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Jane Hawkes is a consumer expert and a former flight attendant. She told Express.co.uk how travellers can avoid issues this festive season.
She said: “Board last to avoid the stress of onboard queues this Christmas. If you can keep hand baggage to a minimum so that it’s easy to stow when onboard and you already have a seat allocated then why rush?
“Enjoy a few more minutes sipping your coffee or reading a good book until the queue has almost gone.
“No squeezing past people on the aircraft, no need to keep standing up for people if you have an aisle seat and no danger of being clonked by bags as fellow passengers pass by to find their seats. Simply head to your own at your leisure.”
If a passenger has a bag that can be stowed under the seat in front of them, there’s no need to rush to board.
If they are travelling with a backpack or easily compressed bag, they should be able to fit it in the locker even if the plane is busy.
Tourists may have a more relaxed journey if they wait to board rather than rushing to get on with everyone else.
Jane added: “If the plane isn’t full and there’s an empty seat which is more suitable, then it’s easier to swap.
“Always check with the crew first in case there is a reason why you can’t sit there. Boarding later means less time sitting with limited leg room in an uncomfortable seat.”
The last passengers will be able to see if there are any spare seats on the aircraft and could ask to switch.
Cabin crew may allow passengers to change seats if the aircraft isn’t full when the plane takes off.
Unfortunately British tourists may face disruption this winter as there are Border Force strikes planned.
Adverse weather conditions such as heavy snowfall could also impact flights. Jane shared her top tip to stay abreast of any disruption.
Jane said: “Make the use of social media to stay informed of any potential issues which could affect your journey.
“What’s the point of queuing endlessly at the customer service desks trying to find out information from staff who often know less than you do?
“Use social media to check out what’s happening and tweet/DM airlines and travel companies from the safe sanctuary of the airport bar.
“Being able to readily contact your airline in the right way on the right channels can be invaluable if problems arise.
“A number of airlines have 24/7 support on Twitter and open DMs which is particularly good if you are looking for a quick response.
“Simply tagging the airline in a tweet may not be enough to get the info you need due to the volume of tweets received.
“Make sure you’re following the airline in question first so that they can easily reply to your message.
“Facebook and Instagram are better suited to general queries or comments.”
Jane shares consumer tips and advice on her blog at ladyjaney.co.uk.
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