Top Air Travel Questions, Asked and Answered

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Millions of people around the globe travel by air every day, but even though this is one of the most popular modes of transportation available there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the airline industry.  

Read the most asked questions by air travelers and the informed expert answers.

How to Fly With a Pet

Yes, you can fly with Fido and Miss Kitty, but there are rules. Most airlines require a special carrier and charge fees for passengers who want to bring their cats and dogs onboard a flight. Make sure you read the complete list of rules and regulations when it comes to flying with your pets.

The difference between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Global Entry is a program from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that allows citizens to bypass long lines as they return to the United States. For $100 covering five years, passengers skip the line and instead go to an electronic kiosk to scan their passport and fingers, answer a few questions, get a printed receipt, pick up your luggage and go to a special line and be on your way.

Travelers who have Global Entry are automatically enrolled in PreCheck, a trusted traveler program run by the Transportation Security AdministrationPreCheck allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear, and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, using special screening lanes.

How Airlines Handle Pregnant Flyers

Most airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 28 weeks. After that, there are myriad requirements and cut-off dates outlining when women who are expecting are no longer allowed to fly. Review a comprehensive list of regulations from the top global airlines.

How to Overcome a Fear of Flying

You have to fly, but you have a fear. You are not alone—and there's help. Dr. Nadeen White, a travel blogger, shared how she copes with her fear of flying by taking a self-help class, using relaxation techniques, taking a short flight as a way to ease in, and more.

How To Find the Cheapest Airline Tickets

There are a number of reputable sites online that will allow you to book cheap and deeply discounted airfare. Some of these include Hipmunk, Kayak, and Cheapflights. is another great site that can help you score some major deals.

Can a Jet Fly With One Engine? 

Today’s modern jet aircraft are able to fly safely with only one engine. In an emergency, a plane can even be flown with no engines, as demonstrated during the incident involving US Airways Flight 1549, otherwise known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

What Happens When a Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled

The first thing to do is not panic—delays are usually due to things out of our control like the weather, mechanical issues with the plane, traffic control issues, and more. However, there are some things you can do like immediately phone customer service to get rebooked, request a hotel and food voucher, head towards a business class lounge for free wifi, and more. 

What Happens If an Airline Loses My Luggage?

It's the worst nightmare of every airline passenger, but unfortunately, it's a reality of air travel. Here's what to do when your luggage goes on a trip without you. A good rule of thumb is to always travel with an emergency kit in your carry-on that includes a dental travel kit and a mini deodorant.

Three Items You Should Never Travel Without

  • Noise canceling headphones to get away from the noise of crying babies, loud passengers, and engines (Bose makes a great pair). 
  • A pack of baby wipes, which do everything from freshening hands and faces to wiping down airplane trays.
  • A pashmina shawl -- which can be used as a wrap, a pillow, a skirt cover, and an accessory to dress up travel outfits.

In addition to these game changers, check out some more recommended items that every traveler should have for a comfortable flight.

Best Ways to Get an Upgrade to First or Business Class

Unfortunately, airlines are really getting tight with upgrades overall, especially on international flights. But there are still some ways you can get it— the best chances are to politely make the request if: You have gold or above frequent flyer status on an airline; if you have an airline-branded credit card; if you’ve bought a full-fare economy class ticket; or if you dress like you should be sitting in the premium class.

None of these is a guaranteed bump up, but they can help.

What to Do If Downgraded From First or Business Class

The simple answer is that you are refunded the fare difference—but only if you ask. Ask for a seat toward the front and you may receive -- they just might even offer a free drink and snacks from first class to sweeten the pot.

Cancellation Travel Insurance

In the past, you would see kiosks or desks at airports selling travel insurance. These days, airline and travel websites do offer you the chance to buy insurance in case your flight is canceled.

For example, United Airlines has partnered with Allianz Global Assistance for insurance in case you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for an unexpected, covered reason. It covers prepaid and nonrefundable tickets, accommodations and other travel expenses. It also covers emergency medical assistance.

What Happens If a Pilot Becomes Incapacitated 

Fortunately, you are still safe—the remaining co-pilot is more than capable of flying the plane. There also may be an off-duty pilot who can help: In the case of extreme emergency, the crew may ask if there’s a pilot onboard.

What Are the Longest and Shortest Flights in the World?

Conde Nast Traveler has determined that Auckland, New Zealand to Dubai, UAE on Emirates is the longest flight, clocking in at more than 17 hours. On the flip side, the shortest is Westray-Papa Westray on Scotland’s Loganair, which takes less than a minute.

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