Air Travel Tips

Airport and airlines travel tips, from TripSmarter.Com.
As we are all aware, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, security at U.S. airports has been increased. There are new rules and procedures in place that air travelers should take into consideration:

- Confirm the status of your flight. Your carrier's web site or telephone helpline has this information, as do several other sources - including online flight-status checkers and travel agents.

- Arrive at least two hours before scheduled departure times for domestic flights, and at least three hours for international flights.

- Most airlines and airports have resumed curb-side check in. There are additional requirements at some airports, so check with your travel agent or carrier before arrival... and be prepared to show ID and travel tickets.

- You may find some airport amenities curtailed or closed. This applies also to first-class lounges and VIP rooms.

- In-flight meal service will be discontinued on some domestic and international flights beginning November 1. Check with your carrier for details.

- Access beyond security checkpoints is being limited to passengers with electronic or paper tickets. If you are using an e-ticket, you will need to have your boarding pass or a computer printout of your ticket confirmation and itinerary to proceed past checkpoints.

- In addition to your boarding pass, you will need proper photo identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or military- or government-issued identification to enter secured areas.

- Limit carry-on luggage to one bag and one personal item (laptop, purse, briefcase, etc.). Actual restrictions and limitations vary by airline and destination. Hand inspections of carry-on baggage will be more likely, as will increased inspection of electronic devices.

- Knives and other edged-items are not allowed in carry-on baggage or past security checkpoints. This includes pocketknives, ice picks, corkscrews, box cutters, screwdrivers, etc. Be aware that similar items are considered suspicious, such as knitting needles.

- Needles or syringes must have a doctor's note to be allowed on the plane.

- Unattended luggage will very likely be searched, and possibly destroyed. DON'T LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE UNATTENDED.

- Picking-up and dropping-off travelers will become more time-consuming, so plan accordingly. Also expect greater attention from airport security.

- Unaccompanied minors are forbidden on flights with a change of aircraft, and those that make stops. Most carriers allow minors on non-stop flights. Check your carrier or travel agent for details.