Tips for Smooth Summer Air Travel

Tips from the insider to make air travel easier during the busy summer season:

Check in online. Whenever possible check in for your flight on the airlines website. The rule of thumb is usually 24 hours prior unless you are a top-tier frequent flyer. Even if you have bags to check, this will save you time as most airports have self-service machines for people checking bags only. It will save you loads of time at the ticket counter and get you on the way through security.

Become a frequent flyer. No, I'm not talking about those of us who fly at least 6 times per year. I'm talking about the frequent flyer programs that each airline has. The more information that the airline has about you such as your address, phone and email address the less likely you will be randomly "selected" for extra screening at security.

Pack light and carry on. This will save you in more ways than one. Most airlines have instituted fees for checking luggage, and it will save you from even having to go to the ticket counter if you've successfully checked in online. Just breeze through security and you're on your way to the gate.

Check the TSA website for updates. The TSA has put together a great website to help travelers get through security quickly and efficiently. This will give you the how-to's you need to know before you go.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/simplifly.shtm

Give yourself enough time. Check out the TSA's website that shows the wait times at major airport security across the country before you head out. It is a pretty accurate indication of how long it will take you to get through security. Remember that this is only for security, not the ticket counter so give yourself some extra time if you need to check in or check bags.

http://waittime.tsa.dhs.gov/index.html

Make sure you are prepared with the above tips and you'll be on your way to a great vacation in no time!