With predictions of fewer travelers this holiday season, airlines are compensating by increasing fares and fees and cutting the number of flights offered. This adds up to long lines, crowded airplanes, more delays and heavier road traffic due to an increase in people driving to their destinations.
GO Airport Express, Chicago’s top ground transportation service, offers these tips to make the journey less stressful.
1 . Contact the airlines via phone or online before you leave for the airport. Avoid the frustration of arriving at the airport and discovering your flight has been delayed or cancelled. If cancelled, rebook your flight as soon as possible. If you are using GO Airport Express to get to the airport, you can ask your driver to check this for you.
2. Avoid rush hour. Schedule your departure so you are not arriving at the airport during peak times, which are between 6:45 and 9:30 a.m. and between 3:45 and 6:30 p.m.
“It’s not just the traffic to the airports, but traffic at the airports that can slow you down,” says John McCarthy, president of GO Airport Express. Also, for the best rates, travel on off days, such as Thanksgiving Thursday or December 25, and return a day earlier than usual.
3. Let someone else drive: Consider booking a private or shared ride van that will pick you up at your home, office or hotel. In addition to safety, convenience and affordability, you’ll save time by avoiding circling the airport parking lot looking for vacant spaces.
4. Circumvent the boarding pass line. Print your boarding pass off your computer and pre-check your bags online to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.
5. Dress appropriately. Easy on, easy off shoes and jackets will speed up the time it takes going through security. Use checkpoint friendly laptop carriers to breeze through security.
GO Airport Express, one of the oldest companies in Chicago, traces its founding to 1853 and the Parmelee Transportation Company, which provided a carriage service between Chicago’s railroad stations and the downtown hotels. The GO Group LLC, is the nation’s largest airport transportation provider, serving some 60 airports in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and transporting more than 13 million passengers per year.