Category: Air

How To Fly With Your Dog And Make Sure You Both Have A Great Flight

This is a guest post by Stephanie Yoder, a girl who can’t sit still! She writes about everything related to Millennial travel at Why Wait to See the World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel).

pug on a train

Owning a dog is just the best: long walks and cuddles on the couch from an eternally loyal best friend. The only huge drawback is that it makes it much harder to travel. Unlike a cat, you can’t just leave your dog alone with a bucket of food, a litter box and then hope for the best. You’ll need to leave him the care of a dog-sitter or at an expensive kennel. It can really cut into your travel budget.

Unless… you take your dog with you. It’s not the easiest, and not the most enjoyable for some dogs, but it is worth it when traveling with your dog is the best or the only option. Last year we took our funny little terrier Leo across the country and back again. It wasn’t a difficult process, but here is what you need to know.

Know the Rules

Every airline has slightly different rules for traveling with pets in the cabin. Some don’t allow it at all, and those that do generally have weight and breed restrictions. Unlike babies, dogs don’t fly for free. There is usually a fee per flight that can range from $30-$500.

traveling terrier

Usually the cap is about 9 kilograms (20 pounds) – although in my experience there is a little wiggle room as they don’t usually weigh your dog at check in. Larger dogs will have to fly in kennels under the plane. Some airlines also have restrictions against  brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds of dogs, which are more prone to respiratory issues while flying. Breeds like pugs, Boston terriers and bull dogs might run afoul of these rules.

Aside from that, your dog’s presence on the flight is subject to availability. Most airlines only allow a handful of in-cabin animals on a single flight. Makes sure you call and check that there is space available on the flight, and that you reserve both of your travel at the same time. Call again 24 hours before your flight to remind them you are traveling with a dog.

Talk to Your Vet

Most airlines will require a health certificate from your veterinarian issued within 7 days of departure (you don’t need  a second certificate for your journey home even if it is outside that time frame). You might need immunization records if you are traveling internationally.

In my experience, airline personnel usually don’t ask to see these records but you will want to have them just in case. If you don’t produce them, you’re dog could be barred from the flight.

terrier

While you’re at the vet, take some time to talk about the best method for keeping your dog calm during the flight. Some people choose to sedate their pets with low doses of Xanax, but you may want to do a test run first since it can hype some dogs up. Your vet may have some other ideas on non-medical ways to keep your pet calm depending on their health and temperament.

We chose not to medicate our dog, and tried some essential oils to calm him. The oils did nothing, so we kept him calm but talking to him during the flight, feeding him treats and stroking his head.

Prep Your Pooch

Traveling on a plane can be a pretty scary experience for a dog. It’s loud, and confusing, and smells kind of weird. You will want to do everything you can to make them as comfortable as possible.

terrier at the beach

Get your dog a comfy soft crate (make sure it fits airline restrictions for fitting under the seat). It should be big enough for them to turn around comfortably and the sides should be ventilated. Give your dog the chance to get used to the carrier, have them spend some time in there each day and reward them with treats. It’s a good idea to have them hang out in there while in motion as well- take a car ride with them.

Before our flight we spent weeks practicing with Leo. He would sit in the crate and we would shower him with treats and praise until he started to actually enjoy that space. We laid down extra padding and put a couple of his favorite toys in there. We also lined the bottom with absorbent puppy pads in case he had an accident in transit (which he never did).

On the Day

On the day you are flying, feed your dog 4 hours before departure, so that they have enough time to digest and pass their food. Give them lots of water to drink so they don’t get dehydrated during the flight.  Take them for a very long walk if you have time, to work off some energy.

Check in early for your flight. Most airports have some sort of designated pet area where your pooch can relieve themselves before the big flight. Once you’re up in the air, do your best to help your pet stay calm. They will probably need to stay in their crate under the seat for the whole flight but you can reach down and talk to and comfort them.

When you’ve arrived at your destination and de-boarded you can finally let your friend go free. Take them outside for some fresh air and breathe a sigh of relief – you made it!

Thank you very much Stephanie for this guest post! Stephanie writes about travel for millennials on her website, Why Wait To See The World. You can also follow Why Wait To See The World on Facebook, Twitter @whywaitworld, and Instagram.

Are Wow Air Deals Worth It?

washingon dc from sky

You may have seen recently a lot of seemingly spectacular deals from Wow Air, a low-cost airline based in Reykjavik, Iceland, that offers transatlantic flight deals for less than $99. Those deals seem worth it (answering the question above) of course, if they are what they seem upfront.

I spent some time booking flights using Wow Air and found while it might be an inexpensive way to cross the Atlantic, it may not always be the best way.

Wow Deals

A lot of low cost carriers advertise big deals on flights, pricing them so low it feels more like you could be booking a bus ticket. Often, those low fares are only for select seats offered on a first-come-first-serve basis or come with high fees, meaning most of the people booking that flight won’t be getting the lowest advertised price. The advertised deals get you to the booking process, and in the case of Wow Air, the fees for most people bring the airfare up to less attractive numbers.

wow air

First Thing Is One Way

Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Wow Air’s wonderful $99 prices (they’re sometimes as low as $69) from the United States to Europe are only for one-way journeys. Return flights are typically 2-3 times the one-way fare, around $219 back to America. And don’t forget about the taxes, around $100 usually. Although paying around $400 for a round-trip ticket to Amsterdam from San Francisco isn’t bad at all, there are some other fees you’ll need to accept or avoid to keep prices as low as possible.

The Other Fees

You quickly come across some of the more avoidable fees during the plane ticket booking process, starting with seat assignments. Paying for a reserved seat isn’t necessary, especially if you’re traveling alone or in a small group, plus have the patience to get queued up in line early. Otherwise it will cost you about $8 for each seat reservation. Food or drinks aren’t served, so unless a long haul flight is when you want to experiment with intermittent fasting, bring your own or pay about $12 for an airplane meal. Also, there’s no entertainment center, something you shouldn’t miss too much if you’ve got a travel good book or download a few movies ahead of time.

A few of the less avoidable fees are for checked bags. A checked bag carries a $70 fee per leg, meaning even on a one-way trip, if you’ve got a layover in Reykjavik (Wow Air’s hub), you’ll be paying the baggage fee twice. One carry-on bag under a reasonable size and a ‘personal item’ is free.

Wow Air doesn’t hide its fees but unless you’re traveling especially light or making use of a multi-city flight, your final price might be closer to an Icelandair ticket which offers stopovers, meals, and included baggage. Those of you accumulating frequent flyer miles too might decide Wow Air’s not worth what ends up being a small discount on airfare. Still, many travelers rate Wow Air as a decent airline that doesn’t feel cheap, but be sure to calculate all the fees because the reality is, it may not be that cheap after all.

Use This Tip To Save Yourself Up To An Hour When Landing At Havana’s International Airport

Havana Cuba Jose Marti International Airport

The first thing almost all tourists will need upon arriving in Havana, Cuba’s Jose Marti International Airport, is cash. This is particularly true for Americans, whose ATM cards won’t work; nationals of other countries have no guarantees either. And everyone can pretty much forget about using credit cards in Cuba’s heavily cash-based society.

As a visitor, it’s practically a necessity to take all the cash you’ll need with you for the duration of your entire trip prior to departing for Cuba. Unless you’ve got a prepaid ride waiting to pick you up at the airport, you need to convert some cash (e.g. dollars, euros, etc.) into the tourist-local Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). Since everyone else has the same idea long, long, lines form outside of the exchange office in the arrivals hall.

Understaffed hardly ever open on time, here’s how you can forgo up to an hour of waiting in arrivals at Jose Marti International Airport after you land.

Go Upstairs To Departures

Walking into the arrivals hall your first stop might not seem like the departures hall upstairs, but it should be.

The departures hall (which will be deserted) has several staffed currency exchange booths and not a single person using them. Walk up, exchange enough money to get yourself where you’re staying, plus some extra. The exchange rate at the airport is often the same, if not better than most of the hotels in town (the primary place to exchange money in Havana) so it’s not a bad idea to convert larger amounts.

cuba old car taxi

Once you’ve converted your money, you can go back down to arrivals. Just past the massive line full of tourists waiting to get CUC will be a taxi that can take you into town. Now you’ve got an extra hour to explore Cuba, which might not be what you think it is.

Small Tips Often Pay Big

Because Havana airport only has a relatively small number of flights, arrivals and departures don’t overlap significantly which is why one is usually empty when the other is not. Keep this in mind when departing Jose Marti International Airport, currency exchange in arrivals is likely to be much less busy.

Many travel tips are as simple as this but go a long way in saving you money, time, or enhancing an experience. For instance, you should do this before visiting the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, find this restaurant in Kosovo, and can save a lot on trains in Japan before ever leaving home.

This Is What A 10 Hour Flight Looks Like Condensed Into 150 Seconds

One of the best features of many smartphones, particularly the iPhone 6s, is the time-lapse feature. Recently, on an Austrian Airlines flight from Vienna to Washington D.C., I had an unexpected opportunity to capture a very amateur time-lapse of the entire 10 hour flight.

The combination of an empty seat next to me, a fairly flat window opening, not to mention a conveniently located USB port to keep charged during the entire shoot made this a fun project for a long flight. In case you were wondering, here is what the ad-hoc setup looked like:

airplane flight time lapse

A boarding pass between the phone and the glass to prevent temperature warnings (and automatic shutoff), plus a vomit bag stuffed into the window for the cheapest tripod ever. Of course, this isn’t the ideal way to take a time-lapse video. Here’s how to take time-lapse videos and the best times to shoot them during your travels, plus a few examples of mine from the Taj Mahal, Tunisia’s Star Wars sets, and more.

Why Missing A Flight Isn’t Such A Big Deal And What To Do If It Happens

havana airport

The one event most travelers try to avoid at all costs is missing their flight. Whether you you show up at the airport 3 hours early or cut it much closer, fear of missing a flight can induce panic, terminal sprints, and philosophical debates on rush hour traffic flows. Missing a flight can brandish you a careless traveling idiot undeserving to board another aircraft again but like most things in life, stuff happens.

Fortunately I’ve been unintentionally researching for this post for years. Here’s what happens when you miss a flight and what you can do about it.

Under The Right Circumstances

Many of us who’ve ever flown on a route with a connecting flight have missed a flight due to a late connection. In those cases you’re put on the next available flight by the airline, an inconvenience but without the complications of missing your first flight from the airport altogether. This post is about the latter case, when, for whatever reason, you’ve shown up at the airport too late to check-in. The first thing to do is breathe and stay calm, in most cases it’s not the costly end-of-the-world mistake you may be thinking.

deep breath

Misconceptions

For starters, you’re not the only one. 2% of all travelers who show up two hours before a flight don’t make it and around 70,000 American Airlines fliers have missed flights in the United States alone due to excessive security line wait times alone. Given the numbers of people missing flights, the airlines have incorporated some flexibility for customers to handle such circumstances.

Know When It’s A Lost Cause

Prior to getting to the security line, your major deadline is check-in. For most flights if you’re not at the airline counter 45 minutes before departure, checked bags or not, you’re probably not making that particular flight. You should do all you can to make it on time but know when it’s time to start thinking about alternative options. Trivially stressful events like soccer matches can increase your chances of a heart attack and a missed flight isn’t worth a hospital visit.

tokyo narita airport

Once you’ve accepted the inevitable, begin politically pivoting to get on another flight and pay as little as possible for it.

Anecdotally, several airlines have policies that allow passengers to re-book flights with no penalties if they’re no later than 2 hours of the scheduled flight.

Internet Ahead

For close calls (i.e. missed flights within 2 hours) go to the check-in desk and explain your story. (Or as Spock would say, exaggerate the truth.) When you arrive at the airport, be sure to tell the staff you’re running very late for a flight so they can push you to the front of the check-in line – you might get lucky if there are any flight delays.

In cases where you’ve really screwed up the times, say A.M. with P.M., be calm, collected, and use The Art Of War to get on the desk agent’s good side but first call ahead to the airline. At worst, you’re likely to pay a re-booking penalty of $100-200, and while it’s not the best news, it’s a lot better than having to pay for a completely new ticket.

WiFox, The Map Of Current Airport Wireless Passwords Worldwide, Is Now Available On Android

wifox app

WiFox is a map of airport wifi and lounge passwords from around the world that’s updated in real-time with information verified from other travelers, pilots, and reliable sources. Last month I released WiFox for iOS, starting today it’s available for Android devices on Google Play.

wifox google play

How WiFox Works

WiFox is based on my popular map of wireless passwords from around the world, letting users around the world add password information from airports as they travel. Passwords are then verified and added to the map, which is updated in real-time when you have an Internet connection. All of the hotspots are shown on a Google map, which you can download for offline use, as well as in a searchable list view.

wifox android app

  • Hotspot Information Includes – Airport, location in the airport or lounge, network name, password, plus any other details that might help you get online (e.g. “sit next to gate 47 for the strongest signal”).

All of the information is verified before being approved to the map – plus you can submit password changes as you discover them. WiFox also has a simple feedback system that let’s you vouch for working passwords or let me know one might need updating.

Unlock Airport Time Restrictions

WiFox currently has the access information for over 80 airports worldwide. Additionally, WiFox shows you airports with free wireless so you can better plan a trip. Many free wifi connections in airport often have time limits, so not only does WiFox tell you what they are but it also has information showing you how to turn limited into unlimited Internet.

Available On Google Play Now

WiFox is available for Android on Google Play as well as Amazon for $1.99. There are no in-app purchases or ads and airport wireless updates are free, for life. As I have for the iOS version, I’ll keep adding new features to WiFox, hotspots, plus other updates regularly based on your reviews. My goal is to help you travel smarter and get online in airports you might not otherwise be able to (or in airports that want to email you a password – before they let you online, ugh).

wifox google play android     wifox ios app store    wifox app amazon
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about WiFox in the comments below and if you’re happy with the app, I would appreciate your a 5-star reviews on Google Play!

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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