The Night Before Your Flight

If you want to avoid high levels of stress, start preparing for your trip a few days before you actually leave. Whatever you are flying from one country to another in Europe, or from one continent to another, it is always good to plan things out! Have everything you want to bring with you packed up. Place your luggage by the door. Some airlines allow you to check in twenty-four hours prior to your flight, if you are flying with one of these, check in and print out your boarding pass (if it is an option). Gather up all of your travel documents (ie passport, boarding pass, additional ID, and some cash. Put these in your carry-on and put them by your luggage. This helped me with knowing the gate number, flight number, airline, etc. I usually kept my ticket and notebook together. You will not have to think to remember to do anything special because you have everything set aside and ready to go.

In addition to having your beloveds prepared, you need to be ready too! Traveling will wear you out, so it is important to get at least some sleep before your flight. If your flight is early, try to adjust your schedule a few days before, so you can get to bed early and get a good night's sleep. The night before your flight (if it's early) set more than one alarm. I am typically good at waking up to one alarm, but it is better to be safe than sorry-you do not want to miss your flight! A practice that I started was laying out my clothes the night before. Like I said before, if something does not go smoothly, all you have to do is hop into the clothes that you have all ready!

Have your transportation lined up the day prior to your flight. If you are taking a taxi, call a taxi service and tell them what airport and what time your flight is. They may have a good idea on what time to get you-you will probably want to give yourself two hours from your starting point (you can adjust this depending on how far you live from the airport).

After you have everything planned and ready to go, you can get a good rest knowing that all you have to do the next morning is wake up and go! This should really cut down on the stress you feel before you travel. You can make sure you have everything and will not forget important things because you have given yourself plenty of time to get your effects in order.

If you do all of these things, your stress level will be cut in half!

Top Five Comfies Airlines

Being someone who travels a lot, I've had my share of bad planes. It's not uncommon to step out of a long flight with your legs still half-asleep, praying to be stretched! People I know even say that a more expensive ticket is fine as long as the plane had enough legroom.

Another measure of comfortable I use is entertainment. I bring a book along to help pass the time, but I still check out the in-flight shows. More work-oriented friends of mine who carry laptops have internet access on the top of their list. I suppose I can also use that to browse the net, too.

The plane's amenities are also something to think about. I like spacious toilets since I'd rather not suffocate (in more ways than one) when using the can. I sleep while en route sometimes, so having nice pillows and blankets help me sleep soundly, as well as a nice, comfortable chair. Decent food is a must, since I've eaten enough on-board tasteless meals to last a lifetime. Friendly airline staff is also a big plus. I've been half-ignored by a grumpy stewardess once, and I was not even flirting with her!

So, what airlines are best for booking flights with? According to the World Airline Awards, they are the following:

1. Singapore Airlines – I've had the pleasure of flying with this airline a few times, and hearing that they are number one is not surprising at all. They've always had a good reputation among regular travelers, and for good reason. Economy class is not as cramped, business class is as good as it gets, great meals in all classes, friendly and well-trained cabin staff and a good selection of in-flight entertainment. If you have a flight with Singapore Airlines, you're guaranteed satisfaction. Your legs may not want to leave, and it's not because they're asleep!

2. Thai Airways – Yet another excellent airline! Some consider them to be Singapore Airlines' true competitor, both being based in Southeast Asia and both being considered to be some of the best in the world. Like in Singapore Airlines, you're guaranteed satisfaction with them.

3. Cathay Pacific – A consistent competitor ever since the conception of the rewards, you are sure to have a good experience with them. Although not as good as the best, it's their more than above average ratios in everything a passenger needs gives them a good edge against other airlines.

4. Qatar Airways – If you're flying first class, look no further! Qatar Airways has the best first class seats in the business, and is not a slouch in the other categories either. It's also the best airline based in the Middle East. Grab a flight with them and see what they can do for you.

5. Qantas – Another consistent performer like Cathay Pacific, it's considered to be the best airline based in Australia. It does well in many of the comfort categories, and is known to be a top choice for flights.

So what are you waiting for? If you have a trip planned, be sure that it's one of these airlines for a comfortable travel experience that will leave you smiling, inside-out!

Tips For Finding A Cheap Air Travel Fare

No matter where you are headed, finding a cheap air travel fare is easy to do. When it comes to cheap air travel there are certain steps you need to take to ensure you are getting the best deal for the best seat. What most people do not know is that every seat can be booked at a huge discount. Now that you know every seat is capable of being discounted let me tell you exactly how you can get them.

The first thing you need to try is simply calling the airline themselves and asking for any unsold seats. All airlines do not like to wait to see if the flight will be booked or not and therefore will book callers in seats that are open. What you need to know here is that most airlines will try to place you in middle seats since those have a very hard time filling but just tell them you will not sit in a middle seat and everything should go smoothly.

Another way you can get cheap air travel fares is by signing up for a mileage program that all airlines have. The way you need to do this is by signing up at the counter because the clerks will get commission if they sign you up and when they do this they are more likely to give you a discount on your flight if it is not already paid for. What I like to do since I fly a lot is through my air miles and make it look like if I do not get a deal that I will not fly with them. That day will come when you have enough air miles to do that, but for the time being stick to the simpler methods.

Another tip that I have is to book your air travel with a credit card company. Doing this will normally get you a higher ticket class and sometimes better seats. And best of all booking with a credit card company usually gives you cash back on the flight. When I first used this method I had an American Express card that got me a first class seat going and coming and after my cash back and the discount the flight was less than half what a coach flight would have cost if I would not have used the credit card to book the air fare.

Always remember these few tips to getting a cheap air travel fare. If you want even more tips then check out these tips to get extremely cheap airline tickets .

Discount Airline Tickets

Finding discount airline tickets indeed a neat skill to know and learn. And Internet now is your best source just to do that.

So how do these online travel sites offer such kind of savings?

The answer is simple. Most online travel sites are run by the airline consolidators who buy these airline tickets in bulk from airlines at wholesale discounted prices. Perhaps we all know that wholesale fares tend to be bargain tickets. So when they offer it online, you can see that the price is relatively lower than the regular full price air tickets.

Airlines themselves also make use of the Internet to offer cheap airfares. Every airline now has their own websites. One should always check both the airlines sites and other travel sites run by big and small travel consolidators or travel agents.

Remember that all airline companies don’t have the same airline ticket prices. Major airlines typically charge more than the smaller budget airlines, as their overheads are comparatively high. Checking with small and reliable budget or even regional airlines will surely save you few extra dollars.

Buying discount airline tickets is just like treasure hunting. Visiting travel agents web sites may give you an idea where to get those cheap tickets. Also these travel agents are very professionals and know a lot more about industry secrets, they may have knowledge where to look and where to get a cheaper airline ticket. Travel agents online often have special offers like travel packages. Plus if you are traveling on long itinerary like many places to go around, they can be of great help in figuring out the best options and prices. They can easily handle your other travel needs like car rentals, hotel accommodation and sightseeing etc.

Buying discount airline tickets is much easier than ever before as travelers now many options to book online.

Traveling With Special Circumstances

In the National Lampoon Vacation movies anything that can go wrong to Chevy Chase does. The hotel isn’t as described in the brochure, the car is too small and the amusement park is closed; the list could go on. With the introduction of the Internet into the average American home, planning vacations has become easier than ever. Incidentally, when vacationing we all have special circumstances, including children, pets, disabilities or medical requirements. And sometimes your destination makes all the difference.

These are the answers to a few frequently asked travel questions, and tips to remember when traveling with special circumstances.

Flying. Flying has become one of the most common forms of travel, but as airlines get bigger they need to accommodate a larger number of people and their demands.

Flying With Children. Always inform the airline you are traveling with children when you by your tickets. Reservations for infants and children under 2 cannot be made on most online travel sites. You must contact the airline directly.

    • Newborns. Most airlines will not allow a child under seven-days old to travel on any plane. Often if the child is that young they will also require a doctor’s permission slip.
    • Small Children. There is usually two options when traveling with small children, lap or buy a seat. If the child is less than 2-years old they can sit in your lap for domestic flights. Most airlines do not charge for lap children. However, if you feel more comfortable, you can buy a seat and place the child in an FAA approved restraint. Buying a ticket for these children is usually discounted substantially and most car seats are approved. Double-check the airline for FAA requirements. All international flights require children to be in restraints.

Unaccompanied Minors. It’s not uncommon for children to fly alone. Many are seasoned travelers bouncing between parents, friends or relatives. Most airlines will take responsibly of minors for a fee. The cost is usually between $50 and $100 depending on the airline. Additionally, the age requirements may differ. For most, children between the ages of 5 and 7 are only allowed on direct flights. Children between 8 and 14 can fly on connecting flights. The age when children are not required an escort depends on the airline. For example, Delta requires all children under the age of 14 to have an escort whereas with United, children over 12 it’s optional.

Pets. Many airlines accommodate animals of different sizes. You can take them as carry-on, checked as baggage or shipped. Some states require a health certificate. It is suggested to have all veterinary paper work available including shots. Always call the airline or check their website before booking your ticket. Some are more restrictive than others.

Most animals must be 8 to 12-weeks old to fly. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggest not to sedate cats and dogs. This may effect their natural equilibrium and cause injury. Many of these tips and suggestions are for domestic flights in the 48 continental United States. International restrictions and fares may vary.

    • Carry-on. Carry on pets must be small enough to fit into a kennel under the seat in front of you. There is usually a fee of about $50 to $100 per animal. Most airlines only accept cats and dogs. Delta will also accept, birds, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs, whereas, SouthWest doesn’t accept pets of any kind.
    • Checked Baggage. Larger warm-blooded mammals and birds are usually checked as baggage. Animals must be in comfortable kennels and are taken at the check-in counter and retrieved in baggage claim. They are safely placed under the plane in a pressurized and heated compartment. There is usually a $100 charge for checking your animal. Sometimes it is more difficult for baggage handlers to get your pet to your connecting flight. When booking your flight remember to give yourself between a one and three hour layover.
    • Air Cargo. Many airlines have cargo services. This is for those shipping pets to friends or family without their owner. Rates depend on size and destination of the animal. Check your carrier’s website for further details. Always include identification tags with your address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of the person receiving the animal. Additionally, do not put a leash or muzzle on the animal, this may cause a choking hazard.

Disabilities. All airlines are dedicated to making everyone’s travel comfortable. Most airlines are wheelchair accessible and willing to work with people with all kinds of disabilities. Always inform the airline if you or a loved one has special needs prior to departure. This allows the staff to prepare for your accommodations.

Many airlines can provide Braille safety cards, captioned safety videos, individual safety briefings, onboard wheelchairs and more. Guide dogs are usually accepted as checked baggage and don’t require a fee. Many airlines will also accommodate those with food allergies or related illnesses like diabetes.

Hotels and Cars. Always contact your hotel or rental company to make special arrangement regarding lodging and transportation. Most hotels and car companies will try to accommodate you in all ways. When traveling with special circumstances like children, pets or disabilities, always take your hotel and on-ground travel arrangements into account.

If you plan to take the family dog on vacation with you, keep a few things in mind when booking your lodging. Although the hotel may accept pets, ask where they stay, in the room or in a hotel kennel. Furthermore, find out if the hotel offers walking services. If you are sightseeing all day, you don’t want your poor pup stuck in the room needing to visit the grassy knoll across the street.

For small children, most hotels can provide a playpen or crib for them to sleep in. Many car rental companies can also provide car seats and additional child restraints.

Cruises. Pets are not aloud on most cruise liners; however, children are. Most cruises provide several forms of entertainment for children while at sea. If you decide to cruise with children always look into the liner’s child services prior to booking a room.

    • Children and Young Adults. There are usually several free, child-friendly activities previously planned by the cruise liner to keep kids and young adults busy. Activities include arts and crafts, movies, games and child friendly pools. Sometimes the cruise liner will have teen dances and teen specialized activities.
    • Children under Two. Children under 2-years old are not usually eligible for activities. However, most liners offer babysitting services from about $6 to $10 an hour.
    • Disabilities. Many cruise liners try to accommodate those with disabilities to the best of their ability. All floors have elevators and are wheelchair accessible. Those in wheelchairs, requiring oxygen tanks or health requirements usually board and disembark before the general public. Those with sight or hearing disabilities may need to make extra special arrangement with the liner prior to purchasing tickets.

Traveling in today’s day and age can be a tricky business. There are so many circumstances to take into account. Always remember airlines, hotels, car rentals and cruises are ultimately in the hospitality business. They understand there are special circumstances and all are fully trained to accommodate you and your loved ones.

Best Strategies for Saving on Flights and Hotels

As a business owner, you always look for ways to save money when running a business. Amongst all areas business travel is one key area where you can find savings on flights and hotels. By following the best booking strategies and utilizing affordable options, travelers can reduce the cost of their business trip.

Here are a few ways to save on hotels and flights:

Saving on Hotels

Book hotels and flights together

Online travel booking sites offer price breaks for purchasing a flight and hotel together. Combined packages are mostly used by vacationers but also offer great value to business travelers with flexible preferences.

Surf online, book over phone

To get the best deals, browse through various online booking channels and figure out your preferred option. Get in touch with the hotel and ask them to reduce the rate further. This works as many hotels will go lower to avoid paying third-party booking fees.

Advance fees

If you are sure about your travel plans, nonrefundable hotel reservations offer the best price. Paying advance can save up to 20% on bookings made directly with hotels.

Take advantage of refundable bookings

Alternatively, you can make a refundable booking by looking for the best prices online. Hotels usually don’t have any cancellation fees like airlines.

Use corporate discounts

Businesses often negotiate with preferred hotel vendors and get discounts up to 40%. So, using corporate booking tools can give you the lowest possible fare when booking.

Last-minute travel

If you are booking in last-minute, you can find deals on unused rooms. Talk to your preferred hotels to know about possible cancellations. Also, searching last-minute booking sites such as Hotel Tonight can help you get other options.

Say no to cookies

Travel sites maintain cookies to identify customers with strong intention to buy. Clearing your browser history might give you more favorable prices.

Flight Saving Strategies

Travel during off-peak hours

Flights are cheapest between 5 am to 7 am and after 8 pm. Businesses can save an average of $116 per flight by flying at peak times.

Fly on specific days

Reports from recent studies revealed that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the low cost days to fly. Flying on these days can save you money.

Take connecting flights

Direct flights are convenient, but flights with layovers will cost you less. Taking connecting flights is one of the strategies that can help you save money.

Check out from less expensive airports

When you search for flights, check the box “include nearby airports”. You can choose alternative airports that cost you less than others and not necessarily farther away.

Make early bookings

Tickets booked fewer than seven days before departure will cost you an average of 44% more than if they had been booked 15 or more days in advance.

Book on the right time

Airfares fluctuate throughout the week. Studies revealed that the best time to book air travel is Tuesday at 3 PM ET, the time when airlines will release their discounted seat inventory.

Leverage refund rules

Bookings made at least 7 days in advance can be canceled within 24 hours. This creates a grace period in which you can cancel your bookings if your travel plans are not final.

These strategies can help you save money while booking flights and hotels.

Getting Cheap Flights for Your Vacation

Houston is a lively and a fun city to be in for any kind of vacation or break. The city has great green landscapes and parks and the architecture is simply breathtaking. Art lovers as well as nature lovers will find the city quite impressive which will leave them with good memories for the longest time.

Everyone wants the best rates when traveling to any destination and Houston is no exception. If you need to get to this city without having to stretch your finances too hard, you can choose to get assistance from the various travel consultants. Most of the consultants are well experienced and are dedicated to getting you very good offers and rates for your vacation. You can also search through the internet to see the price ranges offered by the airlines flying to the region to get the very best out of the many different airlines that service the region. Leading airlines have a tendency of offering very good ticket rates and typically have discounts and other good offers.

The spring and fall months attract a greater majority of people compared to summer months. This is due to the months of October and November have favorable weather conditions compared to the humid conditions of summer. Most people therefore prefer the warm conditions to the more humid ones. If you are looking for cheap flights, you can choose to travel during the off peak months when everyone else is staying away from the region because of the weather.

However, you can still enjoy your vacation during the peak months and not pay too much for your ticket by conducting the right kind of research and getting all your facts right. It is always advisable to make early reservations to get the best offer available or register with travel companies which will give you alerts every time something interesting coming up.

Houston has a lot to offer not just to the visitors and tourists traveling to marvel in its glory but also for business people and the locals who know how important the city is to the whole of the United States. Never let high ticket rates change your mind about visiting the region since you can still enjoy the very best of the city without spending too much.

Unexpected Turbulence Is A Major Cause Of Personal Injury On

With over 10 million trips annually, flying is still considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation. In fact, you are far safer flying in a plane than driving in a car on any of our California freeways, explains an attorney in the state. However, while flying is reliably safe, the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, reports that the leading causes of in-flight personal injuries are turbulence and unexpected decompression, occurrences that unfortunately appear to be on the rise.

Recently, a United Airlines flight en route from London to Los Angeles was diverted to Montreal due to the serious injuries sustained by ten people during extreme turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean. The passengers who were not physically injured were visibly shaken.

According to reports from KABC news, there were approximately 200 passengers onboard the Boeing 777 when it suddenly experienced severe turbulence. One of the main reasons so many passengers suffered serious injury was that the seat belt sign was inactive. One of the flight attendants sustained a broken leg, and several of the injured passengers had head trauma due to the fact that their heads hit the ceiling.

In the United States, about 58-60 people are injured annually by not wearing their seatbelts while flying. Since 1980, US air carriers have been involved in 234 turbuable-type accidents, resulting in 298 serious injuries and 3 fatalities.

Additionally, approximately 40-50 rapid aircraft decompression accidents occur each year. Last week, hundreds of people heard a loud pop before a huge explosion ripped a five-foot-by-one-foot hole on the top of the fuselage. Passengers feared for their lives on the short flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Sacramento, California. They had just seconds to find and put on their oxygen masks. The pilots had to nosedive the airplane to reach a safe altitude. Luckily, only two people suffered personal injury on this flight, according to a local attorney. Although more cracks have been found on Southwest's B 737, this airline does not have a good safety record.

Since the Federal Aviation Act governs airlines, they are held to a high standard of care for their passengers. The airline and its employees are required to do all that is reasonable to prevent injuries from occurring. Specifically, this is why the pilot usually discourages cabin movement during flights by illuminating the "fasten your safety belt" sign. While turbulence and sudden decompression are often unexpected, you can help ensure your safety by always wearing your seatbelt during the flight.

Aviation History

Travel by airplane has a long and interesting history starting from the first commercial flight in 1933 on the modern airliner, Boeing 247. This important event made a definitive mark in the time line of aviation but was only one of many major accomplishments. The following will highlight a few of the fascinating landmarks of aviation history that punctuated the last century.

The Zeppelin Hindenburg

The 1930s revealed the so-called airship era of aviation history. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg was one such example of the popularity of these. However, the event surrounding this airship was a sad one as tragedy interrupted during flight. Destined for Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, the Hindenburg disaster occurred as the airship talked on fire and crashed. Thirty-five fatalities were counted in this tragic incident and needless to say, confidence in airships dramatically reduced. News coverage broadcast the terrible news all over the globe, essentially bringing the airship period to a sad close.

Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

The sound barrier was broken by Chuck Yeager in 1947, marking another big event in the history of aviation. Yeager was a test pilot in the United States Air Force and flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1. The aircraft was at an altitude of 45,000 feet when this occurred. The Bell X-1 is on display in the Smithsonian Institution's national museum for air and space. Yeager received more than one award for this accomplishment, including the MacKay and Collier trophy in 1948 and a trophy for Harmon International in 1954. The Myra, West Virginia native went on to bust through other barriers of sound and even altitude years later.

Boeing 747

Fast-forwarding from Chuck Yeager's major accomplishment to the 1970s, many people recognize the Boeing 747 and it is often referred to endearingly as the "jumbo jet" of aircraft. Its cargo transport and commercial flight role make it a significant part of aviation history. This airliner, Boeing 747, made its first commercial flight from New York to London in the early part of that decade. Major airlines that use the model include British Airways, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. The Boeing 747, apart from being recognizable, is important in that it could carry such a large load of passengers or cargo. In fact, it held the record for carrying the most passengers for several decades.

Aviation Continues to Develop

The Zeppelin Hindenburg crisis, Chuck Yeager's breaking of the sound barrier, and the introduction of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet are just three of the many turning points in aviation. While many more events exist on the historical time line of flight, these events show some of the individual pieces of the puzzle. Events like these have helped shape the history of aviation and offer opportunities for learning and reflection. Flight has come a long way and will continue to change and grow in years to come, making it an exciting part of technology and history!

Airlines in Europe

Europe is one of the world's seven continents with a large population and a vast amount of people traveling to and from various places across the globe every single day. Some of the best airline companies in the world are based in Europe – International Airlines Group, Turkish Airlines, Air Berlin and SAS Group. This article gives distinct information on everything you need to know about these airlines.

International Airlines Group

International Airlines Group is a British-Spanish multinational airline holding company formed in January 2011 by the merger of British Airways and Iberia. The headquarters are located in London with its registered office in Madrid, Spain. Based on revenue generation measured in 2010, International Airlines Group is ranked as the seventh largest airline company in the world and also the third largest in Europe they also hold a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.

IAG has 350 aircraft serving around 200 destinations with British Airways and Iberia operating under separate brand names.

Turkish Airlines

Both the headquarters and main base of Turkish Airlines are located at Ataruk Airport in Yesilkoy, Istanbul. Turkish airlines is the national flag carrier of Turkey and operates a service to 163 international and 41 domestic cities in Europe, Asia, Africa and USA. The airline was formed on the 20th of May 1933 and became a part of the Ministry of Transportation in 1938.

Air Berlin

Based on the number of passengers commuted, Air Berlin is Germany's second largest and Europe's sixth largest airline. The airline operates flight networks to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean region, the Canary Islands and North Africa and to the intercontinental destinations in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the USA. With the agenda of attracting business traffic, Air Berlin gives more preference on serving major German and European cities. The airline headquarters is located at the Airport Bureau Center in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin.

SAS Group

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was formed on the 1st of August 1946 and began its operations on the 17th of September 1946. SAS is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and is the largest airline in Scandinavia. This airline has a remarkable history of being the first airline to schedule a polar route in 1954 (The DC -6B flew Copenhagen to Los Angeles with stops in Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland and Winnipeg, Canada) which then interested more US tourists in the attractive price structure and free transit to other European destinations. Also, film crews in Hollywood strongly benefited from this service as the film crew could easily travel and reach various shooting spot destinations. SAS was also the first airline to offer flight service over the North Pole in 1957.