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8 Facts To Consider When Flying

According to a recent article on Budget Travel newsletter, there are some interesting things you may want to think about the next time you fly.  Then again, they may be things you don’t really want to think about, if you’re the nervous flyer type.

  1. The scales the airlines use to weigh and charge you for overweight baggage…may not be accurate.   So, you may want to do as I do and weigh your luggage before arriving at the airport and be ready to dispute their scales if they show a significant difference, especially if they are planning on charging you an excess weight fee!  [Update 2/28/2013: I recently weighed my suitcase at 48 lb 8 oz and when I checked in, airlines scale read 51.5 lbs.  With a weight limit of 50 lbs, it was close and I was ready to dispute it, but the agent let it go.]
  2. The air re-circulated throughout the airplane may make you sick.  Its bad enough that we have to put up with any germs a sick passenger may be passing around, but the FAA is now looking into seeing whether or not jet fumes may also be getting into the plane.
  3. Just because you booked a flight on a non-stop flight doesn’t mean you will get one!  The airlines is under no obligation to put you on a non-stop flight and can change your itinerary.
  4. You will not necessarily be told if there was a problem on the plane you’re flying on.  FAA does not require the airlines to tell you about any engine problems or other issues.
  5. Although you’re happy knowing that you’ve got a window or aisle seat reserved, that doesn’t mean the airline has to give it to you.  As airlines continue to squeeze as much as they can out of their routes and planes, they can change planes to a smaller one and in the process, shift everyone’s seating assignments. [Update 2/28/13:  In a recent post, I mention having our seats reassigned randomly, so even without an equipment change to a different model plane, it can and does happen!]
  6. Did you realize that the odds are the planes you’re flying on are older than the car you drive?  The average plane on the major US carriers tend to be over 10 years old.  American Airlines MD-80’s average 18 years old, Delta/Northwest DC-9’s average 9 years old.
  7. The flight crew may not be as rested as we’d like to have them.  If you think you suffer from jetlag…imagine your flight crew feeling the same affects with even less sleep than you got.
  8. Do you travel with a favorite airline?  Check your tickets close, you may or may not be flying with them.   Airlines have been share-coding for years and its not getting any simpler as airlines cut back on flights, but need to get their passengers from one airport to another…sometimes via airports they don’t serve directly or with convenient connections.  Not a big deal, unless it happens to be on an airline you purposely avoid.  [Update: Our choice of airlines continue to dwindle, Continental/United merged, American/USAirways about to merge, makes things even more confusing at times.]

Anyway, just thought I’d pass along the highlights.  Click on the link above to read the full article.

Fare Buzz

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