Read these 13 Air Travel Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Travel tips and hundreds of other topics.
When you check-in at the airport, have a current photo ID and have your airline ticket issued in the name on your ID. If for some reason your name has changed since you purchased your ticket, have documentation of the change (e.g. a marriage certificate). On international flights, be sure the name on your passport matches the name on your ID and ticket.
Except for toiletries and medicines totaling no more than 75 ounces, it is illegal and dangerous to carry on board an airplane or check in your luggage aerosols, corrosives, flammables, explosives, radioactives, compressed gasses, infectious substances, and/or poisonous materials.
Have you ever suffered from the "ice-pick-in-the-forehead" pain during a flight's descent? If you have, you may have wondered whether your flying days are numbered. It can feel as if something inside your sinuses is going to literally explode, and recovery may take hours.
There is a solution. It's free and simple, and it doesn't even make you look too strange. Once you start feeling the pressure in your ears, as the plane descends, pinch your nose tightly shut with your fingers. Now, with your nose tightly clamped, take a deep breath and bear down with your whole body so that all the pressure of the air in your lungs is directed up into your sinuses and ears. You may feel a minor ticking sound inside your ears as your maneuver equalizes the pressure. Continue and repeat as needed until the plane is on the ground.
You will find that this practice is far more directly useful than chewing gum, and it can be taught to children at a fairly young age.
With air travel becoming ever more Spartan, you need to provision yourself ahead of time or you may end up subsisting on nothing but honey-coated almonds and throat-parching pretzels for 12 hours. Given the possibility of delayed or cancelled flights, you don't want to wander an unfamiliar airport trying to locate edible - or affordable - food, especially if it's late at night. Airport restaurants know they have a captive clientele, which is why they can sell $15 sandwiches that taste like they were made during the Reagan administration.
The best strategy to staying well-nourished while flying is to stop in at a health-food store or deli before you go to the airport. All kinds of food bars, fresh fruit, trail mix, and wholesome little snacks are available in small quantities. The main thing you want to avoid is something with an odor: no strong cheese, no pastrami sandwiches.
But when you're aloft, and the person next to you is opening their packet of pretzels, you'll be able to pull out your dried apricots, string cheese, sourdough bread, and fresh plums, and you'll look out the window at the bright world and know you've got it figured out!
Most airlines encourage passengers to check-in for their flight online ahead of time. Normally you can do this anytime during the 24 hours before your scheduled departure time. It's often possible to print your boarding pass on your home printer before you leave for the airport, and through this way, you may be able to bypass the airport ticket counter altogether. Even if you have luggage to check, you may be able to use the confirmation number you received online and check your luggage at a little satellite kiosk, rather than waiting in the main ticket queue.
In the case of international flights, it's absolutely essential to contact the airline the day before you fly. Even if an actual remote check-in isn't possible, it's necessary to make sure the flight schedule hasn't changed since you made your reservation. It's also just a good idea to make sure the airline still has you on their passenger list for the proper flight; the world of air reservations is not yet seamlessly perfect. In some cases, you might have to actually phone the airline, but this will depend on their protocol regarding passport numbers and tickets.