Tips for smoother holiday travel

With the winter holidays being the busiest travel time of the year at airports worldwide, here are some suggestions that WestJet has released in order to  help its guests prepare for an enjoyable travel experience.

The airline makes the following recommendations to travellers:

1.   Eggnog expires. And so does ID.

Ensure you have proper ID and documentation for all travellers, including children and infants. Transport

Canada

 has changed ID requirements for domestic travel, meaning expired ID can no longer be used for any flight.

For international travel, travel documents must be presented at check-in. Each country on your itinerary may have different entrance requirements, including the physical condition of a passport, or extended validity of a passport beyond your intended departure date. Check national entry requirements with WestJet well before departure.

2.   Inflight entertainment? There’s an app for that.

WestJet’s new inflight entertainment system, WestJet Connect, is available on your own laptop or through the WestJet app on your smartphone or tablet. Download the latest version of the airline’s iPhone or Android app for free access to nearly 500 hours of movies and TV programs, and three live TV channels. WestJet Connect also offers pay-per-use Internet access.

Not all of WestJet’s aircraft are equipped with the new system, so pack some books, magazines, tablets or laptops loaded with entertainment, or perhaps small games or toys for little travellers.

3.   You’ve made your list, now check-in only once.

WestJet offers three convenient self-serve check-in options: web, mobile and kiosk. The airline suggests checking in 24 hours before scheduled departure.

  • Web check-in is available at westjet.com.
  • Check-in on your mobile device using WestJet’s app or mobile-optimized website.
  • Self-serve check-in kiosks are available at most of WestJet’s airports, and may also offer self-serve baggage-tagging.

Speed up your airport experience by paying baggage fees with a credit card when you use self-serve check-in.

4. This is the busiest travel period of the year, so plan to arrive early.

Prepare for large crowds at the airport. WestJet suggests arriving at the airport no less than two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Guests on a delayed flight can use the revised departure time to determine what time they check in.

Travellers should complete security, immigration and customs and be at their departure gate one hour before departure. Those who do not meet check-in, baggage drop or boarding cut-off times may be denied travel.

5. Santa’s got a brand-new carry-on bag.

Carry-on baggage must meet WestJet’s size requirements as listed on its website. Each guest is permitted one piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item. Excess and oversized carry-on baggage may be checked in and subject to applicable baggage fees.

Guests are encouraged to visit westjet.com for details on checked and excess baggage allowances and fees, sporting equipment, restricted items and special items.

6. Lovely to look at, better to hold.

Be sure to pack ID, wallets, purses, medication, mobile devices, keys, and valuable items such as cash, jewelry and electronics into carry-on baggage.

7. Security prefers rapping over wrapping.

The airline suggests guests do not wrap gifts. Airport security may unwrap items in checked or carry-on baggage, causing delays at security. Pack wrapping paper in your checked luggage, and have a wrapping party on arrival at your destination.

8. Large pets, like reindeer, need a kennel over Christmas.

WestJet does not accept kennels as checked baggage  inclusive, although certain small animals may be able to travel in the aircraft cabin; visit WestJet’s website for details.

9. Pack your patience.

Holiday travel can be stressful, but you can cope more easily by being prepared, leaving lots of time to travel to the airport, arriving early and taking things in stride. Everyone wants to get to their destination to share Christmas with family and friends, and a little patience goes a long way to help make the journey stress-free.

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