|Travelling Without Tears|
FEATURE by Willard Manus
Anyone traveling internationally these days would do well to heed the advice of British Airways, which moves upwards of 17 million people around the globe every year.
British Airways has issued a checklist of things to do in order to insure a safe, hassle-free flight.
Plan ahead. Pre-arrange transfers, hotel accomodations and other elements of your journey.
Know Your options. Many travelers find it's important to pay as much attention to options for returning home as options for getting there. Familiarize yourself with your airline's non-stop schedules, plus its connections and flight partners.
Make copies of your passport, traveler's checks, credit cards, itinerary and airline tickets. Carry one copy with you and leave another and your overseas contact details with a friend or relative.
Carry the address and phone number of your embassy or consulate in each of the countries you will be visiting.
If flying with BA, keep the airline's phone numbers with you (in the USA, 800-247-9297; in the UK, 0845-77-333-77).
Pack any regular medication in your hand luggage, and ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip.
AT THE AIRPORT
Heightened security measures have increased the time needed at the airport and the variety of security measures you may encounter. So allow extra time. Arrive two hours before your flight's scheduled departure and earlier if you are traveling with young children, infants or persons with disabilities.
Save time at the airport by using e-ticket or online check-in if it is available.
Avoid packing your carry-on bags tightly so that it is easier for security personnel to check them. Travelers may bring one carry-on and one personal item (such as a purse or briefcase) on all flights. The standard checked baggage allowance is 2 pieces, each with total dimensions up to 158 cm (62 inches). No individual item of luggage should exceed 32 kgs (70 pounds). The Transportation Safety Administration recommends you do not lock checked baggage as the TSA may need to open your luggae to complete security checks.
DOCUMENTATION AND SECURITY
Carry a valid passport and any required visas. You may be asked to provide your passport and boarding card at subsequent points, such as at the gate or in the terminal.
Give your airline the name and current details of an emergency contact. If possible, when making your booking, ensure your overseas contact details are listed in the airline's reservation system.
Only ticketed passengers are allowed beyond the security checkpoints, except for those with specific medical or parental needs. All electronic items, such as laptops and cellphones, will be subjected to additional screenings. Be sure to remove your laptop from its travel case so that it can be x-rayed separately. Keep your ticket, boarding pass and ID within easy reach. Wear shoes that can be taken off and put back on relatively easily. Limit the amount of jewelry and other metal objects that you wear, and remove all metal objects prior to passing through the metal dectectors in order to facilitate the screening process.