As a professional airline pilot who has worked many holiday seasons, William Ryan Mitchell understands how stressful traveling during the holiday season can be. You add on fears of an ongoing pandemic, flu season and RSV, and William Ryan Mitchell notes it’s a recipe for a trepidatious travel experience. Today, William Ryan Mitchell will lean on his years as a pilot to provide some guidance that will hopefully make the holiday travel experience a bit easier for those heading to be with friends and family.
As a pilot, William Ryan Mitchell knows that managing stress is pivotal to success. A lot of stress is caused by the fear of what people can’t control. Fortunately, there are many different aspects of holiday travel that can be controlled. For instance, paying for airline parking in advance will save travelers a lot of unnecessary hassle. There are plenty of parking options at major airports. For those who want an added layer of convenience, reserving a spot at a nearby shuttle service is a great option. You can leave your car in a secured parking lot and a shuttle driver will take you and your traveling companions directly to your gate for check-in. Upon your return, you simply wait in a designated area and are driven directly to your car.
William Ryan Mitchell knows families are typically on a tight budget during their holiday travel, but one thing that is worth splurging on is TSA precheck. One of the biggest stress points of flying is getting through baggage claim in a timely fashion. Airports are typically packed at all hours during the month of December. Having access to TSA precheck can eliminate more than an hour of time that would otherwise be spent waiting in line. TSA precheck makes even more sense if you and your family plan on traveling more than once a year during the holidays.
To offset the small financial setback of paying for TSA precheck status, William Ryan Mitchell recommends travelers take the time to pack a credit card that offers cash back and other travel incentives. Flight attendants will often attempt to sell credit cards to travelers on their flight that offer points on the travel miles and other incentives. Credit card companies are in a highly competitive market. There are great deals to earn cash back and other incentives like frequent flyer models that can lower future travel expenses. If you pay off your balance in a timely fashion, travel credit cards can offer significant saving opportunities.
It sounds obvious, but a lot of travelers fail to arrive at the airport early. Even if travelers take advantage of TSA precheck and booking their parking in advance, it is best to expect the unexpected when arriving to an airport. The last thing anyone needs is to reenact the countless holiday movie scenes where the family is sprinting to reach their gate on time. Arriving early at the airport will allow plenty of time for mistakes or mishaps to occur. Airports have come a long way since William Ryan Mitchell started his career as a pilot. There are great dining establishments that provide a place to get a meal or just sit back and relax until it is time to board your flight.