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Tips for Holiday Travel from Your Flight Attendants

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects nearly 20 million passengers during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel, from Friday, November 19 through Sunday, November 28. In order to best prepare for a safe, efficient travel experience our union - the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA - offers this guidance for passengers:

“Aviation is about bringing people together,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. “Flight Attendants are first responders, charged with the safety, health, and security of the passengers and other crewmembers in our care. Flying has changed since the start of the pandemic. We expect that many of the passengers this Thanksgiving will be first time pandemic flyers. Be prepared and remember that weather is always a factor in potential disruptions to aviation.”

Tips for Holiday Travel for Passengers

    1. Make sure you have all the required documents for your destination (ID, boarding pass, COVID vaccine card, Negative covid test).
    2. Pack your carryon from an empty bag to avoid inadvertently bringing prohibited items to the security checkpoint. Remind yourself of TSA’s prohibited items list for carryon and checked baggage.
    3. Plan to wear a mask from the time you enter the airport for your first flight to the time you exit the airport at your destination. Pack an extra mask to swap out in case change in temperature creates condensation or perspiration.
    4. Dip and sip, when eating or drinking. Plan to lower your mask briefly for a sip or bite then place it back over your nose and mouth. 
    5. Pack your patience. Get to the airport early to avoid worry caused by long lines at check in, security checkpoints, or concessions.
    6. Bring non-perishable food like a protein bar in case your travels stretch across meal time and you don’t have time to pick up food in the airport or access to food on the plane.
    7. Pack an empty water bottle to refill at a replenish station once through security.
    8. Rethink that alcoholic beverage before your flight. Anyone who appears to be intoxicated will be denied boarding. Once in the air, the cabin is pressurized at 8000 feet and oxygen levels can intensify the effects of alcohol. 
    9. Bring kindness and be a helper. If able, offer assistance to other travelers and encouragement to airline workers. If you see something concerning or out of place, say something to crew or airline workers.
    10. Download your airline’s app before getting to the airport. Many airlines make entertainment available on your personal device. Pack headphones. 
    11. Finally, get vaxxed, wear a mask, relax and enjoy your flight!

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