Flying over the holidays? Five tips for hassle-free travel

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Flying over the holidays? Five tips for hassle-free travel

The holidays are always a busy time to travel through Charlottetown airport, with up to 600 travellers expected at the airport each day, according to Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority. 

He offers these tips for travellers before they set off for their holiday get-away this year. 

1. Get there early

"Since it is a busy time, all the flights will be very full," Newson said. 

Newson said early morning and afternoon flights are generally the busier times at the airport and since flights will be more full than usual, this could increase wait times to get through check-in and security.

He recommends travellers get to the airport 90 minutes before their flight to ensure there is enough time to get to their departure gate. There is also a strict check-in cutoff time of 45 minutes before every flight, he added. 

"This time of year there's a lot of leisure travellers that have lots of extra luggage and things like that, so it's important that people give themselves lots of time."  

2. Pack correctly 

Travellers are reminded not to pack items that contain liquid, aerosols or gels in their carry-on luggage. This includes alcohol, perfumes and lotions. 

The airport authority recommends checking the CATSA website before packing to check which items can be brought into the cabin of the plane. These items must be 100 ml or less and must fit in a 1-litre, resealable bag.

3. Don't pack wrapped presents

Newson advises travellers to wait until they reach their destination to wrap gifts. Some presents, including toys, gels or liquids, may need to go through a secondary security screening.

"If they go through your luggage and have to do a secondary search of that present then you'll have to unwrap it and then you'll be faced with wrapping it again," Newson said. "It's just advisable that you don't wrap presents and try to bring them on the airplanes."

He also advises passengers to pack unwrapped presents in their checked baggage rather than bringing them in their carry-on luggage. 

4. Make time to relax 

Newson said in addition to more people at the airport, there will be more luggage and longer security check times, which can be more stressful for some travellers.

"We know that travel in general can be a stressful experience, especially during the holidays when people want to get home to their families and friends," Newson said. 

He encouraged passengers to give themselves extra time to relax before a flight to reduce stress while travelling and create a more enjoyable travel experience. 

"We've got some services both pre- and post-security, so you know come a little early, have a bite to eat or a coffee and that way it will make it a little less hassle for everybody." 

5. Check before you go 

Travellers are encouraged to monitor both local weather forecasts and weather conditions at their destination during travel times, Newson said. Passengers can check for delays and cancellations on the Charlottetown airport's website or on their airline's website or mobile app.  

"We do advise that people check with the airline's website directly," Newson said. "We want people to be here early, but if your flight is cancelled or delayed, especially at 5:20 in the morning people should always check in advance."

Newson said the airport authority wants to make travelling over the holidays as stress-free as possible and asks travellers to be patient when going through the airport this holiday season.

"Keep in mind that people who are working in the airport as well are just trying to get you on your way as quickly and as safely as possible," Newson said. 

"They're here to do a job and they want you to have a hassle-free travel experience and a good holiday experience as well." 

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