Travel Tips for Frequent Travelers - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


Travel Tips for Frequent Travelers

Some very useful, time-saving and happiness-increasing travel tips.


As I write this, I’m crammed into a tiny economy seat on a sold-out American Airlines flight because yesterday’s flight got cancelled and everything was pretty much sold out. As many frequent travelers know, and I’ve certainly been reminded over the years, there are huge differences between airlines, first class cabins, and airplanes. Below are my preferences and tips, based on my experiences so far:

Travel Tips for Frequent Travelers

Travel Tips:

Get Global Entry & TSA Pre: If you fly a lot, these will shave precious minutes off the time you have to spend in the airport. For $100 per 5 years (or, if you’ve got a Platinum AMEX, it’s $0), Global Entry allows you to skip customs on the US side (you use a quick touch-screen kiosk instead). Global Entry members are automatically eligible for TSA Pre at no additional fee, which  lets you get through security much faster (no more taking your laptop out and your shoes off!)

A note for New Yorkers: I got conditionally approved for Global Entry within a couple of weeks, but when I had to do my interview, the one Global Entry Manhattan location listed on the Global Entry website was booked up for three months. Butttt… I did some digging and found out that you can be interviewed at Newark or JFK within a couple of days. Call 718-553-1237 for JFK and 973-565-8000 ext 8135 for Newark, and have your Global Entry number handy.

Route Happy is my favorite way to book flights. The site aggregates other user’s reviews, flight length, seat size, plane age, amenities, Wi-Fi, etc, then rates available flights by a happiness score. Brilliant! Double-check your choice on Seat Guru, which will tell you what the plane you’re considering booking a flight on will be like, and what seats you should choose.

The next time your flight gets cancelled or delayed, let AirHelp get you $$ compensation. The form takes 3 minutes to set up, they can get you up to $800, and they take a 25% commission. Also check out, which only takes 15% commission and says they can get you up to 600 Euros.

Travel Tips for Frequent Travelers

My favorite airlines (I wish they flew more places):

1. Virgin: Their Economy Plus class is nicer than American Airline’s first class. Brand new swanky planes with personal TV’s in every seat (the interactive kind, where you can actually choose what you want to watch, and when), fun lighting, great service and good food that you can order through the TV on demand.

2. JetBlue Mint: A great new (relatively affordable) first-class service in new and clean planes, with lay-flat beds, single suites, nicer terminals, less delays, personal TVs and more.

3. Porter: If you’re flying to Toronto, Porter will fly you right into the city-center island airport, so you’ll skip the drive to downtown. The airline has a great lounge (with free drinks and snacks) that’s even better than the lounges that other airlines make you pay to enter. The downside is that they only fly to a few Canadian destinations and the planes are small and getting on the older side.

4. La Compagnie: A great airline that is all first class style lay-flat seats. They only fly between NYC and Paris, but they have frequent sales and their sale pricing for two tickets is the best value out there.

What have your airline experiences been like? Please share your tips! 🙂

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 22 Comments

  1. Hope Lee

    Planning where to go, Packing what you NEED!, Booking in advance and if you want comfort don’t be stingy. always ALWAYS count your miles, so that you know when you can have free tickets.

  2. Bruce Irving

    Loved Virgin Airlines. Flew them once so far (based on your suggestion, actually). I love that they have multiple classes/levels, not just economy or first… thank you for the tips. really great help…

  3. Abigael Fisher

    thank you for the tips, will try route happy and virgin for our future vacations or business trips 😀

  4. VIRGIN is the BEST airline for me. So far, I have no experience of cancelled or delayed flight due to maintenance / technical issues (a problem I repeatedly had with other airlines).

    • Katherine Swift

      I haven’t tried Virgins yet. And basing it on my experience, I think I haven’t had any flight who were not either canceled or not delayed. I would love to do try it with Virgins. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Thanks for introducing Route Happy. I didn’t know booking my flights can be exciting and less stressful 🙂

    Great read!

  6. Jenny Garett

    There are some really great tips here. I’ve bookmarked this article. I can’t imagine that frequent fliers really don’t know most of these, but many of these are excellent tips that I’ve learned and used. Your tips and this website are going to make my travels absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  7. I think your tips are useful, however, I prefer road trips so when I travel from state to state, I don’t fly… Yeah, I know, it sounds tiring but I enjoy the beauty of nature and sights through the road…

  8. Have you heard of “dynamic pricing”?! This means refreshing a window for nth times will NOT make a flight cheaper, but may actually make the price go up because prices change based on demand.

    TECHIE TIP: Clear search history and cookies 🙂 Try it! It works for me, it might work for you 🙂

  9. Thanks for the tips! This article is for me! I’m not good at this and I aim to travel more, definitely helpful!

  10. Gabby Williams

    Recently traveled with my family. Global Entry & TSA Pre saved tons of time! Thanks for sharing!

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