More Than a Million Extra Seats

PRNewswire CHICAGO Nov. 6 :

Current flight schedules indicate that between Thanksgiving and New Years,
airlines will offer over a million more seats than in 2002, according to
OAG, the leading source of independent flight schedule information for
more than 930 airlines.
The most significant increase in seats occurs during the week of December
22, when seat counts will jump by more than 5% over last year, with an
additional 800,000+ seats available.

“With so many more choices, holiday travelers should do comprehensive
research to examine options with all the airlines,” said Bill Andres,
senior vice president, Americas, OAG Worldwide. “Resources like the OAG
Executive Flight Guide, and OAGexpress give travelers the opportunity to
explore options from every airline before booking a flight.”

In addition to assisting holiday travelers to research the flight that is
right for them, OAG and its magazine Frequent Flyer offer the following
suggestions for holiday travelers to manage overcrowded airports, expedite
the security process and what to do when travel plans change:

1. Get to airports early—easily two hours ahead of flight time.
Unexpected long lines and other obstacles can eat up waiting time.
  2. Pack any questionable items in checked baggage.  Keep your carry-ons
free of wine bottle openers, alcohol (security may make you open a
flask and take a sip), sports equipment that might be used as a
weapon, etc.
  3. Assume that most food courts, stores, and duty-free shops at airports
are on the other side of security, so go through the checkpoints
promptly and then browse.
  4. When booking your flight, particularly holidays, avoid flying Friday
afternoon and evening and Sunday (or Monday if it happens to be the
end of a holiday).  Travel on Saturdays, which are generally less
  5. Airlines have pared back in-flight food service to pretzels, some
sandwiches, yogurt, and cookies so bring a brown-bag snack or buy them
at airport vendor carts and food stores. Delta Song now allows fliers to preorder meals up to 12 hours prior to departure, including “Rock
`n` Roll” Veggie Sushi or a Niman Ranch Roast Beef Fajita Wrap.
  6. Use your frequent-flier memberships as leverage to get a seat on an
overbooked flight or simply a better seat if you don`t like the one
you`ve been assigned.
  7. If you`re flying on a wide-body jet—from a 747 to 767 and some of the Airbus models—consider asking for a seat up front.  You`ll get
served drinks and snacks ahead of dozens of rows behind you, and
you`ll exit the plane faster upon arrival.
  8. Even if you`re fuming over a flight problem, hold the anger and
present yourself in a polite mode.
  9. If you`re taking golf clubs to some sunny resort, ship them ahead—
or separately—for not much more money than you might have to pay an
airline when you board. Many airlines are now charging for extra
luggage and overweight items.
  10. Expect the unexpected. Bring phone numbers for rental car and
airlines. Travel with flight guides like the OAG Executive Flight
Guide or OAGexpress to know what alternative flights are available if
your plans change. Bring a fully charged cellular phone and extra
batteries or charger, just in case.