When you are traveling to the US for the first time, you should keep the following tips in mind regarding your airline itinerary and tickets:
- Make sure you have your airline’s phone number, so you can confirm the tickets.
- Save the address and telephone number to your destination in the USA. Alternate (neighbors’) telephone numbers might be useful, as well.
- Understand your itinerary very clearly. An example itinerary is below. It shows the details, such as the airline code, flight number, starting and ending airports, and date/time. Remember, all times reflect local time zones.
AI101 26DEC MUMBAI LONDON 0700 DEP 1000 ARR
AI101 26DEC LONDON NEWYORK 1200 DEP 1710 ARR
The above itinerary has two flights. Due to a time zone change, this might seem like the longest day of your life.
- Make definitive plans regarding meeting at your final destination.
- Check the timing of the flights a couple of days prior to your flight. Sometimes flights change after the tickets have been booked. If you have connecting flights, there is a good possibility passengers on a cancelled flight will be shifted to an earlier flight to enable them to make the connection. You may encounter difficulty and extra charges if your flight time has been moved up, and you missed it because you were unaware. Typically, the travel agent is not responsible for alerting you to flight schedule changes, although there are some good travel agents who do. Those are exceptions and not the norm.
Ask the agent and/or airlines if you would like to join the frequent flyer program in advance.
- Plan ahead early enough. Plan for contingencies. Some agents also offer emergency services, so you may want to take their number with you, just in case. If you have a printout of your confirmation number, take it (or copies of it) with you on the trip. It can lend you much credibility if a dispute does arise.
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- Boarding: A designated time when the gate agent instructs passengers with boarding passes to enter the airplane.
- Boarding Pass: A card issued by an agent which allows you to board an airplane.
- Confirmed: The reservation for a trip that has been verified by a reservation agent.
- Gate Agent: The person who issues the boarding passes and checks in passengers at a departure gate.
- Pre-Board: A procedure for boarding passengers who may need special assistance or additional time in boarding the flight prior to the boarding of the majority of passengers.