Travel Tip of the Week: Know where you’re going

To go with my new blog name I figured I should offer tips to help you fly gracefully. Travel Tip of the Week #1: know where you’re going.
Of course you’ve bought a ticket from XXX to YYY possibly connecting in AAA on your way there. If you’re connecting in AAA do you know how to get from one gate to the next? I have many hubs fairly memorized and I try to stick to the hubs I know unless I need to fly another airline. If that situation arises I begin research. You could start this during the ticketing process, but I usually look the day before.

Most airline websites have something that should say Flight Status or something similar to this. It should usually be prominently displayed on the home page, but may also be under something like Traveling & Check in or Travel Tools if you have navigated away from the home page. Look up your first flight for yesterday and today and see what gates that flight usually uses for departure and arrival. Next look up you second flight and do the same. Then try to search for a map of the airport and plot your course. If you have enough time to eat, look for food options en route. Nothing is worse than waiting in line at the first food you see only to find your favorite restaurant farther down.


This shows me that Columbus, OH usually takes off from C53 or C54 and usually arrives in the higher end of B. The flight from Cincinnati to Cleveland usually takes off in the higher B gates so it looks like unless the gate situation drastically changes I will have just over an hour (subtract 30 minutes for boarding) to get from one flight to another.

I then google the airport code (in this case CVG) and map or sometimes “terminal map” if the airport code is synonymous with the city. I find this page and can see there is a Husdon’s News, a bar called Ida’s Seat and a burrito restaurant close by. If those don’t strike my fancy, I can see all the restaurants at the food court aren’t too far either.

Tips:

  • Gates are subject to change and DO change! Don’t wait by B28 unless a board confirms that gate.
  • Try to find the phone number or mobile address to check gates while taxiing in if you have a tight connection. In this example, the bottom of the delta page says 800-325-1999 is th delta number. http://mobile.delta.com will take a smart phone to the mobile site. If those aren’t options, call someone who has internet access and make them look it up.
  • In many cases the flight attendant only gets a list of connecting gates on takeoff. If you are connecting in ORD just don’t even pay attention because the gate has probably changed 3 times since that list was printed.