Air Travel Tips

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.

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How can I avoid jet lag?

Minimizing Jet Lag

You can minimize jet lag by scheduling a flight that will arrive at night so you can go to bed as soon as you arrive.

   
How can I get the best price on air fares?

Getting the Best Prices

When checking air fares, get prices from different departure and arrival airports if possible.

   
How can I lessen my chances of getting bumped?

Getting Bumped

Usually, the first passengers to get bumped are those who check in late and those flying on discounted tickets. Be sure to arrive early and check in as soon as you are allowed.

   
How can I prevent jet lag?

Preventing Jet Lag

Jet lag can be prevented or at least minimized by sleeping on long flights and by doing some isometric exercises during the flight.

   
Can I buy a ticket using my nickname?

Things to have at check-in

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.

   
What do the airlines consider as hazardous items in luggage?

Hazardous Items

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.

   
Can I take my folding wheel chair on board the airplane?

Stowing your Wheel Chair

You can request your folding wheelchair be stowed in the coat closet on board most airplanes. The closets only hold one chair so arrive early and make your request.

   
What are some suggestions for traveling with a child in a safety seat?

Children in Safety Seats

If you are traveling with a child in a safety seat, be sure to check the airline's rules for using the safety seat during take-off and landing.

   
What are some precautions to take if my wheelchair is to be stowed?

Stowing Wheel Chairs

If your wheelchair is to be stowed in the baggage compartment, be sure your name and address are attached and that it has a gate delivery tag.

   
What do I do with my toiletries when traveling?

Toiletries for Travel

When going on one- or two-night trips by plane and don't want to check your luggage; use small, closeable craft bags to hold all of your creams and liquids. Fill each bag with one- or two-day supply of hair, face and body cream, etc. and label them.

   
How can I prevent sinus headaches on airplanes?

Avoiding Sinus Headaches During Descent

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.

   
What food should I bring on a plane?

Bringing Food Onboard

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!

   
When should I check in for my flight?

Check In Online 24 Hours Before Your Flight

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.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Kristle Jones