FLY SMART: Top ten tips

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Before You Take Flight

With millions of passengers around the world travelling every year, air travel has become a part of life. You need to be able to make informed decisions when you make your travel plans.

The Canadian Transportation Agency is here to ensure that our transportation system is one that is competitive, efficient and accessible. We want to help you with your planning by providing you with these tips on how to fly smart.

Top Ten Tips to Fly Smart

  1. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities: The tariff is the contract of carriage between you and your air carrier – it covers your rights and obligations as a passenger and your carrier’s rights and its responsibilities to you. Find it at the carrier’s business offices in Canada and on their Web sites when used for selling air transportation.
  2. Check in Early: When available, check in on-line up to 24 hours in advance of your flight. Arrive at the airport early to check- in, drop off your baggage, get through the security screening process and be available for boarding at the gate on time.
  3. Know the fare rules for your ticket: Note or print them before purchasing and carry them with you when you travel – they can defend you if a dispute arises between you and the air carrier’s agent.
  4. Know Your Carrier’s Limits: Each carrier sets out its own limits for carry-on and checked baggage. Carriers also set time limits for reporting and filing complaints about lost, damaged or delayed baggage. Check your carrier’s tariff for its baggage rules and allowances.      
  5. Call Ahead: From carrying sports equipment and musical instruments, to dietary restrictions, medical conditions and disability-related needs, most carriers require from 48 to 72 hours notice to accommodate special requests. 
  6. Pack Smart: Include your contact information and your destination contact information inside each piece of baggage. Always carry essential and valuable items with you on board:  your passport, identification and return tickets; medicines and medical devices; money, jewelry and electronic equipment; and, essential overnight items.
  7. Be Sure to Have All of Your Travel Documents: It’s your responsibility to have the proper documents to enter a foreign country and return to Canada. All Canadian travellers, including children, must have their own passport. Consult the diplomatic mission of each country you intend to visit for its entry requirements.
  8. Have Insurance When You Travel: Include protection against baggage loss, delay, damage or theft, trip cancellation or interruption, personal injury or death, as well as sufficient medical coverage.
  9. Don’t Miss Your Flight: When available, pre-select your seat in advance of departure. Confirm your return flight at least 72 hours in advance.  Monitor your points of contact for carrier notifications of departure time changes and cancellations. Check your flight’s status at least 24 hours before departure and leaving for the airport.
  10. Need Help with a Problem? Should you not be satisfied with your air carrier’s response to your written complaint, check our website to find out more about how we can help.
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