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31

Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I think the best way to get upgraded is to fly a lot with the airline. Generally when the flight's overbooked in one class, and they're trying to pick which person to upgrade, frequent flyer status is the first metric they use. The higher your status, the higher up the list you go! Having a high status with a ...


31

No, you do not have any right to stop the person in front from reclining, and yes, it's childish behaviour on your part to try to stop them. Everybody on a plane has the right to recline their own seat, and flight attendants can and will enforce this if asked. You put "rest" in quotation marks, but maybe they really do need to recline: they might be sick, ...


31

This is prohibited for safety reasons. Each row has one extra oxygen mask (there are exceptions, some rows have no extra masks and they will be marked somehow). If more than one infant is seated in a parent's lap and the oxygen masks were to be used one of the row occupants will have no oxygen mask to use. Usually the reservation system/agents will avoid ...


29

This ploy is known as "hidden-city ticketing", and you should find plenty written about it if you search for that term. For example, Nate Silver wrote an article about it; that caused some controversy, and there was a followup on the ethics of the practice.


27

The reason why airlines implement a policy of asking overweight people to get two seats is an air safety issue of whether they can be strapped in properly. The guideline used for this is whether a passenger can fit between the armrests. If a passenger requires two seats, then the policy differs from airline-to-airline if/what the passenger should be charged ...


24

A couple of options spring to mind The first is not to fly! Take the train - either TGV in the daytime, or the Trenhotel sleeper overnight, plus onward Spanish trains as needed. You can basically take all the luggage you can physically carry. Book in advance and you can get a bed in a 4 berth cabin from Paris to either Madrid or Barcelona for only €80, and ...


22

Courtesy! In my experience, simply being courteous to those behind the check-in counter (and the baggage handling staff, too) helps a great deal. Most airline staff is perennially overworked, and dealing with grouchy passengers doesn't help their cause. I have gotten upgraded (not only in traveling class, but also with excess baggage) a few times, by just ...


21

Well it's not like they will track you down and force you to go to STL however... once you skip a leg of a itinerary they will cancel the rest of the booked trip including the return ticket. By booking a ticket you are actually signing a type of contract with the airline and the airlines specifically put in "tariff and fair clauses" that say if you ditch ...


21

I would say this is mostly for safety reasons. The EASA states the following: PED stowage should be considered during critical phases of flight and taxiing to prevent possible injuries from projectiles and to allow for egress from the aircraft. Operators should ensure compliance with AMC1 CAT.OP.MPA.160. Operators should clearly identify the ...


20

The only 'tricks' I can suggest are four methods: 1) Put dense, heavy items in your carry-on. I travel a lot, and am hardly ever weighed. Until my most recent Auckland -> London flight, when believe it or not, I had 10.5kg in my carry on, when the limit is 7, and Murphy's Law - they weighed it, first time I've had that in 10 years. We looked at each ...


20

Firstly, good on you for being concerned about her and asking about it on a public forum where others who may not be able to can hopefully benefit from this as well. I hope you come back with your findings from the airlines/trips they take! Basically, it comes down to the airline. You can see what their policy is by looking up their Conditions of ...


19

Most airlines don't charge extra for stopovers (in fact, more often, they charge less, because the route is less convenient than a non-stop flight). They like to advertise "free stopovers" to make you think this is a great benefit they are giving you. For example, if you are flying from New York to Dubai, the rich business traveller is going to want to take ...


19

Several things spring to mind: Paying for excess baggage (if needed) is usually cheaper online than in person When you check in online, you can pick your seats, so you can get that sorted before everyone else does theirs at the airport (so you can often get better seats) You know you have a seat (reduced chance of getting bumped because you'll already have ...


19

I am 6'3" and pushing 400 pounds and I have never had a problem on BA flights. Yes I need a seatbelt extension but only so I will be comfortable. I admittedly do fit between the armrests. I do feel bad for people next to me because my shoulders are quite broad but I try to get an aisle seat so I can at least lean out. Since your mother is travelling with ...


19

A friend recently did this, flying from LON (London) to SYD (Sydney). I went shopping with him and found a hard-shell suitcase. They're surprisingly light, and Samsonite has claimed theirs is "strong enough to stand on". We then removed his harddisk drive. This is the most valuable and most fragile part of the computer. It's also feasible to do the ...


19

The airline industry pretty much lives on the concept of "Publish Fares". These are fares that are available through all sales channels - through the airlines website, through travel agents, through third-party websites, and everywhere else. This means that the same fare is available to business travelers (who are likely willing/able to pay more for a ...


17

Be aware that doing this can go wrong very quickly in the event of "irregular operations", such as bad weather, canceled flights, etc. When you book a ticket FLL->ORD->STL the airline is committing to fly you from FLL to STL. They are not required to get you there via ORD. If the FLL-ORD flight is canceled for some reason then it's possible they would ...


17

I believe this chart will be of use to you. I used to wonder why they even bothered to have "No smoking" signs, but now I realise - Air Algeria, Cubana, Garuda, Iran Air and more still allow smoking in certain sections. The chart is quite old, but my friend flew Cubana at the end of 2010 and confirmed that there was smoking onboard his flight then. EDIT ...


17

Re the borders, Jordanian border is the quietest one (taking the honor from the Egyptian & Syrian borders, which now have some potential for danger given the instability there). During the war of 2006 in Israel, land borders with Jordan and Egypt were open and unaffected. Land borders with Syria and Lebanon are only open for the UN personnel and Syrian ...


17

A summary of fuel dumping and the ethics of it are on My philosophy on Fuel Dumping on hackmytrip.com: Fuel dumping is a method by which a fuel surcharge on an international fare is removed through the addition of one or more additional unrelated segments. Because of IATA (International Air Transport Association) rules that few people understand ...


16

I often just look up the Wikipedia article for the airline. So for example, when in the 'stans earlier this year, I was considering airlines like Kyrgyzstan Aircompany - which as soon as you start reading the article, you'll find it's on the list of airlines banned from flying over the EU...., which quickly made up my mind about it. Although they were ...


16

Ryanair allegedly shows different prices to based on your previous visit / search history to give you the illusion that cheap tickets are running out. Clearing your cookies or visiting the site in incognito / private mode can show you the truly cheapest price they have. Flying out in the middle of the week is a good strategy for almost any kind of air ...


16

The catch is that if you book the tickets separately and then the flight from A to B is delayed, causing you to miss the flight from B to C, it becomes your problem to arrange for alternative transport from B to C. The airline has no obligations towards you, even if it was their own delayed flight that caused the issue. Worse still, if the B->C ticket had a ...


16

Yes. It is usually required that you fly all legs of a single ticket. Even if you skip the last leg, the airline might penalise you later. At the very least, you should contact the airline before the flight and tell them that for unforeseen reasons you need to skip one leg; in this case, they might not cancel the remainder. Of course, in every particular ...


15

The only one I'm aware of is United Airlines, on Channel 9. Radios are never permitted in flight. However, there are websites with live ATC feeds so if the flight had WiFi you might be able to listen through a computer.


15

We did a LOT of transatlantic traveling with 3 kids (starting at 6 months age or so). My daughter had her first free flight on her own miles when she was 4 years old :-) It's entirely doable if properly prepared If you need a layover, do it in Europe not the US. Otherwise on the way back you have to go through customs and immigration in the first US ...


15

What you're describing is called an "Open Jaw" ticket, and there's a very simple rule for determining if it applies or not. Lets say you're flying A-B and then C-A. There's 3 distances involved here - A-B, B-C (ie, the overland segment) and C-A. For a ticket to be a valid "open jaw", the distance B-C needs to be shorter than both A-B and C-A. eg, SFO-STL ...


15

I've flown directly over the north pole on a route from ATL to PEK (beijing). Here's a pic of the seatback flight map from a United 747, where I spent the entire flight with my face pressed to the window. Amazing scenery from Hudson Bay north through Baffin Island and on. It was July of 2008. When we crossed the pole (as indicated in the flight map) the ...


14

I don't believe a definite list of flights exist, but here's what I found after a fairly exhaustive search. Buenos Aires, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa on Malaysia Airlines Buenos Aires, Argentina to Johannesburg, South Africa on South African Airways Sao Paulo, Brazil to Luanda, Angola on TAAG Angola Airlines Sao Paulo, Brazil to Johannesburg, ...


14

If it's a one-way flight, it should be fine. If it's round-trip, though, you may forfeit the return portion of your trip if you don't use all of the legs of your outgoing trip. I suggest checking with the airline before doing this, unless you're willing to forfeit the rest of your itinerary.



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