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Thanksgiving Flightmare Part 2: Avoiding Airport Rage

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It’s the night before Thanksgiving and everything has gone according to plan. Early arrival at the airport? Check. A quick read of Pay Dirt’s tips on how to avoid a flightmare before and air rage after you are on the flight? Check. Seat assignment made so it doesn’t get given away while browsing in duty free? Check. Non-stop, direct flights booked? Check. But even if some passengers do everything right, they can still get stuck at the airport unexpectedly for hours.

Pay Dirt polled some experts for tips on how to cope during the delays and how to such stave off airport rage.

Beware of upgrade requests. When passengers are stressed out the airline’s offer of extra seat room can seem tempting. Delta Airlines is just one airline that offers an extra 50% recline than Economy, early boarding, complimentary alcoholic beverages, plus four inches extra room. It’s the upper-middle class of airline travel. However, it costs $80 to $180 one-way. However, for those with a long pair of gams, George Hobica, founder of AirFareWatchdog.com, has a list of legroom upgrades for those who are willing to pay for it.

Make nice with airline staff. Temper tantrums will usually get you nowhere – especially if the delay is due to airborne congestion or problems that began at another airport. Hobica says too much too much attitude (or alcohol) at the airport can lead passengers into the arms of the security rather than those of smiling air stewards. “Flash a little smile, ask how they’re holding up during all of this crazy holiday hullabaloo, offer a compliment, be nice,” he says. Playing nice can also put passengers on the list for a free upgrade to business class.

Dress up to the nines. This works for single passengers who have time to spare and who are in the mood for romance, which is less expensive than shopping in the duty-free area. But it can also mean you get more respect. As Pay Dirt reported, frequent flyer Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, says the politeness of airport staff surges when she dresses up: “I’m treated with a great deal more respect than when I’m wearing jeans or sweatpants on my return flights home from Washington DC.”

Get pampered for free. Harriet Baskas, author of “Stuck at the Airport,” knows how to seek out free fun activities as she waits for her flight. “Defeat the delay,” she says. She recently compiled a list of the best things to do at some of the country’s 13 busiest airports – some of which are free. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has an extensive art collection and piano bar to relax in, for instance, and Denver International Airport has a glass pedestrian bridge where passengers can go plane spotting.

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    • We’ve (wife and I) got a flight with Monarch late November thru to mid December. Another cierarr to try is Jet2.com however, I’d reckon that, with Christmas coming up, prices will, not unnaturally, go up. It also depends where you’re flying from we tend to fly from Manchester another airport you could try for is Murcia, which is one of the over-spills for Alicante. Prices may be slightly cheaper to Murcia also the downside to Murcia is that it is a smaller airport with fewer facilities but it’s worth a try honest !

    • Ahem you obviously don’t know how good the manga is, then.Or did you ferogt that this is NisiOisiN’s work that we are talking about here?The beginning is stupid slow and a little boring but it gets a fuckton better as it goes on. I hope it does continue on and even introduce Kamogawa, the most epic anti-hero/antagonist/fighter EVER CONCIEVED!Though he does borderline what I think about Aikawa Jun. ~_^

    • In other words, if passengers want good service, we have to be slaves to airport and Homeland Gestapo whims. And they wonder why people won’t fly anymore and why they’re losing money? Talk about “shooting ones self in one’s own foot”. All they’re doing is putting themselves out of business.

    • I don’t think I should have to “dress to the nines” to get decent customer service.

    • Still waiting for some “kid-free” flights to avoid being victimized by screaming toddlers.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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