It's Travel Time

Travel Time At McCarran

By Clinton

As some of you know, I
work at one of the airlines at McCarran Airport. In my time there I
have learned a number of things that I never really paid attention to
when I was just an airline passenger. Since we are at the start
summer, and many folks will be traveling to many different places,
not only throughout the USA but to other countries, I figured that I
would let you know about some of the things that you should either
know and/or do with your trip to the airport. Now most of this
applies to the airline that I am with, but many of the same things
apply to other airlines.

  1. The Internet is
    your friend when booking your trip
    . You have probably seen ads
    in TV for different for travel companies that claim you will find
    the best prices. This is actually true in many cases, but some
    airlines like Southwest do not permit their prices to be included in
    them. I found that when I went to those sites, I could find out who
    was offering the best prices, then if I went directly to the
    airline(s) that offered the best prices via these websites, I could
    usually find the same flights for a few dollars less. The other
    advantage also is that by going directly to the website of the
    airline and booking is that one can also pick their seat(s) along
    with other things. The advantage that the booking sites like
    Travelocity, Orbit and others is that it makes it far easier to not
    only book your flights, but your hotel, car rental and other things.

  2. Avoid booking a
    flight that takes off within three hours after you are at a big
    I noticed after a couple of big events that were here
    that people had rushed to arrive to late to be able to catch the
    flight that they had wanted. Arriving late can cost you more money
    than if you had stayed in a hotel that night. Yes it is great to get
    home to family and your own bed ASAP, but the stress that you might
    end up having to deal with is not worth it.

  3. Arrive a minimum
    of 90 minutes prior to your flight.
    Yes I know that getting
    through security many times for you is real fast, but most airline
    have a cutoff of 45 minutes before your flight to be checked in and
    to take your luggage. Depending on what time you are traveling, and
    the number of flights that an airline has scheduled to fly out could
    make the difference between you getting through the check-in and
    not. Many people think that if they arrive 60 minutes before their
    flight that they will have plenty of time, only to discover that
    there are long lines at both the airline and for security. The
    counter for the airline that I deal with opens at 3am, and there
    have been times when I have arrived long before that to see people
    lined up already. I remember arriving one time 90 minutes prior to
    the opening of another airline to see that their Full Service line
    was already full of at least 100 military personnel already waiting
    (Active Military get a few extra benefits.)

  4. The
    Kiosk/Self-Service Machines are your friends.
    The days going to
    the counter are basically over. Yes some still offer the full
    service experience as an option, but the advantage of being able to
    change flights, change seats and many other things comes with the
    kiosk machines as by the time that you get to the counter the things
    that you desire could be gone because someone has used the kiosk
    while you waited in line. Don't be afraid to ask for help from the
    floor personnel of the airline, as it is part of their job and will
    gladly help you. It is not unusual to find people flying First Class
    using the kiosk when they can go to the counter.

  5. Get a Passport.
    You may not be flying out of the country, but having a passport has
    it's advantages. A passport is good to use as it is a valid ID
    almost everywhere. With airlines you can use it to check in, go
    through security (as long as you have a boarding pass,) along with
    other things.

  6. Keep your baggage
    under 50lbs for each bag.
    You may think that an airline will let
    you let 2 or 3 pounds slide by, but the rules are very strict on the
    weight limit. Those flying First Class get a higher limit in many
    cases, but being over can cost you $100. Not all airlines let you
    check just one bag for free. With Southwest you get the first two
    bags free (this could change,) but most airlines will charge you.
    Even if you are traveling with a number of bags to check in, the
    maximum for each bag is 50lbs.

  7. Check in ASAP
    with airlines like Southwest.
    The advantage with checking in
    with them early (24 hours early,) is that they use a system to load
    passengers onto their planes by numbers, which means that you have a
    better choice of a window or aisle seat on the plane itself since
    they don't assign seats. If you are flying with others, you will
    have a better shot of sitting together by checking in early.

  8. Just because it
    is cheap does not mean that you will be saving money.
    There are
    a few airlines who advertise really cheap fairs, but what they don't
    mention are the added cost that you will be paying. Some of these
    additional fees are things like an additional cost for going to the
    counter for a Boarding Pass, Charging for carry-on bags, charges for
    food (even water) and many other things. Sure the airfare itself
    maybe say $50 each way, but with all of the other charges added on
    you may end up spending $200 each way, when if you had chosen the
    airfare that was $125 each way you would of truly saved money.

  9. Check to see
    which terminal you are flying out of BEFORE you leave for the
    Even though airports like McCarran have big signs
    saying which terminal an airline if flying out of, you would be
    amazed at the number of people who end up at the wrong terminal.
    Their are a number of reasons why this happens. One of the reasons
    is that people do not really look that hard to see which airline
    that they are actually flying on. Even though you may have booked
    your travel on one airline does not mean that it is the one that you
    will be flying on. With so many mergers and agreements between
    airlines you could end up going to the wronger terminal. Look
    closely at your itinerary to see if you see the words “Operated By
    [airline]” and if you see that, go directly to that airline when
    you go to check in. Another thing that happens is that in cases
    Taxis and Shuttle Drivers believe that they know where an airline
    is, but go to the wrong place. There have times that I have seen
    people miss their flights as a result.

  10. Join the
    “Frequent Flyer” club
    of the airlines that you travel the
    most on even if you only travel on them once a year. Even though you
    have too really fly either a lot or long distances to get any real
    benefits from joining them, being a member has it's advantages in
    that when you go to a kiosk all that you will need to do is to enter
    your membership number to check in. Since with most of the airlines
    you can lose your mileage if you don't use them after a certain
    amount of time, donate them to a non-profit organization like the
    Make A Wish Foundation who will use them.

  11. Know when you are
    If your flight is at 12:45AM on December 24, that does
    not mean that you can come to Christmas Eve service then to the
    airport as your flight will have already left. People showing up 24
    hours late for a flight is not that uncommon as people will forget
    about the date change.

  12. The largest
    liquid that you can take in your carry-on bag(s) is 3.5oz
    anything above that must be in your checked-in luggage. The only
    exceptions to this rule is prescription liquid medicines. You can
    also take your diabetic needles and other medical needs with you.

I could go on with other
things about traveling through an airport, but I figured that I would
give you a tip based on the number of Apostles. I hope that these are
helpful for you and that your future flights be smooth, relaxing and