If you are a person who flies for business with regularity, you necessarily want to make your experience as enjoyable and as safe as possible.
There are some under-utilized strategies that you will want to consider employing, travel hacks that will make your business trips more pleasant and less stressful.
Keep the Air Vent Turned On
When it comes to the air vent above your seat on an airplane, you may feel its use is something of either feast of famine. When you’re on the tarmac waiting to depart, you may find yourself uncomfortably warm and really wish the air vent were operational at the moment. (Oftentimes, the air vent is turned off for departure.) On the other hand, once you are airborne, you may feel the air vent is freezing you out.
You may be like many, many business travelers and turn off the air vent. In fact, recent research suggests that this is mistake. Viruses like measles and tuberculosis travel via airborne droplets that can remain alive for up to five hours. The air that seemingly blasts from the vent can serve as a means of defending against those virus droplets coming into contact with you.
The Gate Agent is the Queen or King
Make immediate friends with the gate agent, that beleaguered person who is dealing with folks at the counter next to the door to the jetway. Do not underestimate the power this person has when it comes to your flight or, more importantly, if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
The gate agent is the person who has the ability to rebook you quickly when an issue arises with your flight. In addition, this is the person who can get you a better seat on your current flight and so forth.
Do check-in with the gate agent, even if you don’t have to do so, if doing nothing more than saying hello and checking on departure time. By being super nice to this person, you will gain an ally.
Patronize One Airline Whenever Possible
A majority of business fliers jump from one airline to another in this day and age. They do this in the never ending hunt for the best deal.
In fact, as a business traveler, you are better served by using the same airline as much as reasonably possible. Airlines keep track of passenger loyalty. After using the same airline more than a few times, you will start to see that you are racking up perks. These can include no baggage fees, discounted ticket opportunities, and an overall better flight experience.
Know an Airline’s Hidden Perks
All airlines have perks that are not publicized. As a business traveler, you need to educate yourself on these perks and take advantage of them
For example, many airlines have a practice of awarding seat upgrades based on which passenger checked-in the earliest. Therefore, if you are interested in a no-cost seat upgrade, and want to enhance your chances for obtaining one, check-in as early as possible for your flight. In this day and age, that can mean checking in at home even before you leave the airport. Oftentimes, the check-in window online opens up 24 hours in advance of departure.
Download an Airline’s App
All major airlines have their own apps. If you primarily fly on one airline, you honestly should have downloaded its app long, long ago. If you haven’t done so, take a break from reading this article and download it right now.
Even if you are flying on an airline for a one and only time, download its app. You can always delete it if you need the space or you’re a tidy person when it comes to your smartphone. Having an airline’s app allows you to check-in, get a boarding pass, change flights, receive automatic gate updates, and other things with ease and from your smartphone.
Set Text Alerts for Your Specific Flight
Most times you will have an option of setting text alerts for your specific flight. Do it. By setting text alerts, you will receive real time information about the status of your flight, including cancellations. Armed with this information, you will be at the head of the pack if you find yourself needing to book an alternative.
Watch the Weather … Everywhere
Finally, keep in mind when you are scheduled for a business trip via air that you need to pay attention to the weather not only in your departure and destination cities, but at all major airline hubs. Bad weather in a remote hub city can cause a cascading effect, negatively impacting your flight. By paying attention to the weather more broadly, you can avoid your own flight delays or cancellation.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.