Keeping It Real: 8 Business Travel Tips That Actually Work!
We've all read the same article, or some version of it, over the years: "Business Travel Tips and Tricks for Beating the Airlines at Their Own Game." These tips are usually things like: ‘Book your flights on the third Tuesday of the month,’ or ‘Select the first flight-of-the-day to avoid delays,’ or ‘Carry this loyalty card and you’ll be sitting next to Oprah in the first-class suites in no time!” For frequent business travelers, these tips are not all that helpful (and oftentimes, they’re just downright false!!)
I'm here to keep it real and offer you some never-fail tricks that, while they may not change your life, they’ll definitely make that upcoming business trip a lot more enjoyable.
- Tip #1: Book a window seat. You will get more room. Plus, you can lean your head against the window to nap (I won’t tell your boss!), and not one single person will climb over you and interrupt your in-flight work.
- Tip #2: Change of plans? No prob! If you booked within 24 hours, you can refund your ticket with most airlines and start fresh for free. If you are about to travel, many airlines have a same day change fee that is substantially less expensive than the days leading up to that point. This can generally ONLY be done after midnight on the actual day of travel, but some airlines do offer this within 24-hours of departure so you’ll need to check with your specific airline to be certain.
- Tip #3: Weekday in flight Wi-Fi? More like WEAKday WiFi, especially on commuter flights like IAD-JFK or ORD-SFO. Think of all your fellow business travelers (not to mention kids on Snapchat) trying to grab that signal as you whiz through the air at 600 mph, 30,000 feet above the earth. Avoid Wi-Fi frustration and plan ahead by bringing some non-web work so you can still be productive en-route to your destination.
- Tip #4: Ask for upgrades. You can ask at check-in, the airline counter prior to security, or the gate and any airline representative can assist you up until boarding time. Last minute upgrade prices are often slashed because airlines want customers to see those coveted seats full of happy and comfy guests. The 11th-hour class-bump can be a real penny and sanity saver!
- Tip #5: Underestimate yourself. Normally I would never, EVER tell you to do this, but if you think you can make a 37-minute connection in Dallas, a week before Christmas, you’re fooling us both. Go for the longer layover, scope out a decent bar and grab a beverage. It doesn’t matter if it’s 7am, in the airport, there are no rules!
- Tip #6: The Pitch. For frequent business travelers, it's worth the time to check the pitch of your seat. In the airline biz, pitch is the space from the back of the seat in front of you to the back of your seat. It’s easy to find out the pitch of your specific seat online. See if paying for that extra leg room is worth it, before you hand over those hard-earned dollars.
- Tip #7: The Golden Rule: be a nice co-traveler. Airports and airplanes can put us all in a dark place. Try to be that ray of sunshine; it’s contagious! :) And whatever you do … NEVER be that person who brings stinky, hot food onto a flight. Not cool, and just plain evil.
- Tip #8: Book with someone who has your back, 24/7, like Lola. Lola's expert travel gurus have a ton of business travel experience so they will help you anywhere, any time. If you find yourself in a jam with a cancelled flight, missing bag, or if you’re just plain lost, call Lola’s Travel Assistants and you’ll be on your way back to business travel nirvana fast!
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