Are you ready to travel this weekend?

Diwali is here, which means, that time of the year when I will find the most number of people on the airports going over somewhere. Here is a screenshot from the Jet Airways website last evening on a trunk route:


And here is this morning, when I had tried to check-in… most people were still waiting for a sign from God to web check-in!


That made me think, let me do a post for you guys to get ready for holiday travel! Here are the things to do:

a) Check-In: If you’re planning to get on a plane, go and check-in now on the airlines website. Don’t worry about the disclaimer from Indigo and SpiceJet that only hand baggage passengers are allowed to web check-in. I’ve dropped bags at the airport counter enough number of times to confirm that they will accept bags even if you web checked-in. If you don’t check in now, you are attracting the following 2 possibilities:

– Stuck in a middle seat because all smart travellers picked the seat before you!

– Be offloaded from a flight because it was overbooked. Remember, 5-7% overbooking on a flight is normal, and if you arrive last minute, you could be the one being told, we’re sorry, you can’t go on this flight, or the next or the one after because we are sold out!

-Don’t forget, on Jet Airways, you get miles to web check-in as well Winking smile

b) Arrive early at the airport: The airport is going to be noisy like being at a food court these next few days. Or a mall, or whatever your idea of a crowd is. But if you want to get on that flight and go home and arrive in time, get to the airport in time. Queues will be horribly long, and you’ll have to wait up every place. You don’t want to be getting those last call glares now, do you?

c) Check in baggage, but weigh before you leave home: 20 kgs is your standard allowance inside India. But, check your tickets and weigh your bags before you leave home. Remember, this year, airlines are out to get every single currency note in your pocket. They won’t be accommodative at all about excess baggage but ask you to pay!

d) Lounge, what lounge? Lounges would look more like shelter camps for those hit by a hurricane. Service will suck, unless you are maybe in a super exclusive American Express lounge in Mumbai or Delhi. Everyone with MasterCards, Visa Signatures, Elite Jet Airways status and GoAir and Jet Airways business passengers will fight for the same space in Mumbai. Delhi may be slightly different. Food will be out of circulation. If you are okay with all of this, go in. Else, save yourself the bother and wait at the gate. I know I will be doing this.

e) Check your passport if you’re travelling abroad! You decided to take off on a holiday because you have the Diwali break? Great? Check if the passport is there with the correct visas!

Anything else I miss? Fit in the comments section. I’ll add the best ones here Smile

Happy travels and safe landings folks!

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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