Make It a Smooth Travel Experience This Summer With These Tips From American Airlines
In the good ol' summertime ... airports get very busy and planes get very full. But at American Airlines and American Eagle, our employees have everything in place to get you to your destination safely and efficiently this summer, wherever in the world you're traveling.
You can help make your trip go as smoothly as possible by considering these items and tips from American, a founding member of the global oneworld® Alliance.
As You Pack ...
-- Pack light and save money. For tickets purchased on or after May 12, 2008, but before June 15, 2008, domestic Economy Class customers can check one bag for free; a second checked bag is $25. For tickets purchased on or after June 15, the first checked bag is $15. Some exceptions apply. (For tickets purchased before May 12, each ticketed customer is allowed two pieces of checked baggage free of charge). See http://www.aa.com/baggageinfo for baggage-related information. Free checked items may weigh no more than 50 pounds each and must measure no more than 62 inches (measured length + width + height).
-- Customers may carry onboard one bag that fits in the overhead bin or under the seat, plus one personal item. Personal items include things such as purses, briefcases or laptops.
-- Remember "3-1-1." The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you may carry on board. Each customer traveling domestically is limited to items that are each three ounces or less, all of which must fit into one, quart-size, clear zip-top bag. For more information, including limitations on international travel, visit http://www.aa.com/liquids. The TSA's Web site, http://www.tsa.gov/, is also a good source of information.
-- Hold on to your valuables. Be sure to put all jewelry, documents, prescription medicine, car keys and other valuables in a carry-on bag that will fit under the seat in front of you. That way, if overhead bin space happens to be full, you won't have to check your bag with valuables at the gate.
-- Place your name, flight number and phone contact inside your luggage, too. Include your name, flight number, itinerary and phone contact inside each checked bag in case the bag tag becomes detached in transit. It will help in returning the bag to you more quickly.
-- Think of kids' needs. If you're traveling with small children, prepare their own small backpack filled with crayons, coloring books, inexpensive toys and snacks.
-- Purchase a Child Aviation Restraint System. Consider purchasing a lightweight child-restraint system rather than lugging a bulky car seat around. The system weighs less than one pound, is easily transportable through Security and onto planes, and fits almost all American and American Eagle seats. See http://www.aa.com/children for more information.
Before Leaving for the Airport ...
-- Bring proper documentation. Traveling domestically? You'll need a government-issued photo ID. Passengers over the age of 18 are required to show a federal or state-issued photo ID at TSA checkpoints that has your name, date of birth, and gender, as well as an expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature. See http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm for examples of TSA acceptable IDs. If you're traveling internationally, don't forget your passport, as well as other important documents such as visas, tourist cards and the like. Make copies and carry an extra set with you (or electronically scan them and e-mail a copy to yourself); let others back home have a copy, too.
-- Consider trip insurance. American offers travel insurance at a reasonable cost through AA.com. You'll receive a refund for the prepaid, nonrefundable portion of your travel costs if your trip gets cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason. See http://www.aa.com/tripinsurance for details, or call (800) 628-5404.
-- Check in beforehand at AA.com. At http://www.aa.com/checkin you can check in up to 24 hours prior to flight, select or change seats, and print out your boarding pass -- all of which can reduce time and stress at the airport. Checking a bag? When you arrive at the airport, simply scan the bar code on your boarding pass at a self-service machine to check your luggage.
-- Sign up for Flight Status Notification. By signing up at http://www.aa.com/notify, you'll receive flight arrival/departure times, as well as gate and baggage information -- all via e-mail, phone, pager or PDA. Or, alternatively, get gate and flight information ahead of time at http://www.aa.com/gates.
At the Airport ...
-- Beat the crowds and arrive early. Allow extra time for traffic, parking and transportation to the terminal. Travelers should plan to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights and two to three hours prior to departure for international flights. Some cities have even earlier suggested check-in times because of lengthy TSA security checkpoint lines. See http://www.aa.com/airportexpectations for cities where earlier check-in is recommended.
-- Note your parking spot. Eliminate walking in circles upon your return. Instead of trying to remember your parking location or writing it down on a scrap of paper, take a picture of your location sign with a camera phone or digital camera.
-- Use Self-Service Check-in machines. If you haven't already checked in beforehand at AA.com, try one of American's quick and easy Self-Service Check-in machines. American has 975 machines in service at 150 airports around the world, offering English, Spanish, French and Japanese-language options. They're a great time-saver and can be used for both domestic and international flights. (The machines read passport information). You can print a boarding pass, check luggage, select or change seats, confirm flight changes and purchase upgrades or One-Day passes to the Admirals Club® lounge.
-- Try Curbside Check-in. Another great time saver. Check your bag with a skycap at the curb, and then it's a straight shot to the Security line and your gate.
-- Buy beverages after clearing Security. TSA guidelines prevent bringing standard-size beverage bottles through Security, so buy your beverages in the terminal once you clear the checkpoint. Or, American and American Eagle offer complimentary non-alcoholic beverages onboard, and juice and milk are available for children.
-- Move through security quickly by being prepared. Have your boarding pass and valid government-issued ID or passport available for security, and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Take your laptop, portable DVD player or large electronic items out of their cases, and put cell phones and pagers in purses or other carry-on bags before getting in the security line.
-- Be at the gate at least 30 minutes before departure. American and American Eagle typically begin boarding aircraft about 30 minutes before flight time for domestic flights (45 minutes for international flights) in order to help ensure an on-time departure.
-- In the event of inclement weather and flight disruptions, your itinerary will be automatically rescheduled. Passengers should log on to AA.com, check with agents at the gate or ticket counter, or call American Reservations to obtain flight reaccommodation information or for additional help in arranging a flight. At some larger airports, a special reaccommodation desk may be activated for additional assistance. Additionally, in American's inflight magazine, American Way, there is a page offering tips for assistance when flights are delayed or canceled.
-- Keep children safe and protected. Give your child a passcode that only you and he/she know so your child can't be tricked by another adult in case you get separated or lost. Make sure your children know the full names of their parents and how to contact them. Keep items with children's names on them out of sight.
Onboard the Plane ...
-- Bring along some entertainment. A portable video player, audio player, or reading material can make the time fly while you fly. And don't forget your headphones. As a courtesy to fellow travelers, it's always a good idea to use them if you have electronic equipment.
-- Stay hydrated. Experts recommend drinking plenty of water during your flight.
-- Prevent ear discomfort in small children. Air pressure changes in the cabin during descent may cause discomfort in small children. Be prepared by having a bottle, pacifier or chewing gum with you. Frequent swallowing allows air to flow freely out of and into the ear and sinus cavities, preventing discomfort.
-- Let your flight attendant help. American and American Eagle have more than 18,000 highly trained, professional flight attendants. If you have a question or special need, be sure to alert them; they're travel experts and are there to help make your travel experience on American and American Eagle an enjoyable one.
Additional Helpful Hints ...
-- Use the mobile version of AA.com when you're on-the-go. American now offers a mobile version of AA.com, which provides customers the ability to log onto AA.com wherever their Web-enabled cell phone or PDA works, without the need for a desktop or laptop computer. Among other things, you can use the mobile version of AA.com to book flights and view reservations, make changes to domestic reservations, check-in for domestic flights, check flight status and schedules, check baggage status, find information on destinations, weather and airports, get information on Admirals Club locations, or contact American Airlines.
-- Check out the TSA packing tips. The TSA has a convenient Web site of packing tips for both carry-on and checked baggage. (For instance, place ID labels on your laptop computer, too. Refrain from locking your checked baggage, but if you do, use only a TSA accepted and recognized lock.) See http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/claims/pack.shtm.
For still more valuable travel information, visit http://www.aa.com/traveltips.
About American Airlines
American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® airlines, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
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