Cape Town - With a few more sleeps left for Easter, holidaymakers are gearing up for the road, rail or air to celebrate the long weekend with family and friends. Here are some tips to make travelling by air a breeze during this busy time of year:
1. If you've left booking your tickets for the last minute, keep an eye out for flash sales - otherwise you risk paying a lot more for your ticket. The key tip is to always book your flights as early as possible as flights usually fill up quite quickly over the holidays, with fewer standby seats available.
2. If you have a preference for a particular seating arrangement, use online reservation systems to secure the seat you want. Note that some airlines charge a small administration fee to secure the seat of your choice in advance.
3. If you require special assistance - or should you have specific dietary requirement for religious or health reasons - specify these during the booking process to avoid delays or disappointment. A 72 hours’ notice period is required for some meal types, ensure that you do this in good time.
SEE: Africa air travel on the rise, showing massive 7.4% growth
4. Make sure you have all of your documentation with you before you leave home. If you are travelling to an international destination, you will need a valid passport with a minimum of two blank pages in it and a visa or visas, as required. If you are travelling within the country, either a passport or an ID document is acceptable as valid proof of identity. Bear in mind that if check-in and security staff are unable to identify you - or if you don’t have valid visas for the countries you’re travelling to - they may not accept you for travel.
5. Pack your own luggage and don’t carry goods for other people unless you know exactly what they are. Make sure that there aren’t any restricted items in either your check-in luggage or your cabin luggage. For a full list of luggage restrictions, visit the airline’s website for more information.
SEE: 6 Unintended things about your passport that could see you booted back home
6. Label your luggage clearly and use something unique to make your suitcase or holdall easy to identify on the luggage carousel at your destination. Include your name, cell number (with local and international dialling codes) and e-mail address on the label, but don’t include your physical address or destination for security reasons.
8. Keep valuables such as cameras, jewellery and laptops with you in your hand luggage. Do not pack these into your check-in luggage.
SEE: New SA flight routes travellers can take advantage of in 2017
9. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport and to check in, taking into account possible delays on the roads or at the airport, especially during peak times.
10. Should you experience discomfort when on board, medical supplies for minor ailments are available on board. Ask a cabin crew member for assistance.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Easter safety: Scams, road safety and other travel alerts you need to know about
- SA Insider Guide: Easter school holidays events across SA
- Easter Weekend: Kruger advises visitors of daily gate quotas, to pre-book online