Holiday Travel Tips

Remember AIG? They were the insurance giant that nearly went under during the financial crisis, and subsequently needed a multi-billion dollar bailout just to keep going. Perhaps as a “thank you” to the American taxpayer, the firm’s travel division is now offering some smart and timely tips for making your holiday travel go more smoothly. (It’s the least they could do.)

AIG Travel wants YOU to travel smart, and travel safe. Here are their tips:

“Airlines and airports

* Reserve flights early to ensure the most convenient routes.

* Book flights that depart earlier in the day to help avoid potential delays.

* Arrive early to the airport – at least two hours prior to your departure, longer for international flights – as getting through security can take up to 90 minutes.

* Avoid checking bags, if possible.

* Keep holiday gifts unwrapped in carry-on bags and checked luggage, as packages can be opened for an additional security screening.

* Carry a printed boarding pass as a backup to your mobile device.

Research and reserve

* Research local airports and be aware of alternative airports near your departure and destination, so you or your travel assistance provider (like AIG Travel) can try to reroute in case of unforeseen closures or departure issues.

* Note the locations of airport security checkpoints, baggage claim and ticket counters.

* Research social media networks for your preferred airline and airports of choice to stay up to date on pertinent information.

Additional tips

* Keep copies of adult passengers’ photo IDs or passports as .pdf documents on your secured mobile device.

* Put airlines’ websites and customer service phone numbers in your mobile phone contact list along with the phone number for your travel insurance and assistance provider, so you can get immediate assistance if you need it.

* Keep a list of contact information (phone number, web address and email) for your hotel, car rental company, and other providers related to your travel plans.

* Bring an all-in-one portable charger for phones, laptops, tablets and other devices.”

These are good tips – especially the one about printing out hard copy of your essential documents. But how did AIG resist the urge to add “and be sure to buy lots of travel insurance” to their advice? Shockingly, the company is genuinely being helpful without any obvious nod to their own self-interest. So, we’ll help them out a bit and mention travel insurance. It’s the least we could do, after all.


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