Are you the type of person who usually just goes to the airport, check in, and then let the airline take care of the rest? What if things go wrong, and at times they really do. Thanks to the post at upgradetravelbetter.com, here are 5 ways to stay on top when going to the airport:

1.Get alerts on the status of your flight particularly from FlightStats.com.

2.Know your alternatives by having a list of alternate flights to your destination, which you can downloaded or print from any airline’s website. This is useful when you try for a rebooking or want to go standby.

3.Keep a downloaded copy of the airline’s contract of carriage on the hard drive or phone. The contract includes rules such as compensation for being bumped and the infamous “Rule 240″ that lives on in some contracts, governing the transferability of your itinerary to another airline in case of delay.

4.Pre-program airline phone numbers into your cell phone.

5.Check in online, and check in early.