10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Flying

Travelling by air can be rather frustrating. Ever since the 9/11 incident, security checks have never been tighter. Yet, even frequent flyers make the same mistakes when flying. Here are 10 tips that (hopefully) will help you make your air travel less traumatic and breeze through security checks.

1. Fail to check, re-check, confirm and re-confirm your flight details

Encountering a change in flight timing or delay is not uncommon. Always check with your local airport the date and time of departure of your flight. A change in timing could disrupt your entire travel plans. Always check and re-check.

2. Providing incorrect contact details

If your flights are re-timed, more likely than not you will get a notification via your email or mobile. Failure to check the accuracy of your contact details when you book your tickets might cause you to miss your flight. Timing is especially crucial if you have a connecting flight to catch.

3. Expiring Passport

Most countries require a passport validity period of at least six months, some maybe more. Set a reminder in your mobile phone calendar to renew your passport at least 7 months in advance.

4. Travel documents and visa requirements

You might need to apply for a visa before-hand or you just need a visa-on-arrival. Always check with the local embassy/consulate and never with any dubious website. Most visas can be applied and should be applied through the local embassy or consulate. Some questionable websites may charge an ‘admin’ fee by deceiving you into thinking that they are an authorised third-party collection agency. When in doubt, always call the embassy.

5. Charge your mobile phone and bring a power bank

Although most modern aircrafts now offer USB charging ports in their seats, but if you forgot your cable or if the USB ports failed to charge your mobile phone, it might leave you ‘crippled’. When you are stranded in a foreign country, you might find that having a mobile phone becomes more important than finding a toilet, and all you need is to make that emergency call. One should never take security for granted when travelling. Take note that not all budget carriers offer USB ports in their seats hence make sure your power bank is fully charged at well… just in case.

6. Weather weather weather

Weather plays a significant role in air travel. Chicago O’Hare is known for significant delays during its’ annual blizzards. Taipei Taoyuan closes for a couple of days almost every year during typhoon season. The chances of your bags going astray increases during severe weather so always consider carrying some essentials onboard. If you are travelling to a foreign country in winter, you might want to consider carrying a coat with you onboard. Although slim, your bags might not make it to the same destination as you so NEVER take chances.

7. Money is cash

Thinking that credit card is as good as cash is a terrible terrible mistake when travelling. I cannot emphasise this more. Technology can fail and it fails at the least expected moment. With no cash in your pocket, hopefully you do not have to go hungry. Cash is still king.

8. Gates and Terminal

Gates can change at the last minute. Some airports can be very confusing and you may have to walk from one end of the terminal to another. Depending on how big the airport is, it might leave you breathless (or it might just be the perfect cardio workout). PS: If you miss your flight, leave out perfect.

9. Clearing security checks smoothly and swiftly

No I am not talking about contraband items here. Sometimes when you are in a hurry to clear the security lines swiftly, here are some things you have to take note so as not to be delayed unnecessarily. Ensure that you do not have liquids that are more than 100cc/ml in your carry-on bag. Nothing sharp or dangerous (if you have a cosmetic bag, check that you do not have a pair of scissors in it). No mobile phones and empty your pockets. Take out your laptop and prepare to put them into the tray. Wear comfortable and easy to remove shoes because you might be asked to remove your foot wear. Travel light, without the bling blings – they tend to set off the alarms pretty easily.

10. Weigh your carry-on bags

Some airlines are getting stricter on the size and weight of your carry-on bag. A rule of thumb is to just bring a cabin roll aboard. This way, you can be sure that it fits in the overhead compartment and you will be less likely to be denied boarding. Of course, beside a carry-on bag, you are generally allowed to bring a laptop bag with you as well.

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