It’s the time of year where we’re all looking forward to going home for the holidays and indulging in way too many delicious carbs (Thanksgiving is a cheat day after all – I think it’s a rule). And while we’ve got visions of turkey drums dancing in our heads, we can forget that in order to make it home for all that great fare, we first need to maneuver through the packed holiday airport scene.
We’ve got a few travel tips for you as you’re planning your airport strategy.
- First, decide on your best method of airport transportation in advance. Airport parking lots are going to fill up early – so carpooling with a friend who’s also catching a flight might be a good idea – or taking public transportation so you don’t have to worry about finding an elusive spot (or paying that parking fee). Our hometown airport, SFO, is expecting a record number of travelers this year and they’ve got lots of helpful tips for travelers going through SFO here.
- Remember to stay updated on your Flight Status by [signing up for our flight alerts], and bookmark m.virginamerica.com, our mobile site, to check in, grab a mobile boarding pass, and check your flight status on the go with your preferred gadget. Plus, if you haven’t already, you can follow us on Twitter for other news through the holidays.
- With so many people heading home at the same time (we are expecting between 185,000 and 190,000 guests flying through next Sunday), you can definitely expect longer lines than usual. We recommend you arrive at the airport two hours prior to your flight if you’re traveling in the U.S. and three hours before your flight if traveling internationally. To avoid ticket counter lines altogether: check in online, pay your bag fees in advance, and print your boarding pass—or grab a mobile boarding pass in select destinations—before heading to the airport. Or, if you’re traveling light, you can always check in at one of our airport kiosks.
- As a reminder, any liquids or gels in your carry-on need to be limited to three ounces each, and packed in a re-sealable quart-sized plastic bag. The TSA requires that you do not wrap gifts, in case a security officer needs to inspect a gift item. And remember, food items and gifts in liquid form, like jams and lotions, are also limited to 3 ounces for carry-on (so it will need to be a very small pot of jam indeed if you’re bringing one as a gift!). You can find detailed information and the latest security rules on the TSA’s website at: www.tsa.gov. And if you’re not sure about our carry-on and checked bag policies – get more info here.
Okay – now that we’ve got the serious stuff out of the way – there are also a few fun recommendations we have this holiday travel season. If you’re traveling through SFO, they’re kicking off their popular live music series, You Are Here! starting Wednesday, November 21 at several locations around the airport, including T2. The live music series will run through December 23. You can find out more on featured artists, locations and schedule here.
If you’re on a flight longer than a couple of hours and already salivating for turkey – check out our Holiday Turkey Sandwich curated by Gilt Taste. It’s worth noting that this yummy sandwich is actually “guilt free” because it’s part of our new Travel Light menu.
Have a great flight and Happy Thanksgiving!