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Samantha Brown Reveals Her Ultimate Airport Survival Guide



Source: Samantha Brown
As the host of PBS’ Places to Love, Samantha Brown spends a lot of time visiting different countries. So, who better than this traveling expert to give us a few tips on surviving spending time in airports?
In a recent blog post, the travel guru revealed her Ultimate Aiport Survival Guide, telling readers, “I’ve had a very close relationship with airports for over 20 years. Like any couple in a long-term relationship, I’ve had to invest a lot of effort into making it work.”
So, when it comes to surviving an airport, Brown says the key begins when booking your flight.
Brown recommends booking directly with the airline instead of using a third-party site, revealing, “Go directly to your airline’s website and book your flight there. If something goes wrong, you’ll have priority over the people who didn’t.”
She also recommends booking a direct morning flight to avoid disruptions that generally happen later in the day.
When it comes to picking a destination, Brown suggests choosing a destination based on direct flights from your airport to avoid layovers and potential delays.
Before you leave for the airport, Brown recommends downloading your airline’s app and checking in as early as possible.
“You know one very annoying thing many airlines do? They oversell flights,” Brown told readers. “Yes, I know, I can’t believe this is legal. But if you don’t check-in until you arrive at the airport, you run the risk of not having a seat.”
“Most airlines open up check-in 24 hours before the flight. I recommend setting an alarm and checking ASAP to not only get the best seat possible but also to guarantee your spot.”
On the day of flying, Brown has a few tips to make travel a little easier. These include packing snacks, bringing a scarf or sweater, and getting to the airport as early as possible.
Brown also ensures she always has a few day’s worth of clothes and essentials in her carry-on, just in case her checked luggage is delayed. However, she told readers it’s best not to check a bag if possible.
“I know it’s hard and sometimes impossible. Trust me, I have two kids; I know I can’t travel carry-on only if it’s a family trip!” Brown shared. “However, the closest you can get to carry-on only, the smoother your whole airport experience will be. If you check-in online, you’ll literally be able to skip right to TSA and breeze past baggage claim on your way out the door. That could easily be an extra 1-2 hours. Plus if you can breeze past baggage claim, it means you’re earlier to catch any airport transfers or taxis and are more likely to avoid yet another line.
“Plus, it’s just a lot less of a headache in the case of flight delays or cancellations,” she said. “Trust me, if your first flight gets delayed and you have about 20 minutes to get to your connecting flight, your checked bag is very likely not making it.”
Lastly, Brown recommends having plans B, C, and even D for important trips.
“About a week out from your trip ask yourself what happens if this flight is canceled? How would I still get to my destination? Create a document with your booking number at the top and the customer service number you need to call. As a bonus add the airline’s social media – sometimes I’ve found I can get through to an actual person more quickly on Instagram or Twitter than calling,” Brown suggests.
“On that document, make a list of alternate flights and their numbers throughout the day. Look at connecting flights as well as direct,” she told readers. “You may also want to look at airports within 2-3 hours of your destination. Could you potentially fly into those airports and then rent a car to drive the final leg?”