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FAQ

Q-How can I get the best air fare?

Q-What factors should I take into account when choosing flights?

Q-Is there anything I should keep in mind when packing?

Many airlines limit their liability for loss or damage of these items on domestic trips. Try to carry them on your person or in a carry-on bag

If you wish to lock your bags, see www.tsa.gov for information on locks that security personnel can open and re-lock. If you use an unapproved lock and your bag is selected for inspection, security staff will break the lock if necessary.

Most airlines provide free "privacy tags" which conceal this information from passersby. Put the same information inside each bag, and add an address and telephone number where you can be reached during your trip.

Q-My child is flying alone. What preparations should I make?

Q-I want to take my pet with me on my trip. What does that entail?

Most airlines offer "unaccompanied minor" service. Depending on your child's age, this service may be mandatory

Most airlines will not carry pets as checked baggage during the summer and winter although you might be able to ship your pet as air freight at those times. Airlines also embargo animals on very hot and cold days, so always have a backup plan for your pet. Many airlines will not transport snub-nosed and pug- nosed dogs and cats.

The kennel for a carry-on pet must fit under the seat, and your airline will probably require that the animal remain in the kennel during the flight and in the airport. Your pet might count as one of your allowed pieces of baggage, and there may be an additional fee for the pet as well.

You may have to supply a health certificate from a veterinarian, and certain destinations may require a quarantine period upon arrival.

At the Airport

Q-Where and when do I need to check in at the airport?

You can find the check-in deadlines for your flights on the airline's website and perhaps on your e-ticket confirmation.

The most common such deadline is 30 minutes before scheduled departure for domestic flights and one hour for international flights.

Q-What should I know about clearing security?

Size and weight of allowable carry-on bags can vary by airline. This information must be included in your confirmation/itinerary.

Those substances must be in containers that are no more than 3.4 oz. in volume (100 ml), with all such containers in one clear quart-size plastic bag, and one such bag per passenger.

Q-What if my flight is delayed?

Airlines are required to regularly update the public on the status of delays of 30 minutes or more. But keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult for airlines to estimate the total duration of a delay during its early stages. Weather that had been forecast to improve can instead deteriorate, or a mechanical problem can turn out to be more complex than initially evaluated.

It is sometimes easier to make such arrangements by phone than at the airline counter. Check to see whether you have to pay a penalty or higher fare for changing your reservations. Changing flights and airlines becomes more difficult and time consuming if you have checked bags

There are no Federal requirements regarding these amenities or services. If you are delayed, ask the airline staff if they will pay for meals or phone calls. Some airlines may not offer amenities if bad weather or something else beyond the airline's control causes the delay.

Q-What are my options if my flight is cancelled?

If this will involve a significant delay find out if another carrier has seats and ask the first airline to endorse your ticket to that carrier, but be aware that there are no Federal requirements for the airline to do so. Finding extra seats may be difficult, however, especially over holidays and other peak travel times.

Q-What are my rights if my flight is oversold?

Such restrictions can include administrative fees, advance-ticketing requirements, capacity restrictions, blackout dates, or other provisions.

The airline is free to offer travel vouchers as an option to passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding, but material restrictions must be disclosed in the manner described above.

During the flight

Q-What is the "tarmac delay rule"?

This rule applies to departures and arrivals, and to U.S. and foreign airlines that operate at least one aircraft with 30 or more seats.

Q-What should I be alert to at my connecting airport?

At your destination

Q-When I collect my checked bag, is there anything I should be alert to?

Many bags look alike; don't claim your bag solely on appearance.

Insist that the airline create a report record and give you its number even if they say the bag will be in on the next flight. Get the agent's name and an appropriate telephone number for following up. This number is different from the reservations number.

Report any damage to contents or pilferage immediately by telephone. Make a note of the date and time of the call, and the name and telephone number of the person you spoke with. Follow up immediately with a certified letter or return-receipt email.

Q-What if my bag doesn't show up?

Airlines don't automatically pay the full amount of every claim they receive. Like insurance companies, airlines consider the depreciated value of your possessions, not their original price or the replacement costs.

After your trip

Q-If something went wrong, how can I file a complaint?

U.S. and foreign airlines are required to make available the mailing address and email or web address where complaints can be registered with the airline. This information must appear on the airline's website, on all e-ticket confirmations, and, upon request, at each of the airline's ticket counters and boarding gates. Airlines are required to substantively respond to written consumer complaints within 60 days.

Size and weight of allowable carry-on bags can vary by airline. This information must be included in your confirmation/itinerary.

Those substances must be in containers that are no more than 3.4 oz. in volume (100 ml), with all such containers in one clear quart-size plastic bag, and one such bag per passenger.

Q-What if my flight is delayed?

Airlines are required to regularly update the public on the status of delays of 30 minutes or more. But keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult for airlines to estimate the total duration of a delay during its early stages. Weather that had been forecast to improve can instead deteriorate, or a mechanical problem can turn out to be more complex than initially evaluated

It is sometimes easier to make such arrangements by phone than at the airline counter. Check to see whether you have to pay a penalty or higher fare for changing your reservations. Changing flights and airlines becomes more difficult and time consuming if you have checked bags.

There are no Federal requirements regarding these amenities or services. If you are delayed, ask the airline staff if they will pay for meals or phone calls. Some airlines may not offer amenities if bad weather or something else beyond the airline's control causes the delay.