Making Travel Easier This Holiday Season
Be Ready for Weather
Monitor your local and regional forecasts days ahead of your scheduled trip. It is not uncommon for the northern hub cities of Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit to have major winter storms. This could affect travel via these popular hubs for days on end, if the storm is extensive or is expected to have major snowfalls. Be prepared to reschedule and possibly consider a new set of dates. Travelers who are flying for a “long weekend” might make it to their destination just to have to turn around and leave in the next day or two. Major storms will likely feature “weather waivers” through the airlines, which allow you to make a complimentary, penalty-free date change. It may be worth considering another time, when you won’t cut your visit short. Less flights (more cancellations) and packed airplanes due to the nature of the season, inflate the problem when weather hits.
Use Electronics to Stay Connected
Charge your electronic devices before you depart the Quad City International Airport. Use airline apps, e-mail alerts and text alerts for changes in status or gate changes. Have the 800# of the airline you are flying with, added to your contacts.
Share Your Travel Information with Family
Always give your complete flight itinerary (airline name, flight #, arrival time, and connecting city if applicable) to someone at home, and someone on the receiving end of your trip. When hiccups occur, loved ones will call the airport to seek out information but they will have very little information to provide, including not knowing what airline their loved one was flying on, or what time they were due in. The more information you have, the more helpful we can be.
Prepare with Packing Tips (Insert pic of someone packing a bag, or a packed piece of luggage)
If you don’t travel often, you might not be aware of the most recent packing tips for travelers. There are restrictions for packing certain items in your carry-on bag, and even more tips available if you are taking along gifts and packages.Avoid disappointment of having an item taken away or a gift unwrapped, by reviewing these packing tips at least two weeks before your departure.
Bringing Food and Snacks
While you can’t bring any beverages through the screening checkpoint, you may carry an empty water bottle to refill after you clear airport security. Feel free to bring sandwiches, granola bars, chips, beef jerky, nuts, cheese sticks and other protein-rich snacks to keep you going between flights. For those flying with children, review these tips. The above does not apply to products that have been deemed as medically necessary. See more tips here for those with medical issues or disabilities.
Quad City Favorites that can (or can’t) fly!
People love to bring the tastes of home with them over the holidays. Just remember, those jars of Lagomarcino’s hot fudge and local Boetje’s mustard MUST go in your CHECKED LUGGAGE, and may not be brought as a carry-on item. Wrap it well in a towel or bubble wrap or use a Ziploc baggie in case anything spills. As for your favorite local pizza, split the pizza in half, and wrap the two halves in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place in a carry-on bag wrapped in layers. Remember, you get ONE carry on and one personal item so don’t make the pizza a third item, or you will end up having to consolidate!
If you get stuck at the airport
If you encounter a cancelled or delayed flight, get ready to multitask. Go to the ticket counter but pull up your airline travel app. Some airlines allow for in-app changes. Some apps might not allow changes due to the limited space/seats on the airplanes during the holidays. Also, call the airline 800# or your travel agent on your cell phone and be ready to ask them for additional options with seats available. You might get booked on another flight before you reach the front of the line. (Also consider nearby cities where you can rent a car and drive to your final destination.) Keep in mind weather is considered an “Act of God” whether it is occurring at your connection, or your final destination. The airline does not have to put you up at a hotel or offer you food vouchers. So pack your patience, and your emergency snacks.
Bring them home for the holidays!
Let your relatives know how easy it is to get in and out of the Quad City International Airport and have them come to you next year! Use the free cell-lot waiting area to pick up relatives. The cell lot is east of the airport. Pick them up once they’ve called you to let you know they’ve gotten their luggage from baggage claim. Now the only worry you will have is to make room for guests in the spare bedroom, or find a hotel!