AIRPORT

airport

  • Always carry your phone charger in the airport and make sure to keep your phone charged.
  • Be mindful of gate changes as they happen often. Check the flight boards; don’t just keep referring back to the gate listed on your boarding pass.
  • Be aware of check in times with or without baggage.
  • Here is the website for prohibited items for the security line: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items
  • Most airlines have a 15 minute rule, meaning if you are not at the gate and boarding 15 minutes before flight departure time, the airlines can/will drop/give away your seat to another passenger. It is important to be prompt at the gate.
  • Leave enough time to get from the domestic terminals to the international terminal. In many cases, they are separate buildings. Some airlines provide shuttles to the international terminal to their alliance partners. British Airways in Chicago will provide bus service from gate (Terminal 3) K19 to the international terminal. Also in Chicago, Qatar Airlines provides bus service from G17 (terminal 3) to their flight on at the International terminal as well.
  • If your flight is canceled, most airlines have automated systems to rebook you and sometimes this means on the next flight but sometimes it does not. If you are not happy with the automated flight booking, see an agent at the airport or contact your travel arranger.
  • If your flight is canceled and it is due to weather, the airlines will accommodate you on the next available flight but they are not obligated to provide free food or a free hotel. Most airlines will offer discounted hotel rates. If your flight is caused by a mechanical issue, then airlines will provide hotels if necessary and food vouchers if necessary as well. Most airlines have what they call a “condition of carriage” that relates to this very issue. See below as examples:
  • If your flight has been canceled, the airlines will accommodate you on the next available flight. That may be hours from your original flight. They can put you on a standby list for earlier flights, but they have to book you on a flight prior to putting you on standby list.
  • Only the airport can you put you on a standby list. Calling the reservation center will not help. It is an airport function.
  • Airlines do not provide vouchers for rental cars or trains. Some airlines do provide bus service vouchers but it depends on the particular city and agreements that are in place.
  • If you fail to take one of the flights in your itinerary, the rest of your itinerary will be canceled. For example, you are traveling Milwaukee-Chicago-LAX-Chicago-Milwaukee and you decide to drive to Chicago instead of flying with your carrier. If you did not notify the airline, they will cancel out the rest of your itinerary when you don’t show up for the Milwaukee-Chicago flight. It is an automated response within the airline’s computer system. If you change your flight itinerary, you must notify the airline!
  • Most airlines will provide a higher boarding priority if you check in online instead of at the airport. This is important given just about all airlines charge for bags and most passengers prefer to carry on their bags. Higher boarding priority increases the probability you will not have to check your bag at the gate.
  • In general, it is common for the lowest boarding priority to go to those who see an agent at the airport to check in, so even if you forget to check in online, choose a kiosk rather than seeing a live person if possible.
  • The FAA commonly audits the airlines on all of their procedures, so when the flight attendants, agents, and managers are being insistent on the rules it is because they will be fined if they do not and then written up by their supervisors.
  • Airlines have to be particular about the necessary documents to travel. Make sure your passport is in good condition. Of course, have your ID and visa if necessary for your trip. The airline will get fined for allowing a passenger to travel without the proper documents and the traveler will be sent back to their original departure city at the airline’s expense.