What You Don't Know about Air Travel Can Hurt You This Summer

What you don’t know can hurt you this summer – by costing you time, trouble, and yes, even money. Not all you’re about to see is brand new but if you’re a once- or twice-a-year flyer like many folks, it might be news to you. 

LISTEN: Rick says, sometimes the devil’s in the details.

1. Cities and routes have changed

Don’t be surprised it the flight you always take no longer exists, especially if it’s to a smaller (or not-so-small) city. Some upcoming changes include Virgin America leaving Philadelphia as United eases out of Cleveland. Departure times can change, too, even on confirmed, paid-for flights so check those as you get closer to travel day.

2. Fewer last-minute specials

Flying at the last minute won’t be as easy or cheap as it used to been since airlines have learned a lot about controlling capacity in the past decade which is a fancy way of saying they’ve filled every seat on every plane – almost, and that is the goal. American’s decision to drop its bereavement fares are just another symptom of this. If you have to fly at the last minute, this article includes several ways to save.

3. New security rules on electronics

This will mostly affect travelers coming into the U.S. but these new regulations have since been expanded to include some domestic travelers. If you carry a smartphone, a table, a laptop or any other kind of election, this is something you must read.

Security officials may ask you to power up any electronic device you have – to make sure it works and it is a device and not a bomb – and if it’s not charged up, you might not be allowed to travel with it. Don’t get caught off guard, full charge all gadgets the night before departure and consider buying a portable charger.

4. New fees to know about

Maybe you don’t usually fly Frontier but maybe you will this summer. If that’s the case, you should know that the airline now charges a fee for all bags including carry-ons. They also charge for all beverages, including water or a Coke. This is true for Allegiant and Spirit, too. Finally, any airline fee can change at any time without advance notice.

Tip: Generally speaking, the sooner you pay a bag fee, the cheaper it is. If you wait until you get to the airport, at least one airline will charge you $100 for a carry-on.

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Published: July 10, 2014