If this was a perfect world, we would all be able to travel in private
jets. We wouldn't have to wait in security-check lines or ride the
parking lot shuttle. We wouldn't have to endure chatty, nosey
row-mates or kids who persistently kick the backs of our seats. We
wouldn't even have to deal with lost luggage issues! But, alas, it's
not a perfect world, and few business travelers are privileged to the
luxury of private jet travel.
For those who have to go the commercial route — those who also
have to mind a budget — there are ways to make your air travel
more pleasant and less expensive:
Use the Internet. Business travel websites such as Egencia and BCD Travel
offer low-cost alternatives to full-service travel agencies.
Travel sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com,
which have traditionally catered to the consumer market, also offer deals that business travelers can utilize.
Take advantage of corporate rewards credit cards that offer airline miles or hotel stays.
If you spend a lot of money on your corporate cards anyway, or if you could, consider getting a card with a rewards program that will reward you with airline miles or hotel stays.
There are also a number of credit cards that feature extra points when you spend on certain airlines and hotels.
Websites such as CardWeb.com list the different types of rewards credit cards that are available.
Take advantage of frequent flier miles. If you travel often on a particular airline, sign up for the airline's frequent flier programs.
You'll earn rewards flights more quickly if you try to book most of your trips with the same airline.
The FrequentFlier.com website offers more information on airlines' frequent flier programs.
Pack light. Unless you're going to be traveling for a while, it's best to avoid checking bags.
But you'll want a carry-on that not only fits into the overhead compartment, but is also easy to traverse the airport terminal with, hoist in and out of taxi cab trunks,
and — at the same time — fits all the essentials.
Fortunately, luggage manufacturers offer a wide range of options, including sets that include a rolling carry-on and a briefcase
that slides onto the handle of the carry-on when you're rolling it (meaning you won't have to carry the briefcase over your shoulder or in your hand).
Get to the airport on time. The FAA offers up-to-date information about airport delays.
To facilitate your flight check-in and security screening, be sure to bring an appropriate type of identification,
such as a valid driver's license or passport, as specified on the United States Transportation Safety Administration's Travel pages.
Air Travel Gallery
Coast Guard helicopter flying over an Alabama forest
Anchorage International Airport terminal building - Alaska
Small airplane and landing strip at Monument Valley, Arizona
Flying over the Arkansas River in a hot air balloon
Check-in counter at San Francisco International Airport
Denver International Airport terminal architecture
Grass runway at Wellington Aero Club - Florida
Landing strip along the Maui, Hawaii coastline
Airbus A320 on the tarmac at an Illinois airport
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport control tower and runway
Pineville Municipal Airport - Louisiana
Newark Airport exit sign on the New Jersey Turnpike
Aerial view of farmland in New Mexico
Southwest Airlines jet at Las Vegas International Airport
Airliner at boarding gate, JFK airport, New York City
Boeing 737 jet landing at Portland International Airport, Oregon
Airport runway near Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Rutland Airport - Vermont
Boarding an aircraft at Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming
Reagan National Airport, Washington, DC
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