Insider travel tips your experienced travelers will love
There’s nothing seasoned travelers enjoy more than sharing the latest “insider knowledge” with anyone who will listen. You know the type: whipping through airport security with the finesse of a TSA ninja, breezing through priority boarding, and happily sipping their second beverage in first class while everyone else paces the aisles looking for space in an overhead compartment. You might even be that type yourself!
If your client is a really experienced traveler, they may already be aware of some of these tips and loyalty programs. If they are not, here a few things you can do or recommend for your frequent travelers!
1. TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry
What’s not to love about expedited security screening? Passengers with TSA Pre-Check head for a special line, skipping the wait and the hassle of removing shoes, belts, laptops, liquids, etc. Setting this up is a fairly simple process that requires a quick, online application and scheduled appointment at an enrollment center. The cost is $85 for 5 years. If your traveler goes abroad, suggest they apply instead for Global Entry. The cost of Global Entry is $100 for 5 years and gives them all the benefits of TSA Pre-Check plus expedited customs screening for passengers re-entering the United States.
2. Priority Pass
Newer travelers don’t mind the excitement of the airport — shopping the duty-free stores, grabbing a meal at the food court, or people watching from an empty gate. Clients who spend half their year away from home just want a quiet place to relax between flights. Priority Pass gives travelers access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world. Annual memberships start at $99.
3. Boingo Wifi
Some travelers see their vacation time as an opportunity to unplug and limit their internet use. Other clients may also be traveling for “bleisure” and are expected to stay connected with their office while on vacation. If disconnecting is not an option, recommend your clients sign up for Boingo to avoid outrageous Wifi fees as they go.
4. Hotel loyalty programs
Brand loyalty really does pay off in the world of travel. Sticking to a favorite hotel brand such as Marriott or Hilton can earn you special treatment, upgrades, and free stays. If your clients already have a rewards membership with a brand they love, work to find accommodations within that brand. If not, make a case for one you know and love based on your own expertise.
5. Credit card perks
Make sure your clients are aware of any travel perks that might be available with their credit card. American Express Platinum gets you into Delta and Centurion lounges. Others might offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance, car rental insurance, baggage delay, or automatic Priority Pass enrollment.
6. Maximize points with codeshares
Your frequent travelers probably feel really strongly about earning those frequent flyer miles. This is where a thorough knowledge of codeshares will come in handy. If you know your codeshares, you can offer a variety of flight options on carriers that will continue racking up those valuable miles. If they need to settle for a fare that doesn’t accrue points for their current program, encourage them to sign up with another mileage program. It never hurts to earn in more than one place!
7. Know their connecting airports
If you know your traveler has a really tight connection or particularly lengthy layover, share any useful information you have about the airport’s layout and amenities. It helps if you’ve been through the airport yourself, but most information is easy to look up. Terminal maps can be accessed here and airport amenities are often listed on an airport’s website.
8. Suggest a stopover
Your nervous, first-timers usually just want to get to their final destination as quickly as possible. Your experienced traveler might welcome a chance to stop, sleep, and enjoy a new city for a night or two. If you know your client is up for the adventure, price out both options for them to compare. Keep an eye out for carriers that offer an STPC program.
9. Request a special meal
Does your traveler have special dietary needs such as vegetarian, gluten-free, or kosher? Most international flights can accommodate a wide range of meal requests. Keep your travelers’ meal preferences on file and be sure to make these requests for all their flights. As a bonus, a “specially prepared meal” is often brought out at the beginning of the meal service. This means your traveler can finish their dinner and kick back for a nap while the rest of the plane is still waiting for their food.