Travel smart from IAH with help from a Houston travel agency

Travel smart from IAH with help from a Houston travel agency

One of the advantages of living in Houston is our access to direct flight international travel. In fact, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) has one of the longest direct passenger flight routes in the world, with our 17-hour Houston-to-Dubai connection.

That’s quite a haul; better make sure you brought plenty of books with you!

IAH saw more than 40 million passengers travel through their gates in 2011. That’s a whopping 110,000 passengers per day (about the population of College Station on game day). Even with all of those passengers and planes, IAH still ranked an impressive 21st in delays, with an 86.5% on-time departure rate.

While airport delays and the anxieties of getting through security checkpoints are major stressors in travelers’ lives, few things are more nerve-wracking than waiting for your baggage on the carousel while you wonder if it made the same trip you did.

While airports can have systems that help baggage handlers get your bags to their correct planes, the process still mostly falls on the airlines themselves. In 2010, AirTran had the fewest damaged, delayed, lost or stolen bags per 1,000 passengers, followed by Frontier and JetBlue.

To see the full list of lost and mishandled bags from America’s top 15 airlines, and plenty more airline satisfaction rankings, check out our Come Fly With Me: Customer Service Ratings for US Airlines graphic.

If you’re hopping out of Hobby for your regional business meetings or flying out for a weekend to catch a Texans game, you likely aren’t looking for a travel agent’s assistance. But, if you’re heading over to London, Montego Bay, Singapore or one of the many other direct-international flights out of IAH, you may not want to leave your accommodations, travel insurance and security up to unverified travel resources.

For family vacations, romantic getaways, honeymoons and more, go with a travel agent who know hot travel spots but can also give you savvy travel advice, including more tips on making sure you and your luggage travel together.

Here are a few ways you can avoid lost luggage, but a good travel agent can give you many more tips:

  1. Get to the airport on time. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to park and get through security, especially on high-volume travel dates.

  2. Nonstop flights cut down the risk of losing bags.

  3. Make your luggage uniquely identifiable so no one will accidentally grab yours.

  4. Ever tried shipping your bags to your destination ahead of time? Talk to your travel agent about how this rising trend may be right for you.

Find the best Houston travel agencies on Angie’s List with consumer reviews you can trust.

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