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34

I remember seeing this at an airport once before. They didn't have this at my local international airport so I thought it was some crazy thing for paranoid fliers. But in hindsight it has a purpose. The companies that provide these services claim a lot, but it is definitely going to provide the protection from the following things: Tampering (or at least ...


23

Why do you need to give them an excuse? [Currently] we have the right to opt-out, no questions asked. Having to explain yourself eats away at this right. I've never been asked why I opted-out, but if I was, I think I would say something like "to protest overly-burdensome security regulations". Which is the truth.


22

It prevents anyone in the airport from stealing anything from your bag. Not a problem in many European/USA airports, but when travelling through, say, Africa, you have to be careful. I remember a friend of mine, after transferring through Johannesburg, picking up her laptop case from the luggage carousel and remarking that it felt very light.


22

Contrary to popular belief, JFK and Newark (EWR) are just about equivalent, for all intents and purposes, as long as you're travelling to Manhattan. Reasons to prefer Newark: It is slightly more convenient to the West side of Manhattan It is way more convenient if you are travelling to New Jersey or Philadelphia If you are flying Continental/United. As a ...


21

I can't find the reference now, but there was a great story that an organisation was testing security at airports around the world, by taking a suitcase to the airport and leaving it there, timing how long before it got stolen or identified. The exception was Johannesburg, where the car was hijacked enroute, and the suitcase never made it to the airport ;) ...


20

Shrinkwrapping your luggage also protects anything protruding or attached such as handles, straps, fittings, padlocks, wheels, etc. Apparntly it's also used to keep things of odd shapes and sizes together as in this photo from Bangkok airport: (Thanks to WikiMedia Commons for the photo)


20

Plastic wrap, or some sort of net, is also a common technique for people traveling with backpacking packs. The number of protruding straps, handles, etc. are irresistible bait for baggage handlers or machines to grab your bag by the wrong strap and rip it apart. Bundling it until it reaches your destination prevents backpack disabling misadventure.


20

I expect it's because most airplanes are designed for boarding and deplaning on the left. Next time you're on an airplane, take a look around as you're boarding. In my experience, the area around the boarding door on the left is relatively spacious and designed to direct passengers into the cabin. The corresponding space on the right is usually a galley. ...


17

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 ...


17

My personal view is that it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Most people working there won't give a rat's * about you using a powerpoint, save perhaps for security, but at most they'll just tell you to move along. I do a lot of travel, airports, bus stations, train stations, and my eye is always looking subconciously for power sockets now ;) ...


17

I agree with most of the answers, but don't think that if your luggage is wrapped in plastic it can't be "opened by accident". I have a friend who traveled from the US to Venezuela with his luggage wrapped in plastic, and some things "dissapeared" from his luggage, aparently someone opened it got some stuff and wrapped it again in plastic so my friend ...


17

In short, Putin's wrong, or at least oversimplifying drastically. Airport transit areas are exempted from immigration regulations, but they are very much the country's property, under its authority and jurisdiction. As a simple example, if you're transiting via an airport and are caught carrying contraband there, you'll be punished under the transit ...


16

The "left" side of the plane is usually referred to as the Port side. The term most likely comes from terminology as used for Ships (Fore, Aft, Port, Starboard, Up and Down). I would say it is convention that ships dock such that the Port is on the left, from which the term for the side gets its name ("The side of where the Port is").


15

Well, if you are traveling for business or in some other arrangement where someone else is paying for airfare, achieving elite frequent flyer status in a program is quite cheap. Being the travel companion of someone who has access is another route. Somewhat more seriously, flying intercontinentally in a premium cabin (or in a few selected services, such as ...


14

While I don't regularly sleep in the airports, I suggest you check out these tips: Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. They've probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will ...


14

I've used the power in a lot of airports, including YYZ, and never been told not to or even glared at. A few tips: They have to vaccuum the place. Look for power and you'll see it In the gate area the plugs are often in the floor. You might have to pry up a cover. Again, no-one seems to mind. When they're not in the floor, they're in the concrete columns ...


14

Assuming you are an EU citizen, you are indeed allowed to exit the airport and be able to return without problems, as long as you have a valid boarding pass for your next flight. In fact, the Schiphol website suggests that you leave the airport and stroll around the city if you have more than four hours before your next flight. The recommended check-in time ...


14

Some airlines now enforce plastic wrapping your luggage themselves. I flew out of Johannesburg with Emirates and they took it upon themselves to plastic wrap my luggage. I assumed it was for 2 reasons: to help prevent theft from luggage because OR Tambo International is known for pilfering to make the luggage as compact as possible.


14

Since you are flying internationally, you will have to clear customs and re-check your baggage at Newark. You can carry your duty free purchase on board the Glasgow-Newark leg of your journey, and can then simply place in your checked baggage in Newark, for your onward connection. Some more information is available from the TSA website.


14

The solution to the language barrier problem may be much simpler then relying on the immigration to provide the interpreter for the native language of your family member. Given that he/she is coming from your native country it is much simpler to do one of the following: Find a person on the plane who speaks one of the major languages as well as the native ...


13

So here is my update on my situation. All in all pretty terrible: BA refused to check my bags in all the way to Hyderabad (India). They have a policy of not checking bags on flights other than their own. They would make an exception only for OneWorld partners. Something about how BA was responsible for luggage even if the other airline lost it. The fact ...


13

It depends on the item. Alcoholic spirits (whiskey etc) and tobacco are the usual items to get, since they typically are the most heavily taxed items, so can be considerably cheaper at Duty Free than in either country. Usually you'll be able to get all of the major name-brand items, and sometimes some regional items (eg. Jenevers - Dutch gins - if in ...


13

Those machines seem to have been quite common. Here is a photo of one: There were even patented, but unfortunately the patent does not reveal the financial background. From this court case however, you can read about the process of making such a purchase: The policy set out across the top the following specifications: "Do Not Purchase More Than a ...


12

Last night we had a story on Carte Blanche (a South African investigative reporting program) where they said that there are about 140 000 incidents of theft at OR Tambo per year, so the situation is still really bad despite lots of measures put in place. They showed CCTV camera footage of how the thieves know exactly where the cameras are and grab bags off ...


12

When a plane is overbooked, the airline faces a situation where for example 125 people with economy tickets have shown up for a flight with 124 seats, there are various things they can do: move one of the economy people up to first or business, which is never oversold (by policy every airline I know does not oversell first or business) and rarely full ask ...


12

Speaking from personal experience: Firstly, I assume I'll be spending some of that time in customs, getting my bag, being searched, probed and whatnot. If you are a US citizen, you'll probably spend about an hour with immigration and customs. If you're not, wait times could be up to four hours during a busy period, and that assumes you're not ...


12

Nate is correct, because the Galley is loaded from the right (and on a 737 is on the right hand side (centre for bigger planes) Page 6 of the this PDF shows Boeing 747 design specs and how a plane is serviced while on the ground under normal circumstances. You'll notice that the cargo is also loaded on the right hand therefore if a plane was being unloaded ...


12

You should not have any problems at immigration. Nobody will force you to go through immigration straight away and immigration won't care which flight you arrived with. They will not mind giving you a stamp at 1 minute past midnight. The only question is whether the airline will allow you to board the plane. It would seem logical to me that they will let ...



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