With airport security hassles and overcrowded flights a fact of life for on-the-go meeting professionals and their attendees, we caught up with Peter Greenberg, travel editor for NBC’s “The Today Show,” to get his four best tips for reducing air travel hassles.
1. Mail your luggage. “There are two types of luggage,” says Greenberg. “Carry-on and lost.” Shipping luggage in advance may cost extra, but it is more than made up in time saved dragging luggage through airports, checking in bags, and retrieving bags at the destination. “I save 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours by doing this,” Greenberg claims.
2. Undress for Success. “Put everything metallic in zip lock plastic bags and put them in your carry-on,” Greenberg says. “Once you’re through security you can pull everything out you need and you’ll save five minutes. Then think about how much time you would save if everyone did that.”
3. Cover Yourself. Book additional or back-up reservations. With the number of flights that get canceled or delayed, “I would be a dead man if I did otherwise,” says Greenberg.
4. Airport Signs Lie. “If an arrival board at an airport had a listing for the Titanic, it would say ‘on time,’” says Greenberg. So when he gets to an airport, he looks at a departure board to check out the gate for his scheduled flight, ignores the rest of the information, then checks out the arrival board to see what’s scheduled to arrive at that gate. “If there’s nothing scheduled for the rest of the day, you know there’s trouble,” he says. So he avoids the hassle and disappointment of hanging around a gate waiting for a flight that will never come, and instead tries to keep his options open, which could include “going to the ticket counter and finding an alternative flight.”