Air Tour Hints


A series of helpful tips and records to help you protect yourself at the same time as visiting.

  • Disability Training Materials and Helpful Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Other Consumer Tips
  • Air Travel Consumer Report
  • Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement
  • Other Information

Top Questions

  • How can I get the first-class air fare?
  • Is there anything I ought to hold in thoughts while packing?
  • What if my flight is behind schedule?
  • If something went wrong, how can I document a complaint?

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional facts on those topics, click “Other Consumer Tips” above.

Before the flight

  • How can I get the best air fare?
  • What elements should I recall while choosing flights?
  • What kinds of charges ought to I emerge as paying in addition to my fare?
  • I need to cancel a reservation that I just made.  Can I get money back?
  • Is there anything I have to hold in thoughts when packing?
  • My toddler is flying on my own.  What preparations ought to I make?
  • I want to take my puppy with me in this ride. What does that entail?

At the airport

  • Where and whilst do I need to check in at the airport?
  • What need to I know about clearing security?
  • What if my flight is behind schedule?
  • What are my alternatives if my flight is canceled?
  • What are my rights if my flight is oversold?

During the flight

  • What is the “tarmac delay rule”?
  • What should I be alert to at my connecting airport?

At your vacation spot

  • Is there whatever I must be alert to once I gather my checked bag?
  • What if my bag doesn’t display up?

After your trip

  • If something went incorrect, how can I document a criticism?

Before the flightHow can I get the first-rate air fare?

  • Be flexible for your travel plans.

The fine deals may be to be had only on certain days of the week or precise hours of the day.  The lowest fares are frequently blacked out during vacation periods, but you is probably capable of get a discount fare in case you fly on the vacation itself.

  • Plan as some distance ahead as you may.

Most airlines set apart only a confined quantity of seats on many ideal flights on the lower prices.

  • Compare fares of different airways.

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What elements must I don’t forget whilst selecting flights?

  • A connection (change of planes) is occasionally less expensive than a nonstop, but it includes the risk of a misconnection if your first flight is not on time.  If you have a connection, make certain your itinerary lets in sufficient connecting time.  Flights early inside the day are much less prone to delays.
  • If you have a preference of nearby airports, your fare ought to depend upon which airport you operate.

Also, if the city wherein you live or the town in which you’re going is an airline “hub,” fares can be higher than for flights to or from different close by towns because of reduced competition.  You may store cash with the aid of leaving from some other nearby town.

What kinds of expenses ought to I emerge as paying in addition to my fare?

  • Most airlines now fee for checked baggage.
  • Some airways rate a price for ticketing depending on whether or not you purchase your price ticket at the net, through smartphone, or at the airport.
  • Most airlines price extra for desired seats.

If you need an strengthen seat task subsequent for your traveling accomplice or family and the best to be had adjacent seats encompass a favored seat, you may should pay a price.

  • Many airways provide early boarding for a charge.
  • Except on longer global flights, you will generally pay for any in-flight meals or snacks, if provided, as well as for any to be had net carrier, video amusement and audio headsets.

I want to cancel a reservation that I simply made.  Can I get a refund?

  • Most air fares require price when you make the reservation, and maximum bargain fares are non-refundable.
  • DOT requires airlines to both preserve a reservation for twenty-four hours without charge or refund a paid price ticket — even a non-refundable one — if you cancel inside 24 hours of purchase and you purchased your price tag more than 7 days earlier than your flight.

Airlines are unfastened to pick out among preserving a reservation with out payment in those occasions or refunding after payment; they don’t ought to provide each options.

Is there anything I need to maintain in thoughts whilst packing?

  • Avoid putting the following in checked luggage:
    • Valuables (e.g., cash, rings, costly electronics).
    • Critical items (e.g., medication, keys, passport, tour vouchers, commercial enterprise papers).
    • Irreplaceable items (e.g., heirlooms, unique pictures).
    • Fragile objects.  Consider transport them in advance.  If they need to be checked, wrap them carefully in padding.
    • Perishables

Many airlines restrict their legal responsibility for loss or damage of those gadgets on domestic trips.  Try to carry them to your character or in a convey-on bag.

  • Put objects that you will need in the course of the first 24 hours in a carry-on bag.  Although most checked luggage arrive on time, some may be delayed for an afternoon or .
  • When purchasing a suitcase lock, recall that safety inspectors may additionally need to open your checked baggage from your presence.

If you desire to fasten your luggage, see  for statistics on locks that protection employees can open and re-lock.  If you use an unapproved lock and your bag is selected for inspection, safety staff will spoil the lock if essential.

  • Put a tag at the out of doors of your bags together with your call, address, and call numbers.

Most airways provide unfastened “privacy tags” which hide this records from passersby.  Put the equal information inner each bag, and add an deal with and cellphone number where you may be reached throughout your experience.

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My child is flying alone.  What arrangements ought to I make?

  • Contact the airline nicely in advance.
  • Most airlines offer “unaccompanied minor” service.  Depending in your child’s age, this carrier may be obligatory.
  • Children underneath a sure age (generally 5 years old) won’t be allowed to journey on my own.
  • Older kids might be restrained to nonstop or “through” flights relying on their age.
  • Children above a sure age won’t be eligible for unaccompanied-minor service.
  • Airlines commonly charge a considerable fee for unaccompanied-minor provider.
  • Read  When Kids Fly Alone.

I need to take my pet with me on my journey.  What does that entail?

  • Most U.S. airlines be given pets.

Some airlines will let you select among bringing your pet on your flight as checked or bring-on baggage or shipping it as air shipment.

  • Check along with your airline to study restrictions on sporting pets.

Most airlines will no longer convey pets as checked bags at some point of the summer and iciness even though you might be capable of deliver your puppy as air freight at those instances.  Airlines also embargo animals on very hot and bloodless days, so always have a backup plan in your puppy.  Many airways will no longer shipping snub-nosed and pug-nosed dogs and cats.

  • You will want to supply an approved kennel.

The kennel for a convey-on puppy have to match below the seat, and your airline will possibly require that the animal continue to be within the kennel all through the flight and in the airport.  Your puppy might rely as considered one of your allowed portions of bags, and there may be an additional price for the puppy as properly.

  • Check with your airline to study all necessities for pets.

You may additionally should deliver a fitness certificates from a veterinarian, and sure destinations may additionally require a quarantine length upon arrival.

  • For extra statistics, see Traveling with Animals.

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At the airportWhere and whilst do I need to check in on the airport?

  • Check-in time limits can vary through airline and airport.

You can find the test-in closing dates in your flights on the airline’s website and perhaps for your e-price tag confirmation.

  • In most cases, you should be on the gate no later than 10 to fifteen minutes before scheduled departure time for home flights.  For international flights this cut-off date may be forty five minutes or longer.
  • Allow time to check a bag and bypass through protection.
  • Airlines may additionally impose an earlier deadline for obtaining a boarding bypass and seat project.

The most commonplace such deadline is 30 minutes earlier than scheduled departure for domestic flights and one hour for global flights.

What ought to I realize approximately clearing safety?

  • Allow greater time than you watched you’ll need to clean protection.
  • Passengers who appear like they are 18 or over have to bring a central authority-issued photograph ID.
  • Cabin bags is commonly constrained to 1 deliver-on bag plus one personal object (briefcase, handbag, and so on.).

Size and weight of allowable carry-on luggage can vary by means of airline.  This facts need to be protected in your affirmation/itinerary.

  • Don’t convey sharp gadgets on your person or to your convey-on bag.
  • TSA has a “3-1-1” rule for beverages, aerosols and gels in convey-on bags.

Those substances need to be in bins that are no more than three.four ounces. in quantity (one hundred ml), with all such boxes in a single clean quart-size plastic bag, and one such bag in keeping with passenger.

  • For information see TSA’s Traveler Information site.

What if my flight is behind schedule?

  • Try to find out the projected length of the put off so you can evaluate your options.

Airlines are required to frequently update the public on the status of delays of half-hour or extra.  But keep in mind that it is occasionally hard for airlines to estimate the entire duration of a delay at some stage in its early levels.  Weather that were forecast to enhance can as an alternative become worse, or a mechanical trouble can come to be more complicated than initially evaluated.

  • If the hassle is with local climate, all flights will possibly be past due and there is not a lot you or the airline can do to hurry up your departure.
  • If there’s a mechanical trouble with the aircraft to your unique flight, or if the team is not on time on an incoming flight, you is probably better off looking to arrange every other flight.

It is now and again less complicated to make such preparations by telephone than at the airline counter. Check to see whether or not you have to pay a penalty or better fare for changing your reservations.  Changing flights and airways turns into extra tough and time eating when you have checked luggage.

  • If you discover a flight on some other airline, ask the first airline to “advise” your price ticket to the new service, that could prevent a fare growth.  However, there is no rule requiring an airline to try this.
  • Each airline has its personal guidelines about what it will do for not on time passengers ready within the airport terminal.

There are no Federal requirements regarding those amenities or offerings.  If you are behind schedule, ask the airline personnel if they’ll pay for meals or telephone calls.  Some airlines won’t offer amenities if awful climate or some thing else beyond the airline’s manage reasons the put off.

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What are my options if my flight is canceled?

  • If your flight is canceled, maximum airlines will rebook you on their next flight for your vacation spot on which space is to be had, at no extra rate.

If this could contain a giant delay find out if every other provider has seats and ask the first airline to advise your ticket to that provider, however be aware that there are no Federal requirements for the airline to accomplish that.  Finding more seats may be difficult, but, specifically over vacations and other peak tour instances.

  • If your flight is canceled or diverted or reviews a lengthy delay and you select to cancel your ride as a result, you are entitled to money back for the unused transportation — even for non-refundable tickets — and for any bag price which you paid.

What are my rights if my flight is oversold?

  • If the airline gives journey vouchers to volunteers who’re inclined to give up their seat, each volunteer have to be instructed about any cloth restrictions on the use of the vouchers earlier than the potential volunteer gives up his or her seat.

Such restrictions can encompass administrative charges, develop-ticketing requirements, capacity regulations, blackout dates, or different provisions.

  • If you are involuntarily denied boarding in an oversale situation, the airline need to come up with an in depth written notice explaining your rights, and you are typically entitled to considerable reimbursement inside the form of a test.

The airline is free to provide travel vouchers as an option to passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding, but material restrictions ought to be disclosed in the way defined above.

  • For similarly records, see the “Overbooking” chapter of Fly Rights.

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During the flightWhat is the “tarmac delay rule”?

  • DOT rules state that at a U.S. airport, an airline might not keep passengers aboard an plane for greater than 3 hours (4 hours for international flights) with out an opportunity to deplane.

This rule applies to departures and arrivals, and to U.S. and overseas airlines that function as a minimum one aircraft with 30 or more seats.

  • Food and water ought to be supplied at the 2-hour factor throughout this sort of put off.
  • Airlines need to offer operational bathrooms, and hospital treatment if wanted.
  • Certain exceptions for safety, security and air traffic manage may additionally observe.

What ought to I be alert to at my connecting airport?

  • When you deplane from your first flight, check the screen or agenda board at the connecting airport to ensure the gate mission on your next flight hasn’t changed.
  • Get to your gate before the gate-arrival closing date.  Even when you have a boarding skip and seat venture, overdue arrival at your gate opens the opportunity of dropping your seat.

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At your destinationWhen I accumulate my checked bag, is there some thing I must be alert to?

  • Check your bag tag range or call tag.

Many luggage appearance alike; don’t declare your bag entirely on appearance.

  • If your bag arrives open, unlocked or visibly damaged, take a look at immediately to peer if any of the contents are lacking or damaged.
  • Report any issues on your airline before leaving the airport.

Insist that the airline create a report record and give you its quantity even if they say the bag may be in on the subsequent flight.  Get the agent’s name and the best smartphone number for following up. This number isn’t like the reservations quantity.

  • Open your suitcase right away while you get to wherein you are staying and test for broken items and evidence of pilferage.

Report any damage to contents or pilferage straight away by cellphone.  Make a note of the date and time of the call, and the call and smartphone variety of the man or woman you spoke with.  Follow up straight away with a certified letter or go back-receipt e mail.

What if my bag doesn’t show up?

  • The airline will take a record as described above and could begin tracing the bag.  The large majority of behind schedule bags flip up inside a few days, frequently on the following flight.
  • You are entitled to reasonable reimbursement for expenses you incur even as looking ahead to the not on time bag, such as the purchase of toiletries and a exchange of undies.
  • At a certain point (as early as a week or two) the airline will declare a bag misplaced and will offer declare bureaucracy in order to fill out and go back.

Airlines don’t routinely pay the whole amount of each declare they obtain.  Like insurance companies, airlines recollect the depreciated cost of your possessions, no longer their original price or the substitute costs.

  • If you’re tempted to magnify your declare, do not.  Airlines might also absolutely deny claims they could display are inflated or fraudulent.
  • Generally, it takes an airline anywhere from four weeks to 3 months to pay passengers for his or her misplaced luggage.
  • When airways gentle a settlement, they may provide you the choice of free tickets on destiny flights in a better quantity than the coins price.  Ask approximately all restrictions on those tickets, which includes “blackout” periods.

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After your tripIf some thing went wrong, how can I file a grievance?

  • Your first step is contacting the airline.

U.S. and overseas airways are required to make to be had the mailing address and e mail or web deal with wherein lawsuits can be registered with the airline.  This records must seem on the airline’s website, on all e-price tag confirmations, and, upon request, at each of the airline’s price tag counters and boarding gates.  Airlines are required to substantively reply to written patron complaints within 60 days.

  • If you are not satisfied with an airline’s response you may file a complaint with DOT.

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 Other Consumer Tips

  • Fly Rights   A comprehensive collection of data for air vacationers.
  • Plane Talk   Fact sheets and hyperlinks on topics like flight delays, luggage and extra.
  • Tell it to the Judge   Taking an airline to small claims court docket.
  • When Kids Fly Alone   ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ on airline flights.
  • New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability
  • Air Travelers With Developmental Disabilities
  • Airline Consumer Contacts
  • Common Terms in Air Travel
  • Traveling With a Musical Instrument
  • Passport Validity Period for Travel to Europe

Air Travel Consumer Report

Statistics on flight delays, purchaser complaints and other matters at Air Travel Consumer Report

Most Viewed Reports

  • Air Travel Consumer Report issued April 2018
  • Air Travel Consumer Report issued March 2018
  • Air Travel Consumer Report issued February 2018
  • 2018 Air Travel Consumer Reports
  • 2017 Air Travel Consumer Reports
  • 2016 Air Travel Consumer Reports
  • Air Travel Consumer Report Archive

Other Information

  • Airlines Policies at the Serving of Nuts
  • Suggested Guidelines for Accessible Lavatories in Twin-Aisle Aircraft
  • Air Travelers With Disabilities: Technical Assistance Manual for Airline Employees, Contractors, and Travelers
  • Annual Report on Disability-Related Air Travel Complaints

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