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A Few of Our Favorite Travel Tools

 

  1. TSA PreCheck is a program​ that lets you skip the normal security lines at the airport and use a special TSA line. There are usually fewer people in this line and once you actually have your boarding pass and ID checked, you don't have to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, etc. before going through security. This speeds things up quite a bit as well. Getting TSA PreCheck is a pretty simple process, you can actually do the interview portion of the application process in our Encino office a couple of times a year.​ Contact your travel agent and ask to be informed when we'll have our next Global Entry Day!
     
  2. Car Rental Loyalty Programs. I rent cars quite often and have memberships in many of the loyalty programs. As with most of them, Hertz Gold allows me to walk straight to my car, get in, and go. Of course, I have to show my ID on the way out, but by being a Gold member, I never have to wait in line to get my car which saves a ton of time. Hertz has a cool thing called Carfirmation, which sends an email and/or text telling you what spot number your car is in so you can go right to it and drive out.
     
  3. TripIt is a great travel app that consolidates and organizes all of your travel plans. When you get an email confirmation for a hotel stay, flight, tour, etc., you just forward it to TripIt and it's automatically added to your itinerary.
     
  4. Axus is another very useful travel app that allows you to keep the details for all of your travel plans in one convenient place. You can even access destination information when you're offline, provided you have downloaded it through the app ahead of time.
     
  5. CLEAR is a newer program that is a great addition to TSA PreCheck. With CLEAR, you don't even take out your ID. You go to a special lane (even shorter than TSA) where an Ambassador walks you to a machine, scans your fingerprints or irises and boarding pass, and then escorts you to the front of the line. So fast. Clear is currently in a limited number of airports, but they are constantly adding more. 
     
  6. Status with the airlines. As a Southwest Airlines A-List member, I get checked in automatically, can get on an earlier flight without any additional charges even if the flight I want to change to is more expensive, and a number of other benefits. All of the airlines have programs that allow money and time saving benefits that vary by airline and the level achieved, so be sure to see what's available from your preferred carrier.
     
  7. Priority Pass membership allows access to almost 1,000 airport lounges around the world. I've written about the Priority Pass program a number of times, it's free with many of the higher end credit cards, so be sure to check and see if you might already have access to the program, you just have to sign up.

 

       Feel free to contact your agent if you have questions about how to use these tools!

 

       ​Written by Doug Orens, Vice President, Plaza Travel

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