For decades, Staff Care has connected doctors, PAs, NPs, dentists, and other clinicians with premium locum assignments across the country. For healthcare professionals who embrace the travel aspect of locums work, we're happy to offer an exclusive series of locum tenens travel tips.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or nervous newbie, flying can lead to unexpected challenges and inconveniences. And while no one can completely control the factors that can lead to flight changes and delays — weather- and traffic-related troubles, for instance — it’s also true that preparedness lies at the heart of stress-free travel. With that in mind, we offer seven essential factors to mastering the flight seat assignment process.
7 Things to Know about Flight Seat Assignments
1. There’s No Such Thing as a Sure Thing. Perhaps the primary force guiding the laws of flight seat assignments is this: The unexpected is always possible (if not always likely). No matter what steps you’ve taken to reserve a flight seat assignment, the airline always reserves the right to make last-minute changes. It’s best to accept this as a Law of Flying and try to roll with any changes that get sent your way (which aren’t common, by any means).
2. The Waiting Game. Your fight seat assignment won’t always be ready when you are. If you don’t have a seat assignment upon check-in, don’t panic — it doesn’t mean you’re getting bumped from your flight. Many seats are reserved for families, un-accompanied minors, elite mileage plan members or for a variety of other reasons. Many times, these seats are not released until you arrive at the gate.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Messages! If the flight number, time or aircraft type of your flight changes at any point, your flight seat assignment may change, too. Your airline will send you the details of any changes via email or text, so don’t be afraid to provide your contact info during the booking process, as well.
4. Even We Can’t See the Future. Staff Care travel specialists are amazingly talented and dedicated individuals — but even they can’t see the future. We also don’t receive special insights into every airline process. In other words, there is no way your travel specialist can tell who will be sitting beside you! We can only tell you if a seat is occupied.
5. Don’t Sweat Seat Separation: Traveling with children and worried about getting seats together? Don’t! The airline doesn’t want to make someone else sit with your children—nobody benefits from that scenario. Show them patience and kindness, and airport personnel will do everything in their power to make sure you’re all in the same row.
6. Get Comfortable with Economy. Many airlines now offer a new flight class, economy comfort seating, to offer a choice between economy class and budget-busting first-class options. These seats offer extra legroom, priority boarding and many other perks; you’ll most likely need to pay for the upgrade, but if comfort is a priority it may be well worth it. Inquire at your airline of preference for more details.
7. Aisle or window? Still looking for more insight into how to choose the flight seat that’s best for you? Check out SeatGuru.com, an online resource offering flight seat maps, community-based reviews of airline seating, and a unique, interactive airline seat-quality indicator that’s color-coded and a cinch to use. They’ve also got details about check-in procedures, in-flight amenities and traveling with infants and pets, as well as a variety of other “guru”-level flight tips.
More Locum Travel Tips
At Staff Care, we encourage our professionals to get the most out of their assignments and embrace the adventure of locum tenens travelers. If you have other tips for choosing a travel rewards credit card, we’d love to hear them! Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ and join the conversation!
Do you have any questions about your next locum tenens flight? As always, a friendly Staff Care representative is standing by to help! You can contact your recruiter or dedicated travel specialist directly, contact us via this form or call (800) 685-2272.
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