DALLAS, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—The turkey is thawing at Grandma`s house, and you can almost smell the pumpkin pies baking. In order to make sure that you and your loved ones have an enjoyable flight experience on Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the following advice and links can serve as a primer covering everything from packing your suitcases to navigating the airport.
Southwest also encourages travelers to tap into the Transportation Security Administration`s website, www.TSATravelTips.us for the agency`s latest tips to help you “Prepare for Takeoff.” This site provides a wealth of information regarding security procedures, permitted items, travel preparation, and special considerations.
To start the Holiday travel season off on the right foot, Southwest Airlines consulted a favorite travel “expert,” its own Michelle Crum, a training supervisor for Southwest`s 6,000 flight attendants for her advice. “To make holiday travel easy and more pleasant, arrive at the airport early and always have your ticket and photo identification ready, and don`t over accessorize,” says Crum. “Make sure that all accessories are easily removed for security checks.”
To check flight and airport information, including airport-specific checkin times, Southwest`s web site, www.southwest.com , is a terrific source of information. Click on “Updated Travel Information” located in the “What`s New” section of the Home Page. These tips will be welcome by any traveler planning to have a “smooth flight” home for the Holidays:
— Wait for Santa to wrap your gifts. Many Thanksgiving travelers carry holiday packages for December opening. Gifts, whether in luggage to be checked or carried onboard the aircraft, should not be wrapped. Carryon items and checked luggage are subject to a physical search in order to identify all items contained within. Customers who intend to transport several gifts or wrapped packages should make arrangements to ship their gifts and other wrapped packages ahead of time using a
shipping company. Travelers also should screen themselves while packing and leave any questionable items at home. Customers can check
and click on “Travelers and Consumers” to find the latest FAA-approved
— Let the turkey out of the cooler. Leave your Styrofoam cooler at
home. Many Customers may bring something home for their family`s
Thanksgiving dinner. However, the Customer assumes the risk of
spoilage for perishable items, and Southwest will only accept
perishables that are completely frozen and packed in a hard, durable
ice chest. Preferable refrigerant would be a frozen gel pack placed
inside the plastic bag with the frozen perishable item. Wet ice must
be stored inside sealed, leak proof plastic bags.
— Where to park your wagon. Check www.southwest.com for the latest on
your airport`s recommended airport arrival time. Allow even more time
to find a parking space in crowded lots. In order to minimize the
time you spend looking for a parking space and carrying luggage to the
airport, choose to take a cab or have friend drive you to the airport.
— Give yourself a pass—a boarding pass that is. Remember that
Southwest Airlines now issues boarding passes at various locations,
including the skycap, ticket counter, the gate, as well as the opportunity to check in and receive your boarding card at kiosks at a
number of airports.
— Is your mouth watering for turkey and stuffing? Southwest helps keep
fares low by not serving inflight meals—the carrier would rather
its Customers spend their money on a holiday feast at the destination
of their choice. The airline offers complimentary soft drinks, juices, and light snacks on all flights.
— Keep little pilgrims from jumping ship. When traveling with children,
be sure to bring plenty of books, games, and snacks. Also, ask about
Southwest Airlines` Infant Fares when making your flight reservations.
These fares enable Customers to reserve seats for children under two
years of age traveling in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
approved car seats.
— Shoe Fly Shoe! Random shoe checks are being conducted so consider
wearing slip-on shoes when you fly. Travelers wearing shoes with
chunky soles and heels report they are getting checked more frequently
than the flyers wearing thin-soled dress shoes.
— Plastic . . . Man! Frequent travelers know that wearing metal jewelry
and big diver-type watches will set off the alarm at security. But
now that the security screen devices have been set to their ultra-
sensitive settings, even watches with minimal bits of metal—casing,
crowns, and strap buckles, for example—are ringing the bells. The
solution? Buy an inexpensive, plastic watch to wear while flying.
— Heavy Metal? Not hardly. These days, even the lightest, itsy-bitsy
pieces of metal can set off the alarms at security checkpoints (i.e.
metallic buttons, metal zippers, belt buckles, hair clips, bobby pins,
and metallic baubles of any kind). In fact, many women their undergarments have set off the alarms. As such, some women have
started wearing sports bras or bras with plastic underwires. Speaking
of undergarments . . .
— Write Your Name in Your Underwear. Oh wait, that`s for summer camp!
However, it does bring up a good thought—put your name on your
laptop case. Because it`s now necessary to pull your laptop out and
put it on the belt separately, it`s sometimes hard to distinguish
yours from all the look-alike laptops. Tape your business card or an
address label to the laptop so you can identify what`s yours. In
addition, place your laptop on the screening belt ahead of your laptop
case. When your laptop comes out first you`ll be reminded to return
it to the case that will follow.
— Worth a Second Look. Luggage you haven`t used for a while may be
inadvertently hiding some things that “won`t fly.” Carefully examine
any bag before you pack it. Check the linings, pockets, and all the
nooks and crannies. You`d be surprised at what you`ll find—and better you than a security screener.