Milwaukee, Wis. – Are you thinking about traveling by air for your next trip? Here are some essential tips to help you navigate the process from finding flights to safely arriving at your destination. Don’t forget to look for the BBB Seal; it’s The Sign of a Better Business!

Finding flights

  • Compare prices. Use flight comparison websites to compare prices across multiple airlines. Set up fare alerts to track price drops.
  • Book early. Secure the best deals by booking your flights several weeks in advance. Prices tend to rise as the departure date approaches.
  • Flexible dates. If possible, be flexible with your travel dates. Flying mid-week or during off-peak times can result in significant savings.
  • Consider alternative airports. Check nearby airports for potentially lower fares. Sometimes a short drive can lead to a better deal.
  • Sign up for frequent flyer programs. Join frequent flyer programs to earn miles and enjoy benefits like priority boarding, free seat selections, and free baggage. 

Before booking

  • Read reviews. Research reviews and ratings of airlines and booking platforms. Pay attention to customer service, punctuality, and overall satisfaction.
  • Understand fees. Additional fees for baggage, seat selection, and other services can add up quickly! Read the fine print to avoid hidden fees.
  • Travel insurance. Consider purchasing trip insurance to protect against cancellations, delays, and other unforeseen issues. Have a complete understanding of what the policy does and does not cover.
  • Read all cancellation policies carefully. Not all situations require a full refund of the ticket value and fees if your flight is canceled. Each online travel agency, airline, and broker is different.
  • Pack light. Pack light to avoid checked baggage fees and reduce the risk of lost luggage. Consider a carry-on for shorter trips.
  • Make sure everyone who is traveling has the appropriate ID. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 7, 2025; however, make certain parties traveling together have a current compliant ID as required by each state.

During your time at the airport

  • Arrive early. According to the Department of Transportation, you should arrive at the airport at least two hours early before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight to allow time for security checks and unexpected delays. 
  • Be an informed traveler. Monitor your flight status for any changes or delays. Most airlines offer mobile apps with real-time updates. The Department of Transportation website provides details on consumer issues, filing complaints, and other aviation information.
  • Follow TSA guidelines. Familiarize yourself with TSA guidelines regarding prohibited items, liquids, and electronics. This will expedite the security screening process.
  • Secure personal belongings and travel documents. Keep your passport, ID, and boarding pass secure and easily accessible and keep your belongings secure and within sight at all times. Be cautious of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to airport security. 
  • Emergency contact information. Carry a list of emergency contacts an dimportant information, including your airline’s customer service number and embassy contacts if traveling abroad. 

During your flight

  • Listen to crew instructions. Pay attention to the safety briefing and follow instructions from the flight crew.
  • Keep seatbelt fastened. Keep your seatbelt fastened when instructed to protect against unexpected turbulence.
  • Sanitize your space. In light of recent health concerns, use disinfectant wipes to clean your seat area, including the tray table, armrests, and seatbelt buckle.
  • Know your rights. Familiarize yourself with passenger rights regarding delays, cancellations, and lost luggage. 

Flying is one of many aspects of your trip to consider. Here are some other travel-related resources from BBB:

During the holiday or any time of year, find ways to travel safely and avoid scams. If you plan to travel to or from Canada, check for travel advisories. Remember to report any suspicious activities to BBB Scam Tracker and sign up for Scam Alerts.

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For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

ABOUT BBB: The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2023, people turned to BBB more than 218 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 5.3 million businesses, and 80,000 times for BBB charity reports on about 12,000 charities, for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States and Canada. 

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