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Online Airline Information

| Airline Web sites | US government Web sites | Consumer Web sites |

Airline 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 security check-point.

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 points.
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.

US government Web sites

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 helpful pages.
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.

Consumer Web sites

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.