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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Perry

6 Flight Mistakes to Avoid

Boarding a flight is a common beginning to any trip or vacation, and like any form of travel, it comes with its perks as well as its potential pitfalls. Mistakes with flights can be common, especially for those who are flying for the first time. Make sure you avoid these flight mistakes on your next trip!

1.Non-Stop vs. Direct

The terms “non-stop” and “direct” often get used interchangeably when it comes to flights, but they are not the same thing. A non-stop flight takes you from your departure city to your destination with no stops in other cities. A direct flight will take you to your destination without you having to change planes, but you may have stops in other cities between your departure and destination. When you’re looking at flight itineraries, make sure you keep this distinction in mind.

2. Multiple Airports

Make sure you don’t mix up your airports! Many major cities have multiple airports, so it’s best to make sure you have the right one for your needs. For instance, Orlando in Florida has two international airports, but one is closer to its theme park destinations than the other and offers many more transportation options to get to the theme park areas.

3. Connection Time

When looking at flight schedules, always check the amount of time you’ll have to make a connecting flight. Many airlines offer schedules with fairly tight connections, and while no one likes the idea of waiting in the airport on a long layover, having extra connection time is a huge benefit if your first flight is delayed. We recommend having at least an hour layover for domestic connections, and at least a two hour layover for connections that require you to go through customs and immigration, such as U.S. travelers re-entering the United States.

4. Baggage Fees

Don’t forget baggage fees when looking at your budget for airfare. With few exceptions, most airlines charge for checked luggages, and there are even a few that charge for carry-ons that require overhead space. Be sure to check these policies ahead of time. If you are planning to check a bag, most airlines will let you pre-pay your baggage fees so you don’t need to do it when you arrive at the airport.

5. Double-Check Identification

Having the proper ID is necessary for boarding a flight, especially if you are flying out of the country. International flights require a passport for all guests of any age, and most destinations require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months after you return from travel. 

6. Check Your Flight Schedule

Even after you’ve booked and confirmed your flights, make sure to double-check your flight schedule, especially at 24 hours before your departure. Flight departure times can change frequently, and while airlines typically send notice of a significant schedule change, we’ve occasionally had instances where notice of a schedule change didn’t come through. Always check your flight schedule to make sure you’re heading to the airport at the right time.

Looking for assistance to make sure your next trip goes perfectly? Contact our Travel Pros!

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