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Risk Mitigation Episode 6: Airline Travel

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Hosts: Stacy Mandock, LSDS Collegiate Travel Program Lead / Research and Development Lead

Laura Laperle, Corporate Travel Program Lead / Risk Mitigation Program Lead

Stacy Mandock provides support to the LSDS Risk Mitigation team as a program lead for collegiate and assists in doing the initial research for travel destinations and identifying potential concerns and/or risks before and during travel. Her specialty is working with collegiate travelers and ensuring that they’re thoroughly prepared before travel as well as tracking potential risks or threats throughout their trips.

Laura Laperle is the Risk Mitigation Research Analyst who works with LSDS to ensure traveler’s safety abroad through open source data mining techniques. Laura believes this work is essential for an organization’s peace of mind, especially in this ever-changing world, while its employee’s are traveling internationally.

On this Topic: The air travel industry is seeing high stress conditions and an overworked, short-staffed workforce affecting traveler experience. This podcast provides best practices and tips to help mitigate unnecessary travel challenges.

Key take-aways for Air Travel Tips from the Inside:

  • If at all possible, drive to your destination.

  • Avoid comparison booking sites and book directly through the airline, when possible. Those who do not book directly through the airline are most likely to get bumped.

  • Download the airline app for up-to-date flight statuses.

  • Follow the departure and arrival airports social media pages like Twitter.

  • Book a day earlier for time sensitive events like weddings, graduations, funerals, international connections to allow for the high possibility of delays, cancellations, connection issues and other challenges.

  • Always book the earliest flight in the morning as they are least likely to be canceled.

  • Go fo the long layovers-

    • 3 hour minimum optimal.

    • 1 hour layover is pushing it.

    • 30 minutes not advised.

  • If at all possible, choose airports with low delay and cancellation rates. Sites like FlightStats and FlightAware will provide that guidance.


  • Take into consideration the season that you are traveling and the challenges it may present. For example, during thunderstorm season, one storm can completely shut down an airport and/or divert planes. Storms build throughout the day and affect later day travel.

  • Along with weather, delays include uncooperative passengers, short staffed crew, regulated work hours, and other variables.

  • Consider getting insurance if your trip is a is a high investment (wedding, international travel, etc.)

  • Being drunk on a plane is a federal offense- don’t be that person.

  • If traveling in a group, and you have booked using third party site, do not expect the flight crew to rearrange the plane so your entire family can sit together.

  • Pack like a pro. If you’re bringing a bag that’s supposed to fit in the overhead storage don’t be the person with the maxed out bag that you can’t lift overhead let alone smash-adjust into said overhead storage along with everyone else’s - on the overbooked plane.

  • Basic pre-travel checklist:

  • Shower

  • Brush your teeth

  • No aggressive perfume or cologne

  • Don’t eat anything that gum can’t fix (tuna, caesar salad, garlic, onions, etc)

  • Pack headphones

  • A good book (or 2)

  • Wear/bring layers. The entire plane temperature can’t be adjusted to each traveler’s personal comfort levels.

  • Wear your shoes to the bathroom! That is not water on the floor and even if it was that is still gross!

  • Don’t tell the flight crew they look tired. Of course they are and pretty sure they’re aware of it. Give them your best manners and support instead.


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