avoiding below-zero temperatures and traveling to a warm-weather destination? Or, are you heading right into the storm and traveling somewhere cold to enjoy winter sports?
Whether you are leaving from a snowy destination or headed to one, these are the essential winter air travel tips that you need to know to make sure your vacation gets off to a good start!
Get to The Airport Earlier Than Usual
Icy road conditions as a result of weather mean potential delays as you travel to the airport, and you don't want to arrive too late to check-in or be stuck in a line at security.
Because cooler temperatures mean that everyone will be wearing more layers, this also means longer lines at security, as it will take each person a few minutes more than normal to get themselves — and all of their belongings — through the checkpoint.
Almost all airlines now allow online check-in — either through a website or an app — at least 24 hours before your flight time. You will be able to select your seat, pay any baggage fees, and provide contact information where you can be reached if there are any disruptions to your flight.
If you still have to check a bag when you get to the airport, you should be able to skip the line and just drop it in a designated area. If not, checking in online allows you to skip the check-in lines altogether and head right for security when you arrive!
Make sure the contact info you have provided can be checked regularly or easily accessed. That way you will receive any flight status updates as soon as they happen and not only when you are in front of the screens at the airport.
Keep in mind that you might not be using your cellular data while traveling in a foreign country, so email might be a better way to reach you than a telephone number.
Check Your Flight Status Before Leaving For The Airport
Icy runways, blizzards, fog, freezing rain — there are so many winter-related events that can cause flight delays or cancellations. Avoid waiting at the airport, or arriving for no reason, and check the status of your flight about an hour before you plan on leaving for the airport.
Pack To Prevent Security Delays
Here are some tips to keep in mind when packing:
Valuables, Electronics, Documentation, and Medications should be in your carry-on bag, NOT your checked bag. Make sure that all medications are clearly marked with their original labels.
Keep any gifts that you are traveling with unwrapped.
Most airlines allow one or two carry-on bags. Though the sizes vary slightly, they are consistently only permitted to be 10kg in weight. Make sure you are aware of your carry-on allowance to avoid any unexpected fees.
Remember that any liquid or gels are only allowed to be in containers that are 100ml/100g/3.4oz, and must be kept in a clear plastic bag. There are bags at the airport you can use, or a Ziploc bag works as well.
Galaxy Note 7 phones are not permitted on board any airlines at this time.
While it is important to have a name tag attached to the outside of your bag in case it gets lost, make sure you have your information on the INSIDE as well. You never know when an exterior baggage tag might be ripped off in transit!
Make Sure Your Passport is Up-To-Date
If you are traveling outside of your own country, you will need a valid passport.
While all passports have an expiry date, you should think of your "real" renewal date to be 6 months earlier than the printed one.
While you may be able to get on the plane still, many countries won't allow entry to foreigners whose passport expires in less than six months. You don't want to fly all the way to your destination and have to turn around and fly right back!
NOTE: If you are traveling with children, you will have to have additional documentation like birth certificates, legal documents, or letters of consent.
Visit IATA Travel Centre for details regarding country-specific passport, visa, and health entry requirements for destinations around the world.