There are a few things air travellers can keep in mind to make their trips less stressful during the holidays.
The number one tip that CJ Dushinski, vice-president of business development and service quality at the Saskatoon International Airport, gives travellers is to arrive early, so there’s lots of time to get through screening.
“Especially during a very busy season, you want to make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to reduce that stress,” she said.
“So when we’re talking about the holiday period, it’s really important to keep in mind that if you would normally arrive an hour and a half early, try to make it two for a domestic flight and at least three for an international flight.”
One way to ensure travellers arrive with an appropriate amount of time is to check on flights before heading to the airport.
“You never know what the weather’s going to be like. You don’t know what’s necessarily going on with your airline. If there’s up-line weather happening at a different station or a different city,” Dushinski said.
“So you always want to make sure that before you head out the door, you make sure you log onto either our website or your airline’s website directly and check the flight status. So you’re not wasting time and making sure that you’re arriving when your flight’s actually departing.”
Dushinski said one of the biggest things they try to remind guests, especially over the holidays, is to be conscious of what they’re taking through screening.
“Since it’s a really busy time of year for Christmas, people are bringing wrapped gifts through. We recommend don’t wrap your gifts. That makes it very easy for screening to just see what you’re carrying through. And they don’t have to unwrap them so that you have to wrap them again,” she said.
“Obviously, very strict guidelines. If you’re not sure, make sure you check with the (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s) … website. They have some good information there.”
Other holidays tips from CAA Saskatchewan before jetting away:
- Know the airline’s cancellation policy. Some airlines may be waiving fees and issuing changes due to possible rebooking policies;
- Monitor weather conditions — both for the departure and destination cities;
- Don’t forget travel insurance;
- Make sure passports are up to date and valid for the time required by the country or countries visited;
- Pack medications in original containers and store in carry-on bags;
- Weigh packed luggage to avoid additional airline charges; and
- Know air passenger rights.
For the latest conditions and warnings, download the SkyTracker weather app.