With More Air Travel Chaos on the Horizon, Here is How To Prepare for Your Flight

As travel restrictions are being lifted and summer holidays are in full swing, holidaymakers have been racing to get flights and escape to sunny beaches and dreamy towns. However, the journey has likely been far from relaxing – thousands of flight cancellations, missing bags and hour-long queues have made air travel a nightmare. While the chaos has calmed down a bit, airport bosses and airlines are warning of more trouble down the line.  

I’ve now flown twice during the madness of the past two months (out of necessity) and successfully managed both flights. I even had all my bags at the end of it. So, if you’re still looking to go on that beach holiday (many places are lovely in September), here are my top tips for successfully navigating your flight:

Avoid Checked Bags

If you can manage at all, only travel with a carry-on. In July, I flew from Heathrow and it took over 2 hours to drop off my bags. Security only took 40 minutes in comparison. I’ve heard other airports struggle with bigger security queues, but not having checked bags will almost certainly shave 1-2 hours off your airport time. Plus, you’re not risking landing without any clothes.

All Essentials in your hand luggage

bellspov-luggage lost at airport in summer travel chaos
Photo taken by me, there were several areas with hundreds of suitcases

If you do have to bring checked baggage, make sure ALL essentials are in your hand luggage. That includes some underwear, a change of clothes, key cosmetic items, toothbrush, laptops and anything else necessary to make it through the first few days. I have heard of plenty of people flying with no luggage troubles (me included), however every airport I’ve seen recently had 100s of passenger bags just standing around the terminals. Plan for the worst, hope for the best!

Keep an Eye on Possible Strikes

Some airlines have already announced strike dates and many others are still expected. Knowing who is striking when will help you plan which airline to take and hopefully mitigate any cancellations. 

Find the Right Travel Insurance

Many insurances won’t include cancellations due to strikes but some do. It’s worth browsing to find the one that covers the challenges you’re most likely to encounter. This can play a massive role in reducing the stress on the day of travel.

Come prepared

Before going to the airport, make sure you check Covid requirements for the country you’re visiting, get any paperwork ready, check in online ad make sure key things such as passport, boarding card etc. are easily accessible in your bag.

Check Social Media on the Day

When I flew in July, I repeatedly checked Twitter for updates on the situation at Heathrow. This way, I knew how much earlier to get there and was at least slightly prepared for what to expect on arrival. I wouldn’t suggest using TikTok for this, as a lot of the videos so far have caused unnecessary panic and stress. Instead, go to Twitter for real-time updates, search for the airport you’re flying from and sort by latest. 

Build Flexibility into your Plan

Unfortunately, air travel is chaotic and unpredictable at the moment. You will likely need more patience and flexibility in your plans than usual, so just make sure you’re prepared for this. Also, check how flexible your accommodation is and their policy in case of last-minute cancellations.

What are your tips for braving the travel chaos? Leave a comment!

I’d love to connect with you, find me here:

You may also be interested in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.