(NC) If you’re planning an escape from one of the harshest winters in recent memory, check out these clever tips that benefit both seasoned travellers and first-time explorers alike.
1. Understand your passenger rights.
The tariff is the contract of carriage between you and your airline. It covers your rights and obligations as a passenger and your airline’s rights and its responsibilities to you.
2. Check in early.
Airlines are offering more and more convenient ways for passengers to check in and obtain boarding passes for their flights, including via the Internet or from mobile devices. When available, check in online up to 24 hours in advance of your flight. Arrive at the airport early to check in, drop off your baggage, and get through the security screening process. Then take a seat, power up your device and take advantage of the airport’s free Wi-Fi to ensure you’re available for boarding at the gate in good time.
3. Know the fare rules for your ticket and who to contact if things go awry.
Note or print the fare rules before purchasing your ticket and carry them with you when you travel. Keep your travel agent’s or airline’s contact information on hand for easy access in an emergency.
4. Call ahead.
From carrying sports equipment and musical instruments, to dietary restrictions, medical conditions and disability-related needs, most airlines require up to 48 hours’ notice to accommodate special requests.
5. Know your baggage allowance.
Each airline sets out its own limits for carry-on and checked baggage, and some charge extra for checked bags. Find out about limits and fees early to avoid surprises at check in.
6. Pack wisely.
Include your contact information and your destination contact information inside and outside each piece of baggage. Always carry essential and valuable items with you on board (your passport, identification and return tickets; medicines and medical devices; money, jewellery and electronic equipment; and essential overnight items.
7. Have all travel documents organized.
It’s your responsibility to have the proper travel documents to enter a foreign country and return to Canada. Consult the diplomatic mission of each country you intend to visit for its entry requirements. Ensure that the name on your I.D. is the same as on your airline ticket.
8. Consider insurance.
Include protection against baggage loss, delay, damage or theft; trip cancellation or interruption; personal injury or death; and sufficient medical coverage.
9. Don’t miss your flight.
When available, pre-select your seat in advance of departure. Confirm your return flight at least 72 hours in advance. Check your flight’s status for departure time changes and cancellations at least 24 hours before departure and before leaving for the airport and provide your airline with your local contact information.
10. Know where to find help.
If you experience a problem while flying, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency. Their job is to help resolve complaints between passengers and airlines. Find more information online at cta.gc.ca/air-travel-complaints.