Those of us planning on flying in the next few weeks – either domestically or internationally – are probably a little concerned. We’re hearing horror stories left, right and centre about heightened security, hours of delays and missed flights. So how can you ensure that your business trip runs smoothly and how can you adjust to these new security measures?
Unfortunately, if you don’t take the current heightened security measures into account and you miss your flight, you won’t be eligible for any form of compensation. In the eyes of the airport, lateness is your fault and not theirs, so the only thing you can do to avoid the queues is to be as early as possible.
Whilst Sydney domestic airport is recommending that you arrive two hours early for your flight, the international airport is now suggesting a three hour buffer period at a minimum. However, if you’re flying at peak time, it’s a good idea to get there even earlier, just to be safe. Missing a flight because of circumstances outside of your control is extremely frustrating, so do everything you can to avoid it.
Don’t fly during peak times
Where possible, book your flights during off-peak times. That way, there should be fewer crowds to get in your way and to delay check-in and security checks. While it may not be an ideal flying time for you, it’s the best way to get around potential delays that you might face at the airport. And one of the perks of early morning domestic travel is that you’ll still have a full day ahead of you after you land.
If you’re going overseas, the last thing you want is to be MIA when any colleagues or affiliates you are travelling with are trying to meet with you. Either purchase global roaming through your Australian provider or buy a SIM card the second that you land. Then make sure all of your contacts have your new number so that you’re accessible if needed. This just helps prevent confusion, especially if you’re trying to organise logistics.
Beat jet lag
Easier said than done, and not applicable if you’re flying within Australia (although perhaps flying between Perth and Sydney might cause a few problems for some), but if you can time your sleeping on the plane so that you’re only asleep when it’s night time at your destination, you’ll have a much easier time adjusting once you get there. Especially on a long-haul trip to somewhere like the US or Europe, this is particularly difficult, but if you can push yourself to stay awake for as long as possible until your time zones sync up, you’ll have a much easier trip. When you land, try not to sleep until at least 6pm local time.
Insurance won’t help you get through security faster but it may provide compensation if your flight is significantly delayed (typically over six hours), your accommodation is cancelled or your baggage is lost or stolen. Essentially, any sort of cancellation or event that’s completely unexpected and results in a financial loss for you should see you eligible for cover.
At the end of the day, ensuring that your business trip runs to plan is just about being organised. The more you and your colleagues plan ahead, the smoother your trip should be.
About the author
Bessie Hassan is the Travel Expert at financial comparison website finder.com.au.