Fear of Flying Help

Airplane Travel Tips from Fear of Flying

These airplane travel tips from Fear of Flying will help you plan ahead for your journey,
cover any health issues you may have, give you some tips for checking in,
provide some good in flight advice and also give you great advice
for when you arrive at your destination.

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Click the titles above for your areas of most concern.


Planning Ahead

Good planning is essential to overcoming travel fears. Many in-flight medical emergencies can be attributed to the stress that builds up at the airport, before the traveller gets on the plane.

Know where you are going:

  • Think about your day of flying before it happens.

  • Pre-book seats and order any special meals you might require, including any children's meals.

  • If you have any disabilities, contact the airline in advance of your trip to discuss special requirements, such as wheelchairs or assistance on and off the plane.

  • If you have never travelled to your airport before, allow plenty of time to get there. If you are unfamiliar with the airport layout, or are a first time traveller, try a practice run prior to your day of travel.

Allow plenty of Time:

  • Arrive in plenty of time for your flight and always allow for delays when you travel.

  • Carry a book in your hand luggage and have letters to write while you wait.

  • If you feel anxious, take a portable CD or cassette with calming music to listen to while you are waiting.

  • Never find yourself stranded at the airport with nothing to do, and try to avoid the bar while you wait!

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Health Issues

Understand the health risks at the root of the fear of flying, experienced by many. As with all things in life, knowledge is the great vanquisher of fear and by learning more about the reality of the health risks you encounter when flying, you help to diminish your fear.

The popular press is full of stories, mostly overstated, about certain health risks. These are just a few of the health concerns expressed by aviophobics:

Click the links above to learn more about
any of the concerns you may have.

For those susceptible to motion sickness:
  • Request a seat over the wings

  • Schedule flights on larger airplanes

  • Request a window seat

  • Avoid alcohol for the 24 hours prior to flight

  • Reserve a seat by the wing

Other ways to be healthy would be:
  • Rest well before the flight

  • Eat lightly before and during the flight

  • Consider using caffeinated beverages strategically during the day to mask fatigue but avoid use within 4-6 hours of bedtime

  • Consult your physician if you have underlying illness such as coronary artery disease, cancer, or blood clotting disorder

  • Sort out any required vaccinations and discuss malaria prevention well in advance of your trip

  • If you are at risk of DVT, discuss prevention with your doctor or nurse (Click here for further help with avoiding DVT)

  • Delay your trip if you are not well.

  • Be sure your immunizations are current.

  • Carry any necessary medication with you.

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Safety & Security

Skills of Pilots

The airline pilots are your trusted guides through the skies. They are the people you rely upon to get you from where you are to where you want to go. Before an airline pilot can operate a commercial airline he or she has to go through stringent tests to prove that he or she is able to take the plane up safely, fly it through the air safely, and bring it back to Earth safely.

In the instance of a crash or problem with the flight, most people would blame the airline pilot. While the airline pilot is in charge of getting you from point A to point B, a crash usually occurs because of a chain reaction.

There are many steps that take place before an airline pilot will find it difficult to keep the plane flying.

Firstly, it is the duty of any airline pilot to keep the airplane flying and to make it land safely. That means that the reasonable pilot will do everything in his power to keep the airplane flying and to keep you safe. Pilots know that they're responsible for the safety of many lives and they work hard to make sure keep you safe.

Secondly, most pilots undergo training that allows them to simulate different types of situations when flying. This could be from dangerous weather patterns to problems that would occur on an airplane. Therefore, many pilots know how to react to different situations.

Thirdly, pilots are given specific "rules of engagement". They are told what to do if certain situations occur and they are trained to respond appropriately. With today's technological advances training of pilots is becoming more effective and more efficient. This can be seen in less and less crashes that happen every year.

The best thing you can do for yourself and for your passengers is to trust your airline pilot. Having a hidden emotion of mistrust will only make you have a negative attitude and you won't enjoy your flight. Your brain will go wild with even the least amount of turbulence.

If, however, you happen to not trust the airline pilot. Well, then, take another flight. It will only be good for you and for everybody else on the flight. But remember, flying is safer today than any other time in history. And a lot of that credit should go to the airline pilots.


Statistics play a very important part of piece -of-mind and advice for fear of flying. Statistically passengers are safer in an aircraft than they are in a car, but that does not prevent those who are frightened of flying from experiencing intense anxiety, nervousness and even panic attacks that cause palpitations, dizziness, nausea, hyperventilation and, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness, just at the thought of taking a flight.

Take at look at these statistics... For some, it may help a little!

Odds of being on an airline flight which results
in at least one fatality
Odds of being killed on a single airline flight
Top 25 airlines
with the best records
1 in 4.25 million
Top 25 airlines
with the best records
1 in 6.3 million 
Bottom 25 airlines
with the worst records
1 in 386,000
Bottom 25 airlines
with the worst records
1 in 543,000

Video Presentations on Airline Security

Click here for more information about airline safety...


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Air Travel Complaints

Big rise in Air Travel Complaints

Cancellations and delays prompted most complaints. Complaints made by air travellers soared last year, an official passenger watchdog group has said. The Air Transport Users' Council (AUC) said the number of written complaints it received nearly trebled to 6,000.

The majority of the complaints were about cancellations and delays, while gripes about mislaid baggage also rose. The AUC added that it had expected a rise in complaints after air passengers were granted new rights to compensation by the European Union.

Nevertheless, Tina Tietjen, the AUC's chairman, said that airlines clearly needed to raise their game. "The main message coming out of our complaints work appears to be that company policy is still not consistently applied at ground level. There remain too many occasions when those suffering delays and cancellations are often not getting their full entitlements," Ms Tietjen added.

The number of complaints received by telephone had also increased from 3,514 in 2004/05 to 3,755 in 2005/06.

New rights

In February 2005, passengers were granted new rights to claim compensation if their flights were delayed or cancelled, or if they as individuals were moved on to a later flight.

The EU rules, which apply to all scheduled and charter flights, including budget airlines, set compensation according to length of the flight and the delay. The EU decided to increase passenger compensation in a bid to deter airlines from deliberately overbooking flights. Overbooking can often lead to "bumping" - when a passenger is moved to a later flight.

In addition, if a flight is cancelled or delayed for more than two hours through the fault of the airline, all passengers must be compensated.

If you have a complaint, please refer to the list below and contact your relavant department or association:

Association of Independent Tour Operators - Details of independent tour operators in the UK

Search facility for checking out the licence of holiday operators in the UK

Air Transport Users Council
Consumer council for anyone who has an airline complaint. Watchdog that can advise on your rights

Ask Rumpole
Quick, cheap answers by solicitors to legal questions

Conde Nast Traveller
Details of top hotels, "word of mouth", slide shows and travellers' tales

Court Service
For customers who have not reached a solution with their travel company, they can take their complaint to their local small-claims court (less than 5,000 pounds) - needs to be done within 28 days of returning from holiday

Desk Top Lawyer
Four standard legal letters can be purchased concerning lost luggage, compensation claims, unrealised travel expectations and flight delays

Financial Ombudsman Service
Free service which advises about unresolved financial complaints, such as travel insurance

Holiday Travel Watch
Independent organisation that advises on behalf of holidaymakers who have had difficult holidays

Irwin Mitchell
Law firm specialising in holiday and travel litigation

Law for All
American site which provides international regulations and advice on hotel, car rental and airline passenger rights

Trading Standards Institute
Consumer protection - also deals with car rental, flight-only and hotel-only complaints

Travel Trust Association
Covers smaller independent companies

US State Department
International judicial systems around the world

Association of British Travel Agents - Lists most of the travel agencies in the UK and where to register a complaint


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Organization & Functions

Take Off and Landing

It's rather easy to understand why someone would be afraid of taking off and landing. It is during take off and landing that you feel the most forces from an airplane. Taking off can make your tummy rumble, and you may feel like you're being dragged faster than you would like to. This is necessary for the plane to take off though.

You may also fear landing because you just don't think the plane will touch the runway at just the right time. Or you may think the airplane will tilt or land at a slant position and end up rolling over into a fiery ball.

That would be frightening. But the reality is that you are 10,000,000 to 1 chances of ever dying in an airplane. That means if you were to fly everyday of the year, it would take 26,000 years before it would be your time to die. That's a very long time.

Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Control is the work done by various personnel to make sure that airplanes arrive and leave safely. Air traffic control prevents airplanes from coming too close to each other either horizontally or vertically. As more and more people begin to afford to board planes, air traffic increases.

Air traffic control is a big and busy job at some of the busiest airports in the world. Most airports can take up about 30 airplanes per hour. Air traffic control officials are responsible for communicating with the pilots on the airplanes and letting them know whether or not it is safe to land.

Serious problems rarely occur with air traffic control. Although there have been crashes, collisions, and deaths, the biggest problem with air traffic control is being delayed. It's easier to get delayed especially during busy seasons such as the summer. There's really no particular reason you shouldn't have confidence in air traffic control unless your time is very tight and you have to be where you have to be at that particular time. Even then, not all flights are delayed.

Problems with air traffic control will often involve the weather. There's little to do if your airplane can't land at a particular airport due to bad weather. Air traffic control just have to tell the pilot to either wait and come back later or go land at another airport.

Other problems that have occurred with air traffic control involve miscommunication between air traffic control and the pilot, and the pilot and the airplane's onboard computer which has a Traffic Collision Avoidance System.

Most airplanes have onboard computer which can tell the pilot that it is fine to land and the airplane would start descending. If, however, there happens to be a problem which the airplane's onboard computer has not detected, the pilot has to know about it through air traffic control and disregard the computer's suggestions.

Crashes and collisions due to poor air traffic control are rare. The biggest thing you have to worry about today is being delayed. But you can always counter that by preparing well and leaving enough time before you get to your destination. You might want to arrive at your destination a day or two before so that even if you get delayed, you'll still be on time.

Noises During Flight Explained - Click here...

How Weather Conditions Effect Flights - Click here...


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Rules & Guidelines

Security & Rules

Click on the links below to learn more about each subject:

Video Presentations on Airline Security:

Passenger Guidelines

Click on the links below to read more on each subject:

Pregnant Women | Children | Animals & Pets


Pregnant Women

Most airlines are happy to carry pregnant women up to 27 or 28 weeks. After that, when the risk of going into labour increases, you may require a letter from the doctor stating you are fit to travel and confirming your estimated due date. Each airline has its own set of rules, so it's important you tell the booking agent when you call that you are pregnant and check that you may still fly. If you are booking online, check the airline's website. Most mention pregnancy. Try looking in the FAQs or planning your trip sections, carrier's regulations, or customer support.

Scheduled airlines tend to let women fly to around 34 weeks. Other Common Scheduled Airline Flights are as follows:

  • British Airways is particularly generous. It allows anyone with an uncomplicated single pregnancy to travel up to 36 weeks, and anyone carrying twins (or more) up to 32 weeks. After 28 weeks all pregnant women need a doctor's letter.

  • Virgin Atlantic allows pregnant women to travel up to 34 weeks, although they must have a doctor's letter from 28 weeks. Women with multiple pregnancies need to call special assistance well in advance of travel.

  • Monarch which supplies charter flights for many tour operators in the UK, allows women to travel up to 34 weeks, although they must have a doctor's letter from 28 weeks.

  • Ryanair and EasyJet both allow expectant mothers to travel up to 36 weeks with a doctor's letter from 28 weeks.

When you go on a package holiday, a charter flight is usually included in the price. It's not always obvious which airline is being used so you need to discuss your pregnancy with the holiday company so it can advise you about the airline and its regulations.

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Unaccompanied Children

Most airlines allow unaccompanied children to fly, though usually with several restrictions. Programs vary widely from airline to airline, and no two airlines will have the same polices.

In the U.S., there are no clear regulatory guidelines with respect unaccompanied children, so it is important that you take the time to understand the specific policies of the airline.

This brief overview will discuss the typical restrictions of these programs as well as a number of issues that you may want to address before allowing a child to travel unaccompanied.

While a child traveling alone is considered an unaccompanied child by the airlines, a group of children would be considered unaccompanied if there is not at least one adult (in the U.S., someone at least 18 years of age) traveling with them.

Age Limits

Most airlines have a minimum age for unaccompanied children, typically five, and a maximum age, typically 12.

Children younger than the minimum age have to travel with an adult. Children older than the maximum limit may be allowed to travel under the airline's unaccompanied child programs, but it is not mandatory.

You may be asked to provide some kind of proof of the child's age, so be prepared to bring appropriate documentation to the airport.

Other Restrictions and Requirements

For unaccompanied children, airlines may impose additional restrictions and requirements.

While the number and type of restrictions vary by airline, typical requirements and restrictions may include the following:

  • allowing unaccompanied children only on nonstop flights

  • allowing older children on flights requiring a change of aircraft or a change of flight number

  • not allowing unaccompanied children on the last flight of the day for that destination

  • not allowing unaccompanied children on flights that involve a second carrier

  • requiring earlier check in, typically 60 to 90 minutes before departure

  • charging adult fares for unaccompanied children

Exceptions to Age Limits

Some airlines allow children older than the maximum age to travel under their unaccompanied minor programs upon request.

Even these exceptions have maximum age rules, and older teenagers would not be allow to travel under the unaccompanied minor programs of most airlines.

Additional Costs

The typical unaccompanied minor program has fees or other costs associated with the service.

That fee may be higher if there is a connecting flight or there may be a discount if more than one unaccompanied child is traveling.

Identification Requirements

For domestic travel in the U.S., passengers under the age of 18 are not required to have identification.

However, the adults who are responsible for the child at the departure airport and arrival airport are required to have identification.

While the airlines typically do not specify the identification required for the adult who drops off or picks up the child, the same kinds of photo identification that an adult uses for airline travel should be sufficient.

While not required, it is probably a good idea for older teens to have a valid photo identification, especially if the child is old enough to not be required to travel under the airline's unaccompanied child program.

AirSafe.com recommends the use of an identification that would be acceptable for dometsic travel and that does not contain the child's home address.

A U.S. passport is especially attractive because it does not include any address information within the passport. The same is also true for passports from many other countries.

State issued photo identification cards are typically issued by the same organizations that provide drivers licenses and they are also an acceptable form of identification. If you use a state issued identification card, it may be wise to use an address other than a home address in order to safeguard your child's privacy.

Escorting the Child to and from the Aircraft

Whenever possible, you should escort your child through security and preferably all the way to their seat in the aircraft.

For some airlines, you may be required to escort the child the the gate. Also, the person picking up the child should be waiting at the gate at the arrival airport.

You will likely need to go to the check in counter and obtain an escort pass or similar document from the airline in order to enter the gate area.

If you are not allowed to escort the child into the secure area of the airport, make sure that an appropriate airline representative is personally escorting the child.

Supervision by Airline Employees

The level of supervision that the airline has for unaccompanied children will vary by airline.

It is very unlikely that the airline will designate one or more adults to be at a child's side either at the airport or in the aircraft.

While in flight, the child will likely be supervised by the flight attendants. Make sure that a flight attendant, preferably the chief flight attendant, is aware of the unaccompanied child. Also, make sure that the child understands that if there are any problems during the flight, that the flight attendant should be contacted.

If the child has to take a connecting flight, make sure that the child knows that they have to be escorted to the next flight by an airline representative.

If the child has to wait for a connecting flight at an airport, they will likely not have an airline representative at their side.

They are more likely to be only within eyesight of the gate agent. Make sure that your child understands the need to stay within site of the responsible airline employee.

Diversions or Delays

Once the flight departs, the aircraft may have to make an unscheduled landing, either returning to the departure airport or going to an alternate airport. Also, a connecting flight could be delayed or cancelled.

Typically the airline will contact the persons responsible for picking up or dropping off the child and make alternate flight arrangements.

This could include arranging alternative transportation back to the original airport, arranging a later flight to the original destination, or arranging a flight to an alternative where a responsible adult can pick up the child.

Depending on the airline's policies, if the flight is delayed overnight, the airline may place the child in a hotel room under the supervision of an airline representative, in a hotel room alone, or in a hotel room with another unaccompanied child.

The airline may also have a policy where it takes no responsibility for overnight accommodations for an unaccompanied child and will turn the child over to the local authorities for the night.

It is important that you have a clear understanding of the airline's policies. At the airport, ask an airline representative for a printed copy of the airline's policies on unaccompanied children. Also, print a copy of any policies that you may find on the airline's web site.

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Animals & Pets

Airlines tend to have strict rules when it comes to pets travelling on aircraft. In addition, you need certain travel documents in order to import an animal into another country.

Rules for Dogs & Cats

The rules for taking a dog or a cat on an aircraft vary per airline.

There are three possible ways for these pets to travel:

  1. In the cabin
    Strict rules apply in relation to pets travelling in the cabin - in those cases where this is allowed (among other things pertaining to the size of the pet and the compulsory use of a kennel).

  2. In the hold (without you actually being there to accompany the animal)
    A lot of airlines do not allow pets to travel in the cabin and only transport pets in a kennel in the cargo hold. The cargo hold in which pets are transported is always heated and kept under normal pressure.

  3. On a separate flight

If you are going to be travelling with several pets, then please make sure you contact the airline well in advance.

The airline can then inform you about the exact rules that apply and the costs involved in (pet) transport.

It will also give you the opportunity to state that you wish to take a pet with you on your flight.

Compulsory Travel Documents

If you wish to take a pet abroad then you will need to have a number of compulsory travel documents.

The regulations relating to the import of animals vary from country to country but in general you will need at least two documents for your pet:

  1. A valid health certificate signed by an authorised veterinary surgeon. Some countries stipulate that this certificate should not be more than 2 days old, other countries stipulate a term of 8 days.

  2. A rabies certificate signed by a local inspector of the veterinary service or another official. The animal should have been vaccinated against rabies at least 28 days prior to departure. In some countries the vaccination is no longer valid if it is more than 1 year old.

For more information about the import regulations that apply to your pet, please contact the embassy of the country to which you are travelling.

Practical Tips

  • Always see to matters such as vaccinations and travel documents will in advance.

  • Bear in mind that some countries impose strict quarantine regulations on every animal that enters the country.

  • Attach a label with the animal's name and feeding instructions to the side of the kennel.

  • Allow your pet to get used to the kennel before the flight. Five days is generally enough for an animal to get used to a kennel.

  • Do not give your animal anything to drink at least 4 hours prior to departure.

  • Animals may suffer from airsickness. For this reason you should stop feeding your pet at least 12 hours prior to departure.

  • We strongly recommend that you do not sedate your pet for the journey, as it will take longer for the animal to adjust to its new surroundings and could result in the animal becoming undercooled.

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Click here for more detailed information
on airline rules for cats...

Click here for more detailed information
on airline rules for dogs...


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Phobia Solutions

The Rewind Technique

The rewind technique can be used when fear of flying is more than an unsettling feeling; when it has become a full blown phobia.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Sit comfortably and relax.

  2. Focus on your breathing and relax.

  3. Think, very briefly and only fleetingly about your phobia.

  4. Observe your physiology. What is your pulse rate? Is your breathing shallow or deep?

  5. Don't stay in the memory of the trauma - just visit it briefly and notice the effect it has on your body.

  6. Stand up and move. Stretch, shake your hands and feet and breathe.

  7. Now, sit comfortably, relax and recall a time when you felt very safe and secure.

  8. Take your time and recall the feelings of safety and security.

  9. When you are in that memory take hold of your right thumb with your left hand and squeeze.

  10. Once again, stand up and shake out your body.

  11. Sit, get comfortable and go back to that happy, safe and secure place.

  12. Practice generating those feelings of safety and security and when you are in that place once again, squeeze your right thumb in your left hand.

  13. Now, imagine yourself in a cinema. You have complete control over the film that will be showing. You may choose to watch in black and white or colour; you may want to view in full, wide screen mode or restrict the image to a small, blurred view in the middle of the screen. You have complete control using the rewind technique.

  14. Begin to play the film of the trauma that lead to your fear of flying. You may not be sure which film this is, and that's just fine, select the film of the part of your life that seems most appropriate.

  15. Start the film at a point before the trauma, when you were safe. View yourself on the screen, safe and well.

  16. Now, fast forward the film to a point after the traumatic event to a point in time when you were once again safe and well.

  17. Play with this rewind technique, try it in different colours and sizes. If you feel any discomfort whilst watching, remove yourself from the front of the cinema screen and simply watch yourself watching film.

  18. In the here and now, watch yourself in the there and then. Keep flicking the film backwards and forwards in fast forward mode until you can do this without experiencing any of the physical symptoms you associate with your phobia - breathlessness, palpitations, nausea.

  19. Stand up, walk around, go to your safe secure place, squeeze your right thumb with your left hand when you are there.

  20. Go back to the cinema and watch the film of the traumatic event once again. Remember that you are in control. Play with the film, always starting and ending at a point at which you were safe and well. Watch it in fast forward, fast rewind; watch it frame by frame using the pause button. Keep playing with it until you notice that you can watch without being traumatised all over again.

  21. Stand up and move around. Think about your place of safety and security. Go back into that memory using the thumb squeeze to anchor yourself there.

You may need to practice this technique more than once if you have more than one traumatic memory.

The aim is to reach a point where the recall causes you no more physical symptoms.

Know that you can overcome this fear of flying if you so choose!

For other phobia advice click here...


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Departures & Arrivals


Items to Avoid

Avoid putting the following in checked baggage:

  • Valuables (cash, jewelry). Don't rely on suitcase locks; they are easily defeated.

  • Critical items (medicine, keys, passport, tour vouchers, business papers).

  • Irreplaceable items (manuscript, heirlooms).

  • Fragile items (camera, eyeglasses, glass containers). If these must be checked, wrap them carefully in padding.

  • Perishables.

Carry the above items either on your person, or in a small bag that you carry on board.


Don't check in at the last minute. Even if you make the flight, your bag may not.

Make sure that you get a claim check for every bag that you check. Don't throw them away until your bags are returned. Not only will you need them if a claim is necessary, but you may need to show them to security upon leaving the baggage-claim area. Don't leave them in the seat-pocket on the airplane.

Verify that the agent checking your bags attaches a destination tag to each one. (Remove tags from previous trips to avoid confusion.) Check to see that these tags show the correct three-letter code for your destination airport.

Know where your bags are checked to. They may be checked only to one of your intermediate stops rather than your final destination if:

  • you must clear Customs short of your final destination

  • or you are taking a connecting flight involving two airlines which don't have an interline agreement (e.g., Southwest Airlines does not transfer bags to other carriers).

If you have a choice, select flights which minimize the potential for baggage disruption. The likelihood of a bag going astray increases as the following numbers get higher:

  • nonstop flights

  • through flights (one or more stops, but no change of aircraft)

  • online connections (change of aircraft but not airlines)

  • interline connections (change of aircraft and airlines)

Buy "excess valuation" from the airline if your property is worth more than the airline's liability limit. This limit is usually $3,000 per passenger for domestic flights ($2,800 for flights before February 28, 2007), or 1,000 "Special Drawing Rights" per passenger on most international trips originating in the U.S. See www.imf.org for the value of the SDR.

Your chances of recovery can be improved depending on where and how you bought your airline ticket. Some credit card companies and travel agencies offer optional baggage insurance; some others provide it automatically.

Even if a bag is not lost, it may be delayed for a day or two. It is wise to put items that you will need during the first 24 hours in a carry-on bag (toiletries, one change of underwear).

Don't overpack checked bags. This puts pressure on the latches, making it easier for them to spring open.

Your checked bags may need to be opened for a security inspection out of your presence. If you wish to lock your bags, see www.tsa.gov for information on locks that security personnel can open and then re-lock. If you use an unapproved lock and your bag is selected for inspection, the security staff will break the lock if necessary.

Put a tag on the outside of your baggage with your name, home address, and home and work phone numbers. The airlines provide free stick-on tags. Most carriers also have "privacy tags" which conceal this information from passersby.

Put the same information inside each bag, and add an address and telephone number where you can be reached at your destination city.

Carry-on Baggage Advice:

  • Check with the airline for any limits it has on the size, weight, or number of carry-on bags. (There is no single federal standard.)

  • Inquire about your flight; different airplanes can have different limits.

  • If you are using more than one airline for a trip, check on all of them.

  • A heavy bag which fits in an overhead bin may still cause the bin to exceed its weight limit.

  • Don't assume that the flight has unlimited closet space for garment bags; some may have to be checked.

  • Don't pack anything in a carry-on bag that could be considered a weapon (e.g., scissors, knife).

Other Points to Remember:

  1. Baggage Care and Attention - When you claim your bag at the airport, check it over before you leave the bag claim area. Look for any new damage on the bag, and to be sure that it was not opened and something taken (airlines have time limits for when these can be reported, and they will need to see the damage before opening the claim for damage or pilferage).
  2. The baggage service desk for the airline is normally right in the claim area; this is also true for Customs arrivals. It is especially important to fill out the misplaced baggage information before leaving Customs, as Customs will have special forms that may help the baggage clear without your presence at the airport.
  3. Baggage Screening Can Ruin Film - Newer baggage screening may ruin film, so carry it with you in your pocket and lay it in the basket when you deposit your keys to go through the screener.


  1. Eat lightly.

  2. Drink water and fruit juices.

  3. Wear loose comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes that have been worn previously.

  4. Avoiding ear problems by sucking sweets. This will lessen the effect of getting the pressure into your ear while the plane is taking off.

  5. Limit the intake of of alcohol, tea, coffee, and caffeinated drinks because they cause you to lose fluids.

  6. Don't place anything under the seat in front of you so you can stretch and exercise your legs.

  7. Wear spectacles instead of contact lenses.

  8. Apply a skin moisturizer to help combat humidity.

  9. Stand and walk about the cabin periodically. (Every 60 to 90 minutes)

  10. Once departed, reset watches and other activities to the destination time.


  1. Schedule outdoor activities on the first few days at the new destination.
  2. After arrival, adjust to destination time as soon as possible.
  3. Limit naps to a single nap of 30-40 minutes or less. Go to bed and awaken at the appropriate time for the new time zone.
  4. Discuss with your physician if sleep medication could be beneficial.
  5. For travelers who SCUBA dive, it is advisable to wait 24 hours after the last dive before taking to the skies so as to minimize the risk of developing decompression illness, such as the bends.

Tips on Avoiding Baggage Problems

  • Relatively few bags are damaged or lost. However, your chances of encountering this experience can be reduced even further if you follow the advice set out below:

  • Claiming Your Bags - If your bag arrives open, unlocked or visibly damaged, check immediately to see if any of the contents are missing or damaged.

  • Report any problems to your airline before leaving the airport. Insist that the airline fill out a form and give you a copy, even if they say the bag will be in on the next flight. Get the agent's name and an appropriate telephone number for following up (not Reservations). It's not unusual for the airline to take your claim checks when you report the problem; simply make sure this is noted on all copies of the report.

  • Before leaving the airport, ask the airline if they will deliver the bag without charge when it is found. Also ask about an advance or reimbursement for any items you must buy while your bag is missing.

  • Open your suitcase immediately when you get to where you are staying. Report any damage to contents or pilferage immediately by telephone. Make a note of the date and time of the call, and the name and telephone number of the person you spoke with. Follow up immediately with a certified letter.


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