FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Enhanced government mandated security measures are in place at airports worldwide. The new measures require travelers to be aware of changes in baggage check-in and security screening. They also require extra travel time. Confirm your flight before leaving for the Airport and follow the Airline's recommendation as to arrival time at the passenger terminal. Peak travel periods (6:30am-9am for domestic, and 11am-2pm & 8pm-11pm for both domestic & international flights) require more time for the process of ticketing, baggage check-in and security screening. Check traffic conditions & weather & add in the extra time you may need to get to the Airport.
Where can I wait for arriving passengers inside the Terminal?
Government aviation regulations now prohibit non-ticketed persons beyond passenger security screening at most airports worldwide (and all U.S. & Canadian airports). Please meet your arriving party in the terminal baggage claim area or at terminal curbside. If you are picking up an unaccompanied minor, an elderly person or a person with special needs, contact their Airline & they will try to accommodate you. You can also ask for a gate pass at the airline ticket counter, but there is no guarantee you will be issued one, or that security will allow you to pass.
Can I pick up or drop my passenger at curbside?
Yes. The curbside drop off is permitted, however there is absolutely no waiting in front of the terminal; for passenger pick-up many airports have a free cell phone waiting lot or you can use the short-term parking lot.
PARKING & GROUND TRANSPORTATION
After you select an airport on iFly.com, select the Airport Parking option in the main menu. There you will find all available parking choices--from valet parking to off-site parking, fees (the most current fee structure is most likely posted at the entrance of the parking facility), payment methods and specific details. It will also provide you with information on which parking facility accepts reservations and the contact & reservation procedure. In general, airports do not accept reservations. Some Airport Parking Garages have automatic guides directing you to an available space.
I am a Disabled Person - where can I park and what is the Fee?
Disabled Parking is provided by all airports, usually clearly marked, in either specific parking facilities or in each parking facility and are available to those who either have the appropriate license plate or their disabled placard on the vehicle dashboard. As to special fees: Usually airports offer parking at a certain facility at a reduced price. Free disabled parking is rare.
What transportation is available to/from the city, to/from the outlying areas?
iFly lists the following modes of transportation available at the airport: Buses & Trains, Taxis & Limos, Shuttles & Vans, Shuttles within the Airport, Hotel Shuttles, and Rental Cars. For more details, click on Transportation on this site & select your choice.
Each category provides you with choices offered either by public or private transportation, their names, telephone numbers, specific services offered, hours of operation, fares--if available, and links. If you decide on taking a taxi, make sure that you take airport-authorized taxis only. For your own safety & pocketbook, do not follow solicitation efforts to get you into a taxi. Larger Airports have a staff guiding you to the next-in-line taxi at the taxi stands in front of the terminal entrance.
I need to transfer to another Airport - what is the fastest way to get there?
Look at Ground Transportation on this site and click on either "Buses & Trains"--large airport connections can also be listed thereunder as "Airport to Airport", or "Shuttles & Vans", or "Taxis & Limos".
Where do I find my Rental Car Agency and How do I get to their Off-site Locations?
Rental Car Agencies have their counters at larger airports either inside the terminal, or at a separate Transportation Terminal, or within a Parking Structure, while some discount agencies may maintain their Offices & rental lots outside the Airport perimeter. Smaller airports may not have on-site Rental Car facilities at all. For all off-airport locations you will have to wait (with your luggage) at the dedicated bus stop until your Rental Car Agency's free shuttle bus comes around and brings you and your luggage to your off-site agency. If the Agency's car lot is on-airport, but not within walking distance, a shuttle bus is likewise provided.
I have never rented a car before, what do I do and where do I return the car to?
Rental Car procedures are very simple. Before you leave, it is a good idea to check (a) your credit card agreement whether you have collision coverage; also look at your car insurance policy's coverage. Take along a copy of your policy, or at least write down the policy number & what is covered. When you get to the counter, show your driver's license and other ID & ask for a directional map. They will ask you if you want collision; answer no, as you pay twice as much. Pay and ask for a map that shows you where you are, and how to get to the main highways. It will also show you where to return your car. Take the papers & your luggage and go to the designated spot where your car is waiting. Examine the car thoroughly. If you see a dent, etc., report it before leaving, as your car will be examined upon your return & any possible damage will be billed to you. Put the rental car papers in the glove compartment, look at your map - and off you go! Don't forget to tank up before you return your car, as they bill gas at twice the rate.
How do I get to the train station, which is located outside the Airport?
Go to Ground Transportation in the top menu and look at either "Buses & Trains", "Shuttles & Vans", or "Taxis & Limos".
What choices do I have to get to the City Center?
The best place to look for is under "Ground Transportation" - click on "Buses & Trains" or "Shuttles & Vans", or "Taxis & Limos". The Buses & Trains section will also guide you to connecting transportation to either the suburbs or farther away.
FACILITIES & SERVICES
Few airports offer it due to security concerns. If luggage storage is available, iFly lists this service under "Guest Services".
Can I have someone paged who is arriving on a Flight?
Find out on which airline flight he/she is arriving and contact the airline requesting a page. Or go to the Information desk and ask them to page your party. Some airports also have a page board for those who are not able to hear the paging. If the airport offers paging, you will find it listed here under "Guest Services".
I am continuing my trip on a connecting flight, does the airport offer shower or exercise facilities?
Such services are listed under "Guest Services" at this site; if you see no listing, the airport most likely does not have them. However many area hotels offer discount rates for their exercise facilities. Inquire at the information desk of the Airport.
Where do I find Maps for Terminal, Parking Facilities, Airport Location & Directions?
You can access all the above via "Maps & Directions" in the top menu.
I have lost an item, how can I find out if it was found?
If you lost the item on the airplane, contact your airline. If you lost the item at the airport, contact the airport. If a piece of luggage is missing, contact your airline. For detailed information, go to "Lost & Found" listed under Airport Details at this site. At some airports you will have to complete their own missing items form, explaining where & when you lost the item. If you have already left the airport, you can submit it online or via regular mail.
Where can I obtain information and assistance navigating the airport?
Smaller airports usually have an Information Desk close to the ticket counters and maybe an additional one at arrivals. Larger US/CAN Airports usually provide various kinds of assistance, starting with the main Information counter close to the terminal entrance & placing smaller information points at strategic locations throughout the terminal. Larger Airports also provide trained roaming volunteers from the community (usually referred to as "Airport Ambassadors" and recognizable by their uniform)--do not hesitate to approach them for help or directions needed. The airport also may have a Travelers Aid station, staffed by volunteers. Each of these services is listed under "Guest Services" at this site.
What is Travelers Aid and what can they do for me?
Travelers Aid is a non-profit organization, dedicated to offer assistance to stranded travelers and travelers in need. It is staffed by volunteers, who are trained to assist travelers in the following ways:
- Directing travelers to points within the Airport and to various community facilities;
- Offering tourist information regarding accommodations and sightseeing attractions;
- Assisting in map reading and in accessing local transportation;
- Offering non-English speakers free access to the AT&T Language Line (interpretation of 130 languages and/or dialects);
- Helping individuals in need to transfer from terminal to terminal.
- Providing professional social service and emergency assistance to stranded travelers, military personnel, and runaways of all ages.
Which Hotels are either close to, or on-Airport, or does the Airport have a Transit Hotel?
On-Airport Hotels & Transit Hotels (the latter usually rents by set hours, offers basic accommodations & is ideal for travelers catching a later flight to their final destination) are listed under "Guest Services" at this site. If the on-airport hotel offers Business & Conference facilities, look under "Business Services" at this site. Either refer to this site's "Hotels" & contact your choice directly, or go to the Tourist or Information counters to make reservations. Another on-line hotel finder is to contact the local Convention & Visitors Bureau website and look for Accommodations.
Is there a shuttle service to hotels?
Most area hotels provide their own courtesy shuttle service for their guests. For those who don't, refer to "Shuttles & Vans" at this site, or "Taxis & Limos".
We need a shoe-shine, a barber, a beauty parlor, and a massage - where do we find those services?
All these services are listed under "Guest Services" in alphabetical order, along with all other services not covered by separate links (i.e., dry cleaning & laundry service, luggage-related services, etc.)
We travel with our children - how can we keep them entertained while waiting for our flight?
Play grounds or play rooms, family rooms, entertainment for bigger children, nursing rooms, as well as airport-related puzzles, airport museums & art exhibits are all listed under Guest Services at this site. Many restaurants at the airports offer children's menus & high chairs (see "Restaurants & Stores" at this site).
FLIGHT & AIRLINE INFORMATION
If the Airport has more than two terminals, it will depend on the terminals you transfer to/from. You must also take into account that during peak hours or high travel seasons the transfer may take longer than usual. Look under Transportation, "Shuttles & Vans" at this site. The inter-terminal shuttle listed will tell you how long it will take and in what intervals they make their rounds, then add to that time the extra time in transit and the time you will spend from the time you enter the terminal until you arrive at the gate. Note that you will have to go through security again. You can also refer to the terminal map.
Where do I get "real-time" flight information?
You come to the right site! Click on Flight Status in the main menu and bingo - you have it.
I want to take my dog with me on the flight. What are the requirements?
Airlines and Airports have separate rules to follow. If you take your pet out of the country, you also need to adhere to additional rules set by the country of your destination. Most airports rule that pets are not allowed at the airport unless they are working dogs or are in a safe kennel. You need to contact your airline as to their requirements, as each airline's rules vary. Many airlines let you keep a small animal with you on the airplane, if it is in a safe kennel, as long as it is either at your feet or on your lap. The kennel will count as one carry-on luggage. Therefore, you would have to check your luggage on entering the terminal. If you do not accompany the animal but ship it, contact your shipping agent as to their requirements. As to taking your animal out of the country, contact your vet as to required shots. Also contact the embassy of the country of your destination as to their rules.
I depend on my guide dog when traveling. What are the rules?
So-called working dogs are allowed at the airport. Many airports also provide relieve stations outside the terminals. If they do so, this site's "Pets" advises you where to find them. As to traveling on the airplane, most airlines permit the working dog to accompany you, but do check with your airline first (as well as notifying them way before departure of any special needs you or your dog may have, so they can make the proper arrangements). You still will have to adhere to the regulations of the country of your destination regarding required shots and documentation if you take your dog out of the country.
Where can I get up-to-date regulations regarding identification papers, security and carry-on items?
You can either find this information on this site under "Airport Security" or by visiting the TSA site at www.tsa.gov/public.
If you are traveling with a loved one with special needs, or have special needs yourself, there are a few extra steps that may need to be taken to ensure that all of the needs are properly met.
For those that are blind or deaf, it is important to contact the airport prior to your flight. Each airline now carries instructions in Braille, for the seeing impaired, and written text, for the hearing impaired, and will be more than happy to assist in any way that you or your loved one may need.
Planes are also equipped to store wheelchairs and power scooters, though in some cases these may be moved to the cargo area. In which case, you will be provided an airport wheelchair and can pick your own up at the gate or baggage claim.
For those who require walkers, crutches, CPAP machines, medications and other aiding devices, priority onboard storage is given. Portable Oxygen Concentrators may require extra preparations, so it is always important to check with the airport prior to your departure time to learn exact procedures, and to allow them to make arrangements to further your comfort if needed.
Yes. In most cases when you take your child to the airport, they will be assigned a security officer to accompany them onto their plane. While on board, the in flight staff will be more than happy to look after your child. Once they land, another security officer will escort them to their meeting party.
All children are required to have photo identification just like all other passengers.
You are asked to open your shade for a few different reasons. Having a clear view outside helps to keep you oriented, and allows the crew an unobstructed view of any problems there may be outside, such as fire, during an evacuation. It also lets in natural light, which not only creates a calmer atmosphere, but can prove to be helpful in the case of a power outage.
They ask that you lift the tray table during liftoff and touchdown to prevent excess injury in case of a sudden deceleration or crash. It also keeps the path to the aisles clear if there is an evacuation.
These are, of course, all just safety precautions. The chance of a crash or evacuation is extremely low, but it is always best to be prepared.
While there is no concrete evidence that cell phones can cause interference with the airplane, airport regulations are still adamant that cell phones and other portable devices be turned off during flight to be safe. However, the most probable reason for this enforcement is that during a rapid deceleration or crash, cell phones and laptops can not only become hazardous debris, but can prove to be a distraction during an evacuation. When flying, it is always best to turn all of your devices off, and enjoy the quiet experience.
The rumor is that the pilots lower the level of oxygen in the cabin to keep passengers calm. This is nothing more than a superstition. Aircrafts do not have separate compartments with different pressure controls, so that means that the pilot and crew are breathing the same air as you.
It is true that there is nothing scarier than hitting turbulence and being tossed about the cabin while flying who knows how many thousands of feet above the ground, but the occurrence is actually extremely normal. In fact, it is rare that turbulence will affect the plane in any way other than disturbing your comfort and giving your nerves a good jolt. When the pilot changes altitude, it isn’t because he or she is afraid for your safety, but only because he or she wants to ease your nerves and provide a smoother ride.
During turbulence you will be asked to remain in your seats and to put your seat belt on. This, however, is for you safety. Besides, if while sitting you feel like you are going to be sea sick during turbulence, imagine the effect it would have on you while standing in the aisle?
If you want to alleviate some of the discomfort that normal turbulence can cause, I would suggest sitting in the middle.
We are getting ready to touchdown, and suddenly the plane begins to climb again. Why?
This is a very common event and can cause a lot of concern to passengers, but it isn’t something that should worry you. In most cases, it is just a traffic control issue or a missed approach, so the pilot maneuvers a "go around" to try again. It is understandable that this can be alarming when you don’t have any idea what is going on in the cockpit, but rest assured that the pilots have been trained welland have your well being in mind.
No amount of frequently asked questions will ease you of all your nervous discomfort when flying, but educating yourself beforehand of frequent flying events will give you some peace of mind. It is understandable that this can be alarming when you don’t have any idea what is going on in the cockpit, but rest assured that the pilots have been trained well and have your well being in mind. Once your feet are solidly on the ground again, you will be surprised how comfortable flying can actually be.
RESTAURANTS & SHOPS AT THE AIRPORT
While smaller airports may only have a few basic eating facilities, and shopping may be limited to a newsstand and/or gift shop, larger airports have a smorgasbord of full-service restaurants, eateries, bars, snack bars, a grocer, and take-out food, as well as a highly diversified array of brand-name and discount stores offering everything you would find in a large department store. This site offers you a listing by category, terminal location, name of establishment, telephone and hours of operation (as far as available). You also find a listing of duty-free shops. However, bear in mind that location and establishments are constantly shifting, as establishments come and go and ongoing airport construction may temporarily relocate some of them.
LAYOVER & MISCELLANEOUS
You have several options, most of which depend on the time you will have available. One option would be to visit one of the airport restaurants and use the remaining time to browse the stores or take advantage of the services for families & individuals. However, if you plan to leave the Airport and return prior to your scheduled connecting flight, count in the traffic factor. The hour of the day when leaving from and returning to the airport is more of a factor than the distance, due to possible traffic congestion. Allow sufficient time to arrive back at the airport, through security check and to your gate.
If you decide to go sightseeing in town, either click on "Layover Ideas" at this site, or stop by and get advice at the Airport's Tourist Information Bureau, or visit the City's site and click on Convention & Visitors Bureau. If you decide to stay overnight or for an extended time, the Airport's Information or Tourist Bureau will be happy to steer you to the right direction. You can also visit the on- or off-airport travel agencies and have them make your arrangements for accommodations and sightseeing, etc.
What is an Airport Code?
Every airport has a unique three-letter identifier to streamline the process of tracking the millions of airport data transmitted daily--from flight plans to weather reports.
Top 40 US Airports
- Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta ATL Airport
- Chicago O'Hare ORD Airport
- Dallas Fort Worth DFW Airport
- Los Angeles LAX Airport
- Las Vegas McCarran LAS Airport
- Denver DEN Airport
- Houston Intercontinental IAH Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor PHX Airport
- Philadelphia PHL Airport
- Charlotte Douglas CLT Airport
- Detroit Metropolitian DTW Airport
- Minneapolis-St Paul MSP Airport
- Newark Liberty EWR Airport
- Washington Dulles IAD Airport
- Boston Logan BOS Airport
- Salt Lake City SLC Airport
- La Guardia LGA Airport
- New York Kennedy JFK Airport
- Memphis MEM Airport
- Miami MIA Airport
- San Francisco SFO Airport
- Orlando MCO Airport
- Cincinnati N Kentucky CVG Airport
- Seattle Tacoma SEA Airport
- Honolulu HNL Airport
- Baltimore Washington BWI Airport
- Ted Stevens Anchorage ANC Airport
- Chicago Midway MDW Airport
- Fort Lauderdale Hollywood FLL Airport
- Lambert St Louis STL Airport
- Washington Reagan National DCA Airport
- Portland PDX Airport
- Tampa TPA Airport
- Cleveland Hopkins CLE Airport
- Raleigh-Durham RDU Airport
- Houston Hobby HOU Airport
- Pittsburgh PIT Airport
- San Diego SAN Airport
- San Antonio SAT Airport
- Nashville BNA Airport