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Airlines may consider a connection as tight as 35 minutes to be valid, and if you don't have to clear customs or exit and re-enter secure zones between flights, and the arrival and departure gates are near each other, this may be reasonable.  However, you can get unpleasant surprises at unfamiliar airports.  For example, your gates could be at opposite ends of the building, or even in separate terminals.  If you're traveling through an airport you don't know well and travel time is not critical, consider allowing '''at least an hour and a half''' to make each connection, particularly if it involves clearing customs (in which case two and a half hours is safer).  If you are not delayed, you can use this slack time to eat at the airport, where the food is likely better and possibly more affordable than what you may (or may not!) get in the air.
 
Airlines may consider a connection as tight as 35 minutes to be valid, and if you don't have to clear customs or exit and re-enter secure zones between flights, and the arrival and departure gates are near each other, this may be reasonable.  However, you can get unpleasant surprises at unfamiliar airports.  For example, your gates could be at opposite ends of the building, or even in separate terminals.  If you're traveling through an airport you don't know well and travel time is not critical, consider allowing '''at least an hour and a half''' to make each connection, particularly if it involves clearing customs (in which case two and a half hours is safer).  If you are not delayed, you can use this slack time to eat at the airport, where the food is likely better and possibly more affordable than what you may (or may not!) get in the air.
  
Many on-line travel Web sites show statistics on how often a given flight arrives on time.  Use this information to help you decide whether to risk problems with tight connections, etc.  Generally, the last flight of the day into a given destination will be delayed more often than earlier flights, as the airlines use that flight to "sweep" travelers whose inbound connecting flights run late.  Of course, the statistics alone won't tell you whether ''your'' particular flight is likely to be delayed, but it's still useful data.
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Many on-line travel arrangers show statistics on how often a given flight arrives on time.  Use this information to help you decide whether to risk problems with tight connections, etc.  Generally, the last flight of the day into a given destination will be delayed more often than earlier flights, as the airlines use that flight to "sweep" travelers whose inbound connecting flights run late.  Of course, the statistics alone won't tell you whether ''your'' particular flight is likely to be delayed, but it's still useful data.
  
When connecting through a country other than your destination, always determine if that country will allow you to walk directly from your arriving flight to your connecting flight (see the "After landing" section below), and whether that country requires you to obtain a transit visa and/or pass through immigration and customs. Some countries, such as the United States and Canada require all passengers to always pass through immigration and customs, even if they are merely transferring between international flights and will not remain in the country. You may find it easier to avoid a connection through such countries, particularly the United States which imposes the same strict requirements for a transit visa as for a tourist visa. Others, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia require certain nationalities to obtain a visa even if they plan to remain in the sterile area. You are responsible for procuring all the necessary visas before you fly. Request them as early as possible.
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With international connecting flights, check to see if the country you will be making a connection at requires a transit visa to go through their airport. Some countries, such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom require all passengers to go pass through customs and immigration even if they are just transferring between international flights. You may find it easier if you can avoid passing through these destinations, particularly the United States which has the same requirements for a transit visa as for a tourist visa. Others, such as Hong Kong and Australia will require certain nationalities to obtain a visa even if they plan to remain in the sterile area. You are responsible for procuring all the necessary visas before you fly; request them as early as possible.
  
 
===Reservations and ticketing===
 
===Reservations and ticketing===
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To board your flight, you'll at least need an airline boarding pass, '''paper ticket''' (if you were issued with one), and certainly some form of '''government-issued photo identification''' (perhaps less for toddlers) - check with the carrier you are flying with to find-out acceptable identification.  If your flight (or connecting flight) takes you to other countries, you'll also need a '''passport''', often with an expiration date at least six months after the date you start the trip.  Depending on countries you'll fly to or make connections in, you may need one or more '''visas'''.  Check in advance with your agent or airline as well as the website of the embassy of the countries you wish to visit; without all the necessary documentation, your trip may be at risk.  The credit card used to purchase the tickets may also be required to be presented for verification especially if you booked online, so bring that as well.   
 
To board your flight, you'll at least need an airline boarding pass, '''paper ticket''' (if you were issued with one), and certainly some form of '''government-issued photo identification''' (perhaps less for toddlers) - check with the carrier you are flying with to find-out acceptable identification.  If your flight (or connecting flight) takes you to other countries, you'll also need a '''passport''', often with an expiration date at least six months after the date you start the trip.  Depending on countries you'll fly to or make connections in, you may need one or more '''visas'''.  Check in advance with your agent or airline as well as the website of the embassy of the countries you wish to visit; without all the necessary documentation, your trip may be at risk.  The credit card used to purchase the tickets may also be required to be presented for verification especially if you booked online, so bring that as well.   
 
Countries that do not require visas from your nationality for short visits may require you to apply for some form of electronic travel authorisation.  These countries include Australia (ETA or eVisitor), Canada (eTA), and the United States (ESTA).  You may need to do this days in advance of intended travel.  Without this, your carrier will not accept you for travel.  Qualifying nationals can obtain this directly from the website of the host country's immigration authority.  Unless more information or referrals are needed, the applicant will find out the outcome almost immediately.
 
  
 
Any authority looking at airline tickets, boarding passes, passports or other identification will examine names carefully. TSA and other security authorities often require that key papers '''precisely reflect your full name''' (middle name or mother's maiden surname is usually optional and for two given names, spaces between them are not needed).  In other words, the name in your boarding pass must precisely match your photo ID.  This applies to all persons in your travel group, e.g. spouse, children.  This starts by making sure that whoever books your trip accurately enters each full name on the reservations and later-generated tickets.
 
Any authority looking at airline tickets, boarding passes, passports or other identification will examine names carefully. TSA and other security authorities often require that key papers '''precisely reflect your full name''' (middle name or mother's maiden surname is usually optional and for two given names, spaces between them are not needed).  In other words, the name in your boarding pass must precisely match your photo ID.  This applies to all persons in your travel group, e.g. spouse, children.  This starts by making sure that whoever books your trip accurately enters each full name on the reservations and later-generated tickets.
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====Weight and Size Limits====
 
====Weight and Size Limits====
* ''Carry-on'' luggage most anywhere: 1 piece (in Europe, maximum weight 7, some airlines 12 kg), maximum size 20x40x55 cm 115 cm in total (9x14x22 inches)...in Europe, often 20 inches length.  
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* ''Carry-on'' luggage most anywhere: 1 piece (in Europe, maximum weight 7, some airlines 12 kg), maximum size 20x40x55 cm (9x14x22 inches)...in Europe, often 20 inches length.  
 
* Checked luggage on international flights outside the United States: 2 pieces, maximum 23 kg (50 lbs).
 
* Checked luggage on international flights outside the United States: 2 pieces, maximum 23 kg (50 lbs).
 
* ''Checked'' luggage on international flights to/from the United States and within the United States: 2 piece, maximum 23 kg or 50 lbs.
 
* ''Checked'' luggage on international flights to/from the United States and within the United States: 2 piece, maximum 23 kg or 50 lbs.
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* Remove items that create bulges from trouser/pant pockets...just an unnecessary way to generate inspector questions.
 
* Remove items that create bulges from trouser/pant pockets...just an unnecessary way to generate inspector questions.
 
* You may be required to show that any electronic device functions.  Make sure their batteries are charged and inserted for a brief demonstration.
 
* You may be required to show that any electronic device functions.  Make sure their batteries are charged and inserted for a brief demonstration.
* You may be subject to a more rigorous security check.  Depending on the country and airport, this can be random or based on some suspicion.  It  can involve luggage search, swabs for explosive chemical traces and/or personal body searches.  Officers may offer an information sheet explaining your rights, but the chance of your reaching your plane without submitting to the check is low. Note: the airport securities in the US and other Western countries have and will  continue to suspect people who are Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, and other minority races as being more suspicious and and may unfairly judge you as more of a risk for illegal activity due to Islamophobia, xenophobia, and past concerns with terrorist attacks. There is not much you can do to curb this bias. Acting suspicious, preventing the airport staff from checking your bags, protesting the strictness of security, and making unsettling jokes will only further perpetuate the stereotype so cooperate with all their instructions and just maybe you will help to change their perception of people of certain races. Also those who wear ethnic clothing may also be targeted for more thorough security checks, again just cooperate and keep your protests to yourself.  
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* You may be subject to a more rigorous security check.  Depending on the country and airport, this can be random or based on some suspicion.  It  can involve luggage search, swabs for explosive chemical traces and/or personal body searches.  Officers may offer an information sheet explaining your rights, but the chance of your reaching your plane without submitting to the check is low.
  
 
After body screening, you ''may'' be told to go with a screener to hand inspect your belongings...usually because electronic screening cannot identify an object.  Otherwise, go to the end of the "line" electronically screening your luggage, etc., claim your possessions and exit "security" into the "airside" terminal.
 
After body screening, you ''may'' be told to go with a screener to hand inspect your belongings...usually because electronic screening cannot identify an object.  Otherwise, go to the end of the "line" electronically screening your luggage, etc., claim your possessions and exit "security" into the "airside" terminal.
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* Keep within sight anything you put in overhead bins that contains valuables.  Though you may sleep, potential thieves (yes, on flights) usually won't risk your casual glance toward your belongings.  Otherwise put them at your feet.
 
* Keep within sight anything you put in overhead bins that contains valuables.  Though you may sleep, potential thieves (yes, on flights) usually won't risk your casual glance toward your belongings.  Otherwise put them at your feet.
 
* Once seated, and if you have it, use sanitizer/sanitizing wipes to clean your hands, seat-tray, arm rests and (when convenient) the handles on overhead bins.
 
* Once seated, and if you have it, use sanitizer/sanitizing wipes to clean your hands, seat-tray, arm rests and (when convenient) the handles on overhead bins.
* If your ears are hurting during takeoff, try pinching your nose and blowing; that can help unpop your ears. Chewing gum can also help.
 
  
 
===During flight===
 
===During flight===
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===Making a connection===
 
===Making a connection===
 
* When your journey involves multiple time zones, the flight purser will usually announce the local time at your port-of-arrival.  The local time at your destination is also available from the flight path/airshow channel of your in-flight entertainment system if your flight is equipped with it. Adjust your watch to the time announced to avoid confusion with the timetables at the airport, especially if you have a connecting flight.   
 
* When your journey involves multiple time zones, the flight purser will usually announce the local time at your port-of-arrival.  The local time at your destination is also available from the flight path/airshow channel of your in-flight entertainment system if your flight is equipped with it. Adjust your watch to the time announced to avoid confusion with the timetables at the airport, especially if you have a connecting flight.   
* Obtain your boarding pass for your next flight (either at a transfer desk if provided or regular check-in) if you have not done so already.
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* Check if you have a boarding pass for your next flight. If you don't, you are not considered checked-in for that flight yet so proceed to a transfer desk immediately to obtain a boarding pass for your next flight. You can avoid this by checking-in on-line and printing the boarding passes, if your carrier offers these.
* Many international airports around the world do not require you to go through immigration or customs if you are merely connecting to another country and will not remain in their country.  In those airports, you can immediately walk off the airplane into the regular sterile area of the terminal, and walk directly to your next gate to await boarding.
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* If you came from an international flight and are continuing on to a domestic flight, you will need to clear passport control, possibly claim your luggage (even if it is checked-through to your final destination) and clear customs and eventually check-in your luggage again to ensure its loading into your next flight. If you checked-through your luggage to your final destination, some airports may provide a special lane where you can simply drop-off your luggage instead of doing so at the main departure hall.   
* At international airports in the United States, Canada, and a few other countries, all arriving international passengers are always required to proceed to immigration and customs. Small airports make passengers deplane by airstairs and proceed across the tarmac by foot or bus to a dedicated international arrival facility. Large airports build a parallel set of bridges or corridors, separate from the regular sterile area, which directly link all international gates to their immigration and customs inspection station.  
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* There are a few scenarios when baggage will have to be collected at intermediate stopovers and checked-in as usual for loading onto the next flight.  In this case, you will need to undergo the usual visa application, clear formalities (ie passport control and customs) if at least the first leg is international. Some of them include the following:
* In all countries, if you came from an international flight and are continuing on to a domestic flight, you will need to clear passport control, possibly claim your luggage (even if it is checked through to your final destination) and clear customs.  You must then check-in your luggage again to ensure its loading into your next flight. If your baggage has already been checked through to your final destination at first check-in, some airports provide a special "connecting flights" bag drops right after customs where you can simply drop it off, instead of have to drag it all the way through the terminal to the regular check-in desksIn the United States, post-customs connecting flights bag drops are also useful for international travelers in transit who will not be remaining in the US.
 
* If you are connecting through a US preclearance airport to a flight bound for the United States, you may have to pass through US immigration and customs ''before'' you board your flight. Airlines that support preclearance connections take digital photographs of all baggage at check-in which will ultimately connect to US-bound flights at preclearance airports.  When you reach preclearance, the immigration officer will present you with the photograph and ask you to confirm that it is your bag.
 
* There are a few scenarios when baggage will have to be collected at intermediate stopovers and checked-in as usual for loading onto the next flight.  In this case, you will need to undergo the usual visa application and clear formalities (i.e. passport control and customs) if at least the first leg is international. Some of them include the following:
 
 
**either your first or next leg involves a low cost carrier
 
**either your first or next leg involves a low cost carrier
 
**you booked both flights separately
 
**you booked both flights separately

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