Originally Posted by katt
1. I'm in NC and I would be visiting FL. Does $210 for a roundtrip ticket sound right? Someone told me that the site I was on should have told me if it was one way or round trip, but I can't find it on there. I was using Priceline if that helps.It depends on a lot of factors. Check Southwest.com to see if they fly out of your local airport. They are a low-cost carrier and they also rock. Two free checked bags, no hidden fees, and they fly to a lot of Florida airports. Otherwise, $210 sounds good, but the prices fluctuate during sales and regular fares. Don't be surprised if it jumps up overnight. I have Priceline email me when fares drop.
2. What exactly is a carry on, how big can it be, and what can/can't go in it? What things should I try putting in it that you feel are lifesavers for the flight?I wanna say 14x22x9 is the standard size. It's the little piece of luggage in sets, usually. Some like Airtran and Continental let on bigger ones, but nothing sucks like having to gate check bags if you don't have to because your bag is too big or some other jerk has brought on more bags than they're allowed. On most airlines, you're allowed one carry on bag and a personal item like a purse or backpack. I always go the backpack route and stuff an empty purse in my carry on bag.
Gate Checking: The process of leaving your carry on bag by the plane to be loaded into the cargo hold with the rest of the checked luggage. If you're flying on a smaller plane, like a regional jet, you'll probably have to gate check it.
3. If I want a vegan meal...how do I go about being sure I get one? It seems I'll probably be taking Delta airlines if that helps. It's a short flight (less than 5 hours) so if there even IS a meal and I can't get vegan I'm fine just going without for that amount of time.You won't be getting one. The most you'll get on any domestic coach flight these days is a packet of peanuts or pretzels. Delta served peanuts and Biscoff cookies on my last flight. The cookies may actually be vegan, I don't remember. Pack food if you need a snack.
4. What else do I need to know? I have NO IDEA how this works....
Checked bags are $15 or more. Book your flights at least a month before travel, the prices go up insanely in the days leading up to the flight. Use Seatguru.com to choose the best seat on the plane. If you are flying on Delta, you'll probably connect in Atlanta. If you get a connection, it's best to make it at least an hour and a half because it's a pain to switch terminals, especially if you don't know what's going on. Atlanta has issues with delays, so that gives you wiggle room.
The TSA is a joke, and a pain to deal with but you gotta deal with it. Read EVERYTHING on the TSA website before you pack. Idiot me didn't realize the bundle I had wrapped in a towel to protect it had a bottle of coke in it from my trip and it got me searched. Liquids less than 3oz/100ml go into a one quart baggie. Wear comfortable clothing with no metal in it. It shouldn't go off on little things like zippers and underwires, but if you somehow have to get patted down, it's an awkward experience for everyone when it beeps.
Oh! One more thing. If you can, book through the airline. If the prices are the same on the airline website and on a site like Priceline, book through the airline because if there's a problem, the travel site can blame the airline and the airline can blame the site and it sucks.
To add to what I said (and to respond to this post):
You can ensure a vegan meal by phoning Delta and making it clear when they say "strict vegetarian" (which is their term for a vegetarian who doesn't drink milk, I believe) you make it clear that that's no good by explaining you don't eat anything from an animal, including eggs, and that you want to make sure a VEGAN meal is provided. On the way there, I got a good meal, on the way back, I got screwed over despite phoning again before the return flight, but Delta gave me a voucher as compensation.
I wrote some stuff, but it applies to international flights, however, I've tried to edit it but if something doesn't seem to apply, ignore it. Once you've flown once, you'll probably feel more confident and won't have to follow this advice so much, but I know when I flew I wanted to make sure EVERYTHING was right... ignore missing numbers. oh yeh and if there's some sort of assurance scheme (to make sure that you're alright of the travel agent or flight operator is dodgy or goes bust) in the U.S.A., check the website has the scheme's logo. To check whether it's one-way or return, go as far as you can (and check each page) before the payment page - DON'T submit payment if you aint sure.
PRIOR TO FLIGHT DATE:
2. Take medication? Check what evidence you will need to prove that you need specific medication. You will need to show this proof to the customs people.
3. Write down important numbers and addresses, such as your home number, your address, the phone number and address of the place you are staying at or the person you are staying with, your local police number (none emergency and non-emergency), the local police number for each place you will be in on your way to your destination (emergency and non-emergency), the local police number for your eventual destination (emergency and non-emergency), the local American Embassy/Consulate number and address in those places, travel agent representative number (if you used a travel agent), airline company number, etc. Also have a separate copy of your bank details and a a copy of the I.D. page of your passport (and leave a copy with a friend).
4. Ensure you have plenty of money for food etc., as well as a back-up supply.
5. Ensure you have a ticket (or e-ticket) and an itinerary from either your travel agent or your airline.
6. Ensure that either the itinerary or ticket states the exact flight number (or numbers, if you are to change plaes) that you will be travelling on.
7. Ensure you have everything you need in your luggage. It's best to pack everything that you can in plenty of time before the flight date. Suggestions: clothes, medicines, travel first aid kit (without scissors or needles), proof of need for medication, food and drink for consuming at the airport (airport prices are a rip-off), any liquids
that you will need to take with you (must be no more than 3 U.S. fluid ounces (about 88ml) and must be in a clear plastic reasealable bag such as a sandwich bag if you intend to take them on board the aircraft in your hand luggage rather than check them in with your hold luggage), cash, traveller's checks, bank cards, glasses or/and contact lenses, non-perishable food that you can eat on the flight if the on-board meal isn't good enough, cell phone, cell phone charger, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, books to read. Do not take shower gel or anything like that as it is likely to leak and you can buy it cheaply.
8. Either put your house keys somewhere safe or leave them with someone.
9. Leave important details (such as important numbers and addresses) with family.
10. Ensure you have attached luggage labels to ALL of your bags.
ON FLIGHT DATE BEFORE GETTING TO AIRPORT:
1. Ensure you have everything with you, especially
your passport, money (or/and bank cards), ticket, and itinerary.
2. Make sure you are not wearing baggy clothes - T.S.A. agents are apparently suspicious of people who are wearing baggy clothes.
AT THE AIRPORT ON FLIGHT DATE:
1. Ensure you arrive plenty of hours before your flight time (queues - that's "ques" or "lines" to Americans ;-)) can be massive).
2. Find out where the terminal you will be departing from is. Depending on the size of the airport and the mode of transport offered around the airport, it may take some to get to your terminal.
3. When you've found your terminal, find out where the check-in desk for your airline is.
4. On your ticket or itinerary, check your first flight number. Look on the departure boards. Your flight number will probably not be displayed until later (4 hours before check-in; maybe earlier than that).
5. When your flight number is displayed, it will eventually state the terminal number and when it is expected. You need to check in at least 3 hours before check-in. Ask airline staff how early you can check in. Keep in mind that long queues can form, so check in as early as you can to avoid missing your flight.
6. When you are able to check in, ensure you have everything and take your luggage to the check-in desk for your airline. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE SURE YOU ARE READY TO GO THROUGH TO THE DEPARTURES LOUNGE, AS YOU CAN NOT GO BACK THROUGH LATER. If you are confused, ask a staff member. They will ask how many bags you are checking in, hand over the bag/bags that you will NOT want to keep with you on the flight and they will ask where you are going to (tell them the destination where the last
plane that you will be on will land (e.g. Manchester)) and they will put a barcoded label on the bag(s) and will take them from you. Ask whether the bag(s) will be checked all the way through to your destination. If they will, then you will not need to collect them again until then. If not, you will have to check them in again wherever you change planes. You will also be given a boarding pass (or two or more boarding passes if you are going to change planes). The boarding pass will have your GATE NUMBER (not to be confused with your terminal number) on it. You can not take certain items at all, and for certain other items you need to have a good reason and declare the items. Check the relevant travel website for your government (I don't know what it is for Americans)....