The 2009 Holiday travel has begun! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years see’s the biggest tourist crowds in the Orlando airport. Many from Florida are flying out to spend a white Christmas with loved ones up north. While many more are flying in for a Disney or other theme park Holiday vacation.
The biggest hassle will be at the Orlando airport. Expect long lines both at the baggage check-in area and also at the security points. These two spots will give you the biggest headaches and cost you the most time. Many people flying in or out for the Holidays don’t travel often and may not be up to date on everything.
So here’s a few refresher tips and tricks for you. Many airlines now charge for checked baggage, or checked bags over one per person. So remember that when your in the baggage line. But since they charge per bag anyway, and the baggage line is the longest wait at the airport, why not ship them instead?
You can use FedEx and UPS, or even luggage shipping services to ship your luggage right to your hotel. It cost a bit more, but they WILL show up. Plus you can walk past all those frustrated people in the baggage lines and go right to the security line, nice!
As for what you can take with you aboard the plane, most all airlines now allow only one carry-on plus a “personal” item. A personal item can be a purse, small backpack, laptop case and so on. Generally your personal item should fit under the seat in front of you.
Unfortunately with the checked baggage fees more and more people are trying to carry more things than they are allowed on board. That causes tension, angry looks and slows down the boarding process. I always see someone with a bag way to big to stuff in the overhead compartment.
So be prepared for that, and please do your part by following your airlines carry-on guidelines. Now back to the security checkpoint. Everyone has to go through the security checkpoint. Your carry-on luggage will go through an x-ray machine, and you have to walk through a metal detector.
Have your picture, government approved ID and your boarding pass out and ready. The first thing they do is look at those papers. Without both of those you cannot go through security.
Here’s a few basics. Yes you STILL have to take of your shoes, no matter what type they are. Take them off and put them in one of those plastic tubs. If your carrying and liquids or gels remember the 3-1-1 rule.
Each bottle can be no larger than 3 oz. in size, they ALL must fit in one 1 quart-sized, clear plastic zip-top bag and only one per person. That means any toothpaste, shaving cream, lotion, antiperspirant, anything. Take it out of your bag and place it in a plastic tub.
You cannot take aboard any matches, lighters, knifes, weapons of any kind, toy swords or guns, bats, pool cues, brass knuckles and so on. You also cannot take aboard any snow globes, no matter how big or small, so remember that. Put all these in your checked or shipped luggage.
What you CAN bring in your carry-ons is disposable razors and razors in a cartridge, nail clippers, Scissors 4 inches and shorter, tools seven inches or shorter in length and you can wear gel filled bras, not that I ever wear any! For special need items see the full list here.
Take off anything metal and put them in a plastic tub or bowl. That includes change, belt buckles, cuff links, anything like that. If you set off the detector they will give you a wand detector once over and pat down. It happens all day long, so don’t make it a big deal if it happens to you.
Once you arrive at the Orlando airport, if you have baggage go to level 2A or 2B, depending on what airline you used. If you have no baggage go right to level 1, which is where you find all the taxi, buses and rental cars. Then get outta the airport and enjoy your Orlando Holiday vacation,,,,, until you have to go back!