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How to Make Winter Airline Travel Suck Less!

Accent Inns Airport still grab_black textIt used to be that taking an airplane was exciting – it was part of the adventure of a trip. These days it’s a stressful and often painful experience.

Of course the best thing would be to stay in B.C. and drive to one of our hotels in Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna, or Kamloops. Okay, okay, we know you have to visit relatives out of province, or even country so let’s help you avoid some of the more frequent problems.

Fly non-stop

Fly non-stop whenever possible – this seems obvious but I don’t know about you, but I sometimes take a slightly more circuitous route to save money. This can be a false economy in winter and at holiday times; there are some many things that can go wrong. The more stops the more chances there are for delays – and one delay can cause that awful domino affect.

Check the weather

If you do have to connect one or more times, check the weather at each destination. Recently I had to book my wife flights to Dublin and there were several route choices including Victoria – Toronto – Dublin or Victoria – Vancouver – Heathrow-London – Dublin. On the face of it the first choice looked better – less flights for a start. However, when I checked the weather for Toronto I saw that a storm was approaching and would hit the airport around the time her flight would leave for Dublin. So, no brainer, I booked the flights via London. Small things like this can save you from being stuck in an airport for hours on end.

Make you first flight AM

Try to make your first flight early in the day. Why? If things start to go wrong, you will have more options earlier in the day than later to take different flights, or make alternative arrangements. Stay the night before at the Accent Inn Vancouver Airport for example. That way you’ll be well rested and with the free shuttle, arrive nice and early to catch that first flight.

Beware the tight connection

I don’t mean only fly with people you hardly know, I mean don’t try to reduce your lapsed journey time by planning to run from one aircraft to another. It may sound okay when you’re sat at your computer, but in reality there are too many things that can go wrong, which can leave you at the back of the standby line up.

Hurrying things along

So, the airplane is late and you’re afraid you’re not going to make the connection. Don’t be afraid to tell the flight attendant about your predicament. He or she may be able to arrange for you to exit the plane first, or perhaps even get the plane to hold for a few minutes (yes, it has happened!). Failing that she may be able to turn you into one of those cart people and have you driven between gates.

I’m not sure that travelling by air is going to get any easier anytime soon, but following these tips might just get you to your destination (family) a little quicker and a tad less frazzled.

Mike Wicks
Douglas, YAM and Salt magazines