George Schorschi’s Tips for Flying International

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As any seasoned international traveler can tell you, flying sucks- and it isn’t getting better.  Times have changed since “Home Alone 2”: Macaulay Culkin is no longer adorable, the idea that Donald Trump is someone you’d take direction from is laughable, and you can’t show up 30 minutes prior to your departure and still expect to board. Airlines have decided that flying is an experience everyone can have, but with the caveat that you are no longer people but rather cargo. And guess what? As long as you keep looking to pay the lowest price possible that isn’t going to change! So when you plan your upcoming international flight, keep these tips in mind to make the best of it.

Book a flight on a Sunday or Tuesday, travel on a Tuesday or Thursday

When major airlines announce the prices for their week, it’s usually done on Monday evening. That leaves a day for other airlines to adjust their prices and beat it. Furthermore, Sunday appears to be a rather low traffic day, so the computers which price flights may drop the prices. The opposite is true for high demand days, such as Friday and Saturday. When you travel, however, aim for a Tuesday or Thursday- Monday and Fridays tend to be people travelling and returning from destinations.

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Bonus! You can also save money by booking a flight on an airline which has had “issues” in the past. Want to be the only person in first class? Fly Malaysia Airlines!

Plan travel at least two weeks in advance

Last minute discounts are rarely a factor anymore, as air travel has mostly made a comeback and airlines are filling most of their seats. However, there does seem to be a correlation between booking your travel at least two weeks prior to the planned departure date. Looking for tickets with less than 14 days to your departure time is idiotic and you deserve to pay the price increase. Shame on you.

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Bonus! If you plan far enough in advance, you can also brag to all your coworkers about your upcoming international travel and really get them jealous.

Search using incognito/hidden browser

When you use your internet browser, cookies are placed to track the “dynamic pricing” of certain destinations. Ergo, an increase in searches of flights to Miami will correlate with an increase of prices on those flights. To avoid this, use your browser’s incognito mode and log out each time you search for travel. Now your cookies will be removed and dynamic pricing will no longer be an issue!

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Bonus! You now have yet another lie for using your incognito mode and hiding your debilitating porn habit.

Sacrifice a goat to appease the checked baggage gods

Here’s a fun fact: airlines benefit from checked baggage fees because they are essentially tax free. So that’s not going to chance anytime soon- but how do you make sure that your bag arrives at the destination on time and unharmed? Experienced travelers know that the old gods of travel appreciate modesty and humility, which can best be shown by choosing the healthiest of your goatherd and offering it as sacrifice. By chanting your prayer in the forgotten tongue of Expedia, and cutting with a bronze (NOT silver!) blade, you are certain to protect your luggage from the various dangers of checked baggage.

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Bonus! Your harvest will also be plentiful and your enemies shall wither and despair.

Arrive at least 1 hour before boarding for domestic, 2 hours for international

After you’ve washed off the blood and disposed of the remaining goat parts, you’ll need to make sure you arrive in time to pass through security. Recent news has probably made it abundantly clear that passing through airport security this summer will suck regardless of what you do, but you can beat the line by arriving early for your flight. Plus, the airport has a TON of stuff to do once you get to your terminal! Do you like paying 3 times the normal price for water and a chocolate bar? Maybe sitting in uncomfortable chairs with metal dividers so you can’t lie down on them? Or perhaps going into a bathroom to see a ragged businessman who just did an red-eye from Tokyo shave with his travel kit? Then you’ll LOVE the terminal past airport security!

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Bonus! If you arrive in time, you can be the first to know that your flight has been delayed half an hour due to “technical difficulties”- and you’ll continue to know it every 15 minutes as they keep pushing back the departure time!


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