by getting to know your airport and airline. Their Web sites often include maps of the hub, security or parking information and hotlines that provide updates on security requirements. A two-hour arrival before takeoff is not always necessary, though it may be the standard at such sprawling airports as Denver International.
can save time at the airline counter. You can also buy boarding passes at off-site locations, including New York City's Penn Station.
Given the rising fares, security checks and limited flights, airline loyalty can be a plus
because carriers often offer their preferred customers separate security lines, business clubs and special rates.
It can be a benefit to have a single travel company
handle arrangements for your entire company. Doing so can make you eligible for the full range of perks and special fares.
Consider that the first flight in the morning
is often the most reliable. The craft and crew will have been at the departing airport overnight and are presumably ready for an on-time takeoff. Also, in case of delay, travelers have more choices through the day, and therefore less chance of being stuck overnight.
Determine whether you really
need to get on that two-hour line to the X-ray machine. Ask someone if you'll can get a quick walk-through as your flight's departure time approaches.
Do not wear metal belt buckles
, shoes with laces, or — shall we say it? — underwire bras. Display your keys right away, inform security of any prescription medicines you might be carrying and leave the manicure scissors at home.
This may sound obvious, but people who don't fly regularly aren't necessarily attuned to the new routine and the extra minutes have found that small indiscretions can add to the possibility that a traveler may get "pulled over'' for further examination.
Pack personal items and undergarments at the bottom of the carry-on, to avoid the risk of colleagues and the general public getting a view, thanks to an indiscreet security officer.
Thanks to: Bruce Seidel, Food Network; Lynn Picard, Lifetime Television; Raiford Pierce, Executive Travel Associates; Mark Nelson, National Geographic Television; John Ellis, US Airways.