If you're flying out of Aberdeen, you have direct control over things that will greatly increase your chances of a happy departure. Here are 13 tips that might help produce satisfying air travel:
Be on time
That's the first bit of advice from Gary Christiansen, who works at Delta Global Services in Aberdeen.
People who work at Aberdeen Regional Airport recommend showing up 75 minutes before your departure. Pat Olsen, who works at Travel Leaders in Aberdeen, recommends 90 minutes.
But airport manager Mike Wilson stresses that, during pheasant hunting season, it's especially important to be early.
“If the airline overbooks a flight, it's first-come, first-served,” Wilson said.
On Monday morning, Wilson noticed that 49 passengers were booked for the first departure Monday afternoon, and 51 for the day’s last outgoing flight.
And that's for a 50-passenger aircraft, Wilson noted.
Too much baggage can reduce the number of passengers allowed. If Delta Air Lines personnel have to weight-restrict a plane, “they may only get out of here with 48” passengers, Wilson said.
During hunting season, planes are especially heavy because many hunters take frozen birds back with them. They're also transporting guns, equipment and — in some cases — hunting dogs.
So show up early. The airlines have calculated that “a certain percentage of people do not show up for flights,” Wilson said. “So they sometimes will overbook those flights.”
Olsen said, if you arrive within 30 minutes of departure, and the line is long, “you may not get on the plane.”
The other thing you have control over is the weight of your luggage.
Christiansen said people should preweigh their bags to make sure they're not over the 50-pound limit.
If a suitcase weighs even one pound over, the fee could be $100, he said.
People can use their bathroom scales at home. But Christiansen said travelers are free to visit the Delta counter the day before to weigh the baggage they plan to check, as long as the counter isn't too busy.
Wilson said you should buy tickets at least three weeks in advance.
Round-trip fare to Minneapolis, he noticed recently, was $208 three weeks before the trip.