First-time Flyer Tips

Dealing with Delays, Cancellations and other "Joys of Travel"

Missed or cancelled connections If you arrive to your connecting city late, or your connecting flight was canceled outright, here is what you can or should do. First, its a good idea to have your travel agent or airline’s 800 number with you. If you have that, you can call them and find out what your options are, usually they can rebook you on another flight that day. This might save you a long line at the boarding gate counter, waiting in the queue to have your ticket re-booked on another flight. Otherwise, as soon as you learned that your connecting flight was missed or cancelled, you should seek out the airline’s customer service counter, or the gate agent at the gate where your departure was scheduled for.

Connecting Flights

Once you land at your connecting city airport, you will disembark, taking all of your belongings with you. Just because you are traveling on a direct flight, you may still need to change planes, gates and possibly terminals even though your connecting flight may show the same flight number as your flight from your origin had. Check the departure monitors when you de-plane to check on the status of your connecting flight.

Arriving at your Destination.

Finding your bags. Once you have disembarked from your plane, follow the signs to Baggage Claim. Once you arrive there, check the monitors to find the carousel that corresponds to your flight number. Be prepared to surrender your luggage tags to any security personnel (to check that you haven’t walked off with somebody’s Luis Vuitton bag). In most cases, nobody checks anyway.

Lost Luggage

You’ve made it through all of this, only to be left as the last person standing at the baggage claim carousel. Horrible! Well, as you’ve probably figured out, you’ve been a victim of lost luggage. Don’t panic. Look for the airline baggage office, usually located right there at baggage claim, and be prepared to fill out the paperwork. Usually they will tell you when you can expect your bag to arrive, and will provide transportation for your bag to your home or hotel.

Who operates the airports?

(in case you really wanted to know)? Why are all these airports so different? Well the answer lies in the fact that in most cases each airport is operated by a different government city, state, or municipality. Hence the difference in all their attributes. Their funding sources are not centralized (meaning the federal government does not run the airports). So if you live in an area serviced by a few airports (lucky you), chances are good that each is vying for your business, and there is a fair degree of competition between them, as all of their revenues from concessions, parking, and fees goes into the local coffers.