Essential air travel tips

With a little thought and planning in advance, you can be sure that your air travel is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Here are some great tips to help you decide if you are upgrading to the best seats on the plane, and even what to do if you find that your passport has expired just before departure.

What does that airline letter mean to me?

One letter from all airline ticket information can tell you how convenient your trip is. The letter you are looking for is just ahead of the flight date. It checks the person for how much you have paid for your flight, which dictates updating or even getting a decent seat at the front.

The letter on the BA ticket, for example, shows the full economy fare, with S, Q and O indicating that it is a reduced fare and that your legal seat may be next to the toilets. Each airline has its own code, but fortunately, http: //, dedicated to the airline's minutiae, describes it in detail in its Miles & Points forum.

Which places should I look at?

Check out http: //, which will take you to the selected places. They have many tips, for example, the lines that are closest to air conditioning and therefore colder and which have no windows.

You will have to wait until the emergency exit points are requested. They are never available on the web because the airline has to make you workable.

However, they are not always the best choice. In some planes, the emergency exit line impedes the shape of the door. Similarly, if the aircraft is fitted with an emergency cork, then a row window seat is located behind the exit to test the smart position. There will be no seat in front of it to accommodate the cabinet. You should also check the lines next to the back: As the cabin leans toward its tail, some places have extra depth.

Which places should I avoid?

It is easier to avoid rows to avoid.

If you find that children and air travel do not mix, remove most of the surrounding area. This is where airlines usually place children with infants and toddlers. And give the lines directly in front of the main part and skip them immediately, because those places generally do not fully expose. If the noise disturbs you, again avoid the back where the engine noise is higher. And if you suffer from an airway injury, aim to sit near the leading edge of the wing, where you are least likely to end up searching for a sick bag.

How to get an urgent passport?

For an ineffective traveler who has not been able to carry his passport for two years, there is an alternative to full-scale despair.

First search the "emergency passport" on the Internet and find the phone number of the relevant department. Then call and ask your business for immediate help. Different countries have different accident schemes, but be prepared to participate in person and pay extra to quickly track your passport.

Relax before your flight

If you become a member of one of the VIP lounge clubs, you can relax with drinks, snacks, newspapers and magazines away from the airport bustle, some credit or charge cards also allow access to the same or similar facilities.

Take a quiet trip

If you're flying long, it might be a good idea to buy a noise reduction headset at the airport. If you are prone to jetlag, there have been some encouraging reports of melatonin's effectiveness (see

Of course, any flight is a good idea to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water.

Cancellation of flight by EU airlines

If you are flying to an EU airport or EU airline, the EU rules are clear. If the flight is canceled less than seven days after departure, you are entitled to a refund, flight home and compensation, the value of which depends on the distance of your flight and the delay in returning you. You must be given a written notice at the airport, and compensation must be paid within seven days. Details of these and other regulations can be found on the EU official website:

You also have the right to rest at the airport, depending on your wait time and two free phone calls, plus overnight and transfers if needed. The Air Transport Users Council (AUC) website provides full details at

However, in certain "emergencies", including bad weather, unexpected security flaws and security risks, there will be no entitlement to compensation.

We have found that some airport staff seem to be better prepared for exceptions than regulations, so always be persistent and claim your rights.

And a safe and smooth trip.