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Old 01-24-2018, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,068 posts, read 19,008,543 times
Reputation: 24172

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[this applies to non-busuness travel only.]

Sometimes these delays, missed flights, security problems, surly airport staff is of our own making - dumb decisions.

Taking a cruise or must be someplace on time? Fly in at least one day before.
Got to change planes? Don't schedule flights with ridiculously tight connections.
Going overseas? Avoid taking flights that require booking on two carriers on separate flights. Book one single ticket.
Get hassled by customs or TSA? Don't pack crap that is against the rules.
Want to minimize surly employees? Smile, treat them with courtesy and respect like you SHOULD do with everybody.

I find that buying a new car is a far bigger PITA than flying. From the bitching of everyone who buys a car, I'm obviously not the only one. So to those who say they want to drive instead of fly to avoid the 'hassle': I guess you'll put up with the 'hassle' when it suits you. Which is fine! It's a personal choice.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:30 AM
 
9,790 posts, read 5,004,684 times
Reputation: 33767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Taking a cruise or must be someplace on time? Fly in at least one day before.
Got to change planes? Don't schedule flights with ridiculously tight connections.
Going overseas? Avoid taking flights that require booking on two carriers on separate flights. Book one single ticket.
Get hassled by customs or TSA? Don't pack crap that is against the rules.
Want to minimize surly employees? Smile, treat them with courtesy and respect like you SHOULD do with everybody.

[CENTER]Save[/CENTER]
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:19 AM
 
15,536 posts, read 13,528,656 times
Reputation: 21252
I am a frequent international flyer and have not encountered any issues you describe.


Most issues people hear about I feel are exaggerated, or caused by the clueless person themselves. The only issues I observe are from other passengers not understanding basic things, like take your shoes off, remove your ziplock bag from your carry on, and yes, there is a weight limit on your check-in luggage and you have to pay a fee if it is over. fact is, there are some drama queens out there.


Rarely have I waited for a considerable amount of time going through security and customs, never had a problem with airline service itself.


Any problems I do come across sure as hell would not be enough to change my mind about traveling internationally.


And yea, I have had my share of delays and overnight stays in airports, those are rare and again, not enough to ever sway me from experiencing the joy of traveling internationally.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:34 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
3,356 posts, read 2,830,457 times
Reputation: 2593
I flew about 70k miles last year: most of it personal travel, usually with the family. Since we fly pretty often, we’re signed up for the expedited screening services (Global Entry/TSA Precheck, Clear), lounge access (Priority Pass, Delta Skyclub) and then have additional perks through the FF program. There are additional costs involved in traveling that way, but for our family the expenses are worth it given how often we fly, and at times it can make the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,664 posts, read 6,485,537 times
Reputation: 4148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
I would say Customs in US is better and faster now than before. I used to dread coming back to the US with long lines and stupid interrogation by custom agents
Agreed.. I just used Mobile Passport, what a dream!
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,986 posts, read 3,255,234 times
Reputation: 7094
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
We've been planning for a trip the past month or so, to Belgium and the Netherlands for spring. But the thought of dealing with airlines and their terrible service has led us to plan to do a stateside driving trip instead. After all, who needs to deal with vanishing fares, uncomfortable cabins, surly staff both on the ground and in the air, delays (and delays and delays...), long lines - such as a two hour customs line we were in (US no less) a few years ago, and so forth.

The worst for me is all the fare games carriers play - low fares often won't book, prices seem to be all over the place, both in city pairs and day to day on a particular city pair and so forth. I usually feel like a chump when I finally book.

Has anyone else changed travel plans in order to avoid airlines?
? No, just the opposite. Fly more, drive less.

I'm a creature of habit, when I can. Conservative nature, we could say. So when I see something that works, I tend to grab onto the idea and work it for as long as possible.

Circumstance has me traveling in the CONUS monthly for business anymore. I like it, actually, since I'm not away more than three nights in a row so far. Beyond that, we're into laundry, extra packing, and other details.

I'm not shilling for Delta, promise, but their "comfort plus" makes domestic travel bearable. It so happens they have pretty good service to the U.S. from Seattle, often with 1 stop. I'm a near 6' big man so the leg room is needed. Lateral room, I'm fine and don't annoy the seat next to me. The extra nice TV/entertainment system on some of the planes is great; heard that may be going away which strikes me as dumb. Most important is earlier on/earlier off, first 15 rows usually. Plus there are overheads with space.

International, rare for me, I have Global Entry. This take 2 hour wait in U.S. customs to 10 minutes, if-that. I've breezed through just a few times and that paid for the bother of obtaining Global Entry three years ago, period. Why most don't have that is beyond me, unless they have a criminal background I guess.

Caveats: I don't pinch pennies when I travel, that's a zero-sum game given all the fees, waiting on line with the cattle, and other crap I will no longer tolerate. Traveling business means same, though I don't go Business or First Class on many, if-any, flights either. If you're worried about "lowest fares" and other garbage, don't bother trying to figure out their pricing algorithms. I wouldn't take a vacation in Europe on a bet anyway, given the obvious enormous expense plus the Euro remains pretty strong. The thought of paying full-fare to ANYWHERE in "Belgium or Netherlands" is a great recipe to be cleaned out by snotty Europeans who are glad to see American dollars...and plenty of them. They can have it, I'll leave you to it.

Strongly suggest going where the U.S. dollar is strong, like South Africa where everything is fifty cents on the dollar or less. Ditto New Zealand, India, and Indonesia at the moment. That's subject to change of course. I stayed in four and five star places in SA for $200/night vs the 400-500/night places like that cost in most US cities, God forbid NYC or Tokyo or even Hong Kong.

Takes about a day to get to SA, which is a bummer, but in my case there is a layover in Heathrow if I take BA and land in Terminal 5. Last layover was 8 hours, so I spent the day in London bumming around then got back for my overnight flight to Cape Town, on which I slept most of the way. What started as a bummer turned into a tolerable time, I won't hesitate to do the long flight thing again *If* I'm going Comfort Plus kind of thing, not cattle class.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,664 posts, read 6,485,537 times
Reputation: 4148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post

I have only one single gripe about airline travel: the price gouging for food and drinks at the airport. THAT pisses me off.
Amen to this... My wife and I travel frequently, and we always say the most expensive meal we have on our trip is at the airport.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,068 posts, read 19,008,543 times
Reputation: 24172
Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
Amen to this... My wife and I travel frequently, and we always say the most expensive meal we have on our trip is at the airport.
Yep. We bring our own food whenever possible. Subway sandwiches with the mayo, mustard, oil/vinegar on the side.

But the charges in the bar. $10 for a very very lousy glass of wine (and, no, we are not wine snobs - frequently drink two buck chuck at home.)
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,664 posts, read 6,485,537 times
Reputation: 4148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Yep. We bring our own food whenever possible. Subway sandwiches with the mayo, mustard, oil/vinegar on the side.

But the charges in the bar. $10 for a very very lousy glass of wine (and, no, we are not wine snobs - frequently drink two buck chuck at home.)
Yeah, I get tired of spending 11 on a beer (or more) at the airports.

I see you are in PHX.. I have found a couple of reasonable places there, but, in general, airports are ridiculous for their prices.

I enjoy traveling to Europe, where you can usually get a "walking around" beer for cheap.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:27 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,713,305 times
Reputation: 9029
Don't take it too seriously, the air travel part is just a simple way to get there... don't have to critique everything... you literally just board the plane and sit there, i have flown many airlines and have never noticed a difference between any of them... i have even been on cheap European airlines where you have to walk out on the runway to get into the plane.

What i don't like about air travel is restrictions of how many bags i can bring and airplanes honestly just make me sick to my stomach. if i do a trip within the U.S or Canada i will drive... its so nice that i can just throw as much stuff as i can in my car and not have to deal with turbulence.
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