Flight delays, country restrictions, baggage limitations and security alerts are constantly changing. For example, starting in 2006, the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags became a standard for all air travelers. Plus, with the growing popularity of mobile devices, video recorders, laptops and cameras, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration set regulations on the lithium batteries you can keep in carry-ons. Often, new air travel regulations arise unexpectedly, and if you're not prepared, they can start your vacation on a bad note. By being an educated traveler, you can eliminate any bad surprises that may occur between airline check-in and arriving at your destination.
Things You'll Need
- Web browser
- Internet connection
- Cell phone
Read up on your protected rights as an airline passenger on the Department of Transportation website as soon as you book your flight. Click on the "Citizen Services" section and select the "Aviation" link to find the information.
Read the latest news on baggage rules and passenger security measures by visiting the U.S. TSA and FAA home pages. Prepare by reviewing current information on the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids, security warnings, National Weather Service alerts, prohibited items and security wait times.
Check updated flight arrival and departure times by visiting your airline's home page or by calling the customer service hotline two or three days before you leave.
Familiarize yourself with your airline's restrictions on baggage size and weight, which are posted on their website, so you can avoid extra costs upon check-in.
Sign up for free cell phone alerts through your airline's website, so you can receive up-to-the-minute flight information up until you board the plane for your trip.
Tips & Warnings
- As you prepare to pack for your upcoming trip, be sure to bring something (such as a book, magazine or crossword puzzle) to occupy yourself if you get an email or text alert on flight delays.
- Please keep in mind that various circumstances can warrant unanticipated changes in airport security, for which you may not be prepared. For example, an elevated threat level in homeland security may cause a longer wait time at the security checkpoint. You can prepare by leaving for the airport an extra hour early as a precaution.
- Photo Credit airplane image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com Girl in airport image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com Perfume bottle image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com arriving flights image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com valise image by Ploum1 from Fotolia.com New message on 3d rendered cell phone image by Franc Podgor...¡ek from Fotolia.com
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