Top 10 Flying tips

Check Real-time Reports

Like a jilted lover, airline apps are usually the last to know when things are going wrong. Use FlightStats to track flight statuses, on-time performances, weather conditions, and even the flight history of your specific aircraft, all in real-time so that if your plane is delayed, you can be the first to know and the first to get rebooked.

The value of Rapid Rewards is tied to the cost of the flight

Unlike points from airlines like United and American and many other airlines, the value of Rapid Rewards are directly tied to the cost of the current price of the that airline ticket. So a flight that costs $400 will require about 2X the amount of Rapid Rewards as a flight that costs $200. I say “about” because there are some fluctuations. Typically, your Southwest points will be worth between 1.4 to 1.6 cents per point but sometimes the value can fluctuate even more.

Sleep in the Airport

This is one of the best flying tips around – Find a line of comfy chairs, put your feet up and make yourself at home! If you have an early morning flight, sleeping in the airport is a great way to save money. This is a top tip if you are travelling across multiple destinations or if you tried to book an airport hotel last minute but they are all fulled booked. For those who want to catch some rest while waiting around, some airports have ‘resting pods’ which is a state of the art chair with a fold flat bed inside. Really really tired and need some shut eye? Check if the airport has an accessible internal hotel. YotelAir in Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, is a hotel situated in departures where you can hire beds by the hour, take a monsoon shower or stay the night. A perfect way to refresh during your travels.

Make checking in easy

These airport tricks will allow you to check in with ease: Arrive early – Allow extra time for long queues at the check in desk. Have your passport ready – Including your boarding card if you downloaded it on the app or printed it out before arriving. Ask for a free upgrade – Try your luck, you never know! Ask for seats together – If you haven’t checked in online and travelling as a group, ask at the check in desk for seats together.

Don't forget about local airlines

While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you're flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online. When you do find small airlines, even if they are listed in a search engine results, it often pays to check the company site which may reveal exclusive online offers not found in a regular search engine. For example, when flying in Western Canada, I found that Hawk Air, a small and local company offers weekly deals on certain days. Be sure to double check!

Place your travel pillow backward.

An experienced traveler shared a life hack that helps him sleep well onboard planes. All you need to do is use a travel pillow backward. In this case, the pillow will serve as a support for your chin and your head won’t bend forward. At the same time, the back of your head also has support — the seat itself.

Bring a money belt AND a wallet

There’s a dual purpose to this: if you get mugged you can calmly hand over the wallet and carry on your holiday with minimum hassle. If you meet new friends, use the wallet, as it can be a bit insulting to go into a money belt to pay for your beers. David Wilson, Skyscanner Senior Software Engineer

Take care of your hair.

In order to prevent hair from electrifying and to make it look neat, experts recommend tying a scarf on your head. Also, to protect your mane from dryness, you can apply a leave-in conditioner to the hair. These measures will make any flight harmless for your hair.

Use More Than One Travel Portal

Before you book directly from the carrier, you should also compare prices with at least one third-party booking site. Sometimes, the better deal can be found from a third-party site. There are many different ones to choose from, but, three of the best are Momondo, Google Flights, and Priceline. Momondo is probably the most comprehensive portal as it analyzes the prices of over 30 travel portals and carrier websites. They also have excellent research tools which make it easy to find cheap routes. And, they list the prices of Southwest Airlines flight which most do not.

Remember the Liquid Lowdown

Remember, any liquids you’re carrying through TSA checkpoints must be less than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and placed in a see-through bag no larger than a quart.