10 tips for surviving your last-minute Easter holidays flight

2017-04-10 18:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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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.

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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.

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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. 

7. Lock your check-in luggage or have it shrink-wrapped at the airport to protect it against damage or pilferage.

8. Keep valuables such as cameras, jewellery and laptops with you in your hand luggage. Do not pack these into your check-in luggage.

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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.

(Source: SAA)

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