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The Civilized Explorer > Online Airline Information
Online Airline Information
Airline Web sites |
US government Web sites |
Consumer Web sites |
We give the airlines' home page URLs in the list below, then we provide links
to internal pages which offer specific information on travel policies and
procedures for each airline. The home pages generally offer the same
information (ticketing, special offers, and the like), so we do not mention
them specifically. If you have electronically issued tickets, check the
airline's information on what documentation is required to pass through a
- Alaska Airlines
- Electronic Timetables
- Flight Status
- Know before you go
- Transporting firearms
- Alaska Air is a unique airline. Baggage questions answered include how much
dry ice can I check in (not more than five pounds) and how do I transport my
game trophy (horns and antlers may not be checked; raw meat may be if properly
packed) and associated weaponry (not more than 50 pounds of ammunition).
- American Airlines
- Travel Information Center
- The Travel Information Center provides links to current gates and times,
travel planning tools (wireless updates on flight status in real time with Palm
OS, email flight status notification, and flight information for PDAs), new
travel requirements, and airport information.
- The reservations section allows you not only to make reservations but to check in and print your boarding pass from your computer. There are certain restrictions for printing boarding passes, so make sure you meet the criteria before you plan on using this service. We tried to use this service, but our reservations had been changed (by AA as a result its schedule changes), and we were unable to meet all the restrictions and print our boarding pass.
- Continental Airlines
- Travel Information
- Travel Information offers flight operations status (including Reagan
National Airport), security and check-in procedures, carry-on restrictions, and
refunds and reissues of tickets.
- Delta Airlines
- Traveling and Check-in
- Traveling and Check-in provides information on check-in procedures,
checked baggage, and passenger security.
- Northwest Airlines
- Flight and Gate Status
- Downloadable Timetables
- Luggage Services
- Current Airport Procedures
- These pages cover carry-on items, parking, and documents needed to get through security check points.
- Southwest Airlines
- Travel Policies
- Flight status
- Southwest provides estimates of arrival times at its airports, although you
should confirm these estimates for yourself. Additional information includes
checked baggage, carry on bags, curbside and gate check-in, and security check
- United Airlines
- Services and Information
- This page covers carry-on baggage policies, flight schedules and
current status, what to expect at the airport, and documentation. It also
connects you to wireless updates for flight schedules
and online access to schedules and flight status.
- Orbitz is a Website operated by American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and
United airlines. It is a helpful site with information on security, traffic
delays, issues for many of the nation's airports (on the day of our visit, for
example, Atlanta's information included the availability of limited curbside
check-in, closed traffic lanes, pedestrian access, along with links to the
airport's Web site, driving directions, parking lots and fees, public
transportation, rental cars, and considerably more), and the usual offerings
for airfares, cruises, cars, and other packages.
In addition to online airline information, the following government sites
provide information concerning possible travel issues in specific areas where
you may be traveling.
Note: The US State Department now recommends that all travelers, even short- term travelers register their trip. This recommendation is the result of the tsunami that hit in Southeast Asia a few years ago, leaving many tourists unaccounted for. Generally, travelers have been expected to visit a local consulate to inform the government of their whereabouts during lengthy stays overseas. Given the huge loss of life as a result of the tsunami, with most victims never being recovered, the government now wants the opportunity to contact or locate you. See Welcome to the Registration Home Page and follow the directions for short or long duration travel, clicking on the button to "Register My Trip."
- New Requirements for Travelers
- Special notice: The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires travelers to and from the Caribbean, Canada, Panama, and Mexico to have a passport or other secure means of identification to re-enter the United States. There are proposed guidelines for implementation for air travel as of December 31, 2006, and all other means of travel as of December 31, 2007. Note that this requirement is not for American citizens to visit other countries in the Western Hemisphere, it is for American citizens to re-enter the United States after travel in other countries in the Western Hemisphere. (It applies to foreign residents of the US as well.) At the moment, only passports, passport cards, or "WHTI-compliant documents" are accepted as a secure means of identification. See the site for more information.
- Transportation Security Administration: Air Travel
- The TSA section on air travel for travelers and consumers has links on travel tips, preparing for boarding, prohibited items, special items (alcoholic beverages, cremated remains, lightes and matches, medications, photographic equipment and film, to name a few), children, medical conditions, and more. There is a menu to the left of this page with links to rail, cruise, and other forms of transit.
- US Department of State
- Bureau of Consular Affairs
- Current Travel Warnings
- The US Department of State has several helpful pages. The two listed after
the general home page have links on current travel warnings, preparing for a
crisis while you are abroad, how to get consular or medical help while abroad,
and links to American embassies and consulates in other countries.
- This is an interesting site that you may find useful for more than travel
issues. Travel information is near the bottom of the page, and you get links to
FAA updates, real time airport status (ground and flight delays), along with
road and transportation closures in the New York City and Washington, DC
metropolitan areas. But the page has considerably more information and
resources, including tips for traveling abroad, scams and frauds arising from
the terrorist attack, reporting civil rights violations, hotlines to report
leads and clues for terrorism, real information on bioterrorism (hint: don't
panic), how to aid the victims and their families, and links to late news from
the White House, Department of State, and Department of Defense.
- The Federal Aviation Administration's Web site offers a number of very
- Aviation Safety
- Accidents, security, and system efficiency.
- Traveler Briefing
- Preparing for your trip (consumer rights, accessibility rights,
flight delays, and more), the trip (what to wear, what not to pack,
unruly passengers, pets, and more), and links to airports and airlines.
- Security Tips for Air Travelers
- A list of items prohibited in carry-on luggage, how to get your
laptop and cell phone through the checkpoint, and more.
- Air Traffic Control System Command Center
- This site provides status on general arrival and departure delays in the continental United States by airport. A map shows whether there are no delays, departure delays of up to 45 minutes or more then 45 minutes, as well as delays for aircraft destined to a particular airport. Links are provided to regional airports as well. There is also a link to most of the surviving US airlines for you to check status for particular flights.
The following consumer sites offer travel tips, real time reports from
travelers, and where to find spectacular bargains.
- Smarter Living
- Check the "Features" and "Columns" links for current articles, which cover
airline bankruptcy and the consumer, theme travel (Hallowe'en on the day of our
visit), women's travel issues (stress management), but take advantage of the
other tools: ticket auctions, flight schedules, rail schedules, tips on how to
book flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars.
- Everyone knows Arthur Frommer's travel guides for the cheap and bargain-
minded. The Web site brings a wealth of information to travelers: airfares,
cruises, packages, and more, all at discounts. There are deals group around activities (adventure, beach, theme parks, etc.) and lifstyles (seniors, singles, women, etc.).
- Lonely Planet
- This Web site is the antidote to loneliness. Lots of links, including a clickable
world map, forums, blogs, travel posts by people like (and unlike) you,
and much more.