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Airports – Accelerating your Passage

Airports are big and getting bigger. The number of travelers is big and getting bigger. The complexity of getting through airports is increasing along with this.
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What to expect when you enter a new airport Click here for Navigating a new Airport
Domestic Check

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Airports are big and getting bigger. The number of travelers is big and getting bigger. The complexity of getting through airports is increasing along with this.

For more on the following topics, click on what you are interested in:

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    Airport Transfers – Car Parking

    There are many options for your Airport Transfers – car parking is one. You will quickly learn how your local airport works. There are usually 3 options for parking at airports; regular parking, long-term parking and valet parking. Check the rates at your airport for all three and check your company’s policy on where you can park.
    Most major airports

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    There are many options for your Airport Transfers – car parking is one. You will quickly learn how your local airport works. There are usually 3 options for parking at airports; regular parking, long-term parking and valet parking. Check the rates at your airport for all three and check your company’s policy on where you can park.

    Most major airports have “long-term” car parks which are cheaper to park in than regular car park. But they may require a bus journey to and from the terminal. Security in these car parking stations is generally more stringent than in regular car parks. However, the amount of people traffic in the regular car park will ensure that your vehicle is generally safe. Valet parking will be the most expensive but your car will be most secure. Secondly, in most airports valet parking is as close to the terminal as you can get. This is always a bonus if you are running late!!

    There are other reasons for choosing the options for airport transfers – car parking. Some airports also offer a service to book your parking spot prior to arriving. This negates the need to drive around looking for a car spot. Take a look at (US only) www.airportparkingreservations.com. Some airport car parks offer car cleaning, while you are away which may be useful to you. Some airports even have car dealerships at the airport where you can have your car serviced while you travel. The bonus is that you do not have to pay for car parking while your car is being serviced.

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      Taxis

      When choosing airport transfers – taxis are an option. When getting to the airport by taxi from your home or office, ensure that you book it ahead of time. This is one less thing to do in the mad panic to leave for the airport. Taxis in most countries are the best way to get around when you are traveling

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      When choosing airport transfers – taxis are an option. When getting to the airport by taxi from your home or office, ensure that you book it ahead of time. This is one less thing to do in the mad panic to leave for the airport. Taxis in most countries are the best way to get around when you are traveling and ride sharing options exist in some Click here .

      Taxi drivers in most countries speak their native language and have at least a working knowledge of another language, most likely English. At international airports and hotel taxi ranks, there will always be an attendant who will also be able to translate to the taxi driver where you want to go. Whilst credit cards are increasingly used in taxis globally, it would be safest to get some cash out of the ATM at the airport prior to getting in the taxi line.

      In some cities and increasingly so, there are apps for calling cabs in the street (eg Singapore). If you do have access to data roaming or have a local sim, these are good options to get a taxi without having to know the telephone number of the local taxi company and to wait on the line to get through to an operator. The app will inform you when the driver is approaching also so you do not have to wait curbside (especially useful if it is raining).

      Also some cities have taxi apps where you can bid to pay a higher price to attract a taxi sooner. Shanghai is an example where you can, for example “add RMB10” to the total and then request the cab. This ensures a quick response. You just add that amount (RMB10) to the fare to pay when you get out of the cab.

      Hot Tip:

      In some cities and countries, taxis will only accept cash. Know this before you get into the cab to ensure you have cash to pay your fare.

      Hot Tip:

      In Australia there is one telephone number for all taxi companies in all cities. That number will route your call to the nearest taxi company no matter what city you are in 13 10 08.

      Hot Tip:

      You may be in a country that does not speak your native language and you are being transferred directly to your office or a location that is not well known (eg major hotel downtown). Make sure you ask your host to send you the directions in the local language/script. Give this to the driver to ensure he/she knows how to get there. Hotel websites usually provide a printable version of the address and directions from airport to hotel.

      Hot Tip:

      It goes without saying that you should only get into an official taxi in a foreign country. Do not accept rides inside the terminal from random people offering taxi services. You will most likely be charged too much and you put your safety at risk.

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        Ride Sharing Services

        Ride Sharing Services like Uber, Lyft and many more are increasingly common and in many cities can be a good option for airport transfer. They are well entrenched albeit in some cities they are still struggling to get official government sanctioned legislation in place to support them.
        You need to sign up online to be a part of these services.

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        Ride Sharing Services like Uber, Lyft and many more are increasingly common and in many cities can be a good option for airport transfer. They are well entrenched albeit in some cities they are still struggling to get official government sanctioned legislation in place to support them.

        You need to sign up online to be a part of these services. Of course one sign up globally is enough. The service will bill your account in the local currency which your credit card company will transfer to your home currency (where your account is held) at the local exchange rate. International transaction fees will likely be added.

        At the large airports, there is a designated area for ride sharing pick ups. These are well sign posted in the airport. The designated area are usually curb-side but maybe in the middle median strip or perhaps with hotel shuttle pick ups accessed under the street and back up. Follow the signs

        The driver may not speak English in a non English speaking country. However, the driver’s app will map out the most direct route to your destination.

        In some cities Uber dominates (eg Dubai) but in others it may not be the prevalent ride sharing app. In Shanghai, for example, there are more than one well established Chinese equivalent. You will need to change your settings on your app if you are using Uber in a non-English speaking city. Otherwise, the maps and addresses will come up in the local language. Uber is so prevalent in some cities that major hotels have a designated lane out the front for Uber pick-ups. This is to avoid congestion in the driveway (eg Ritz Carlton in Shanghai) with taxis and other vehicles arriving and departing.

        In cities which have Uber Pool (or equivalent), remember that you may be refused by the driver if you are travelling to and from the airport with too much luggage. This is because you may fill the trunk/boot with suitcases and leave no room for the next rider. Once suitcase and a carry on are usually accepted – it is up to the discretion of the driver.

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          Preventing Lost Luggage

          Preventing lost luggage prevents frustration. It is very frustrating when you need to head to the Lost Luggage counter. There is a big focus on this area from both the luggage manufacturers and the airlines for several reasons.
          Over 1 million bags are lost in US alone each year and requires a lot of extra administration for the airlines. Because

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          Preventing lost luggage prevents frustration. It is very frustrating when you need to head to the Lost Luggage counter. There is a big focus on this area from both the luggage manufacturers and the airlines for several reasons.

          Over 1 million bags are lost in US alone each year and requires a lot of extra administration for the airlines. Because they offer to courier you your bag, the cost of the courier alone is prohibitive. The average courier delivery is around $100 so with 1 million bags lost each year, the numbers are excruciatingly high. Thus the investment in new technology for preventing lost luggage or at least minimised it. Further, more customers will take for granted the arrival of the luggage without the frustratingly “Lost Luggage” line.

          Airlines are testing RFID and other Technology to Prevent Lost Luggage http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/delta-trying-digital-chips-to-prevent-lost-luggage/

          Luggage companies are also working on technology to ensure that consumers can keep control of their own bags at all times, thus preventing lost luggage frustration and the lost luggage line. German luggage company, Rimowa is at the forefront with the new electronic tag. This innovation was developed with German airline, Lufthansa and is currently only available with Lufthansa flights. Over time they will expand to other airlines. This tag is available in all Rimowa products at a cost of less than $US100. It is sold as an extra feature that you can chose to add to your suitcase. Take a look at the future of travel http://rimowa-electronictag.com/en-EN/start?continent=AS/

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          1. Love the rimowa-etag commercial. How wonderful to bypass the painful process at the beginning of each journey

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          Airport Transfers – Limousines

          When traveling internationally, you need to chose your airport transfers – limousines can be a good choice. The hotel you are staying in will arrange this for you in both directions. It is generally booked via your travel agent when they book your accommodation. If you book the hotel online, you will receive a confirmation email with contact email address

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          When traveling internationally, you need to chose your airport transfers – limousines can be a good choice. The hotel you are staying in will arrange this for you in both directions. It is generally booked via your travel agent when they book your accommodation. If you book the hotel online, you will receive a confirmation email with contact email address on it. Email this address for all extra requirements you have including limousine transfers. You can also call the hotel direct to make the reservation yourself ahead of time. Call concierge if you are already resident in the hotel.

          In most cases, limousine transfers are considered a luxury. They may or may not be covered by your company’s travel policy. If there are more than three people travelling together, it may be cheaper to order a limousine than two taxis.

          In a few countries, it is the only or best option as there is either no, an unreliable and/or an unsafe taxi service. Countries that it is most likely you will have a transfer organized will include countries in Africa, India, some countries in Latin America. They are usually countries where wages are low so the limousine service will be relatively inexpensive compared to getting a taxi in a Western world city.

          Your company may also have its own fleet of cars for this which your host will organize prior to your travel. Ask your host to give you contact details of the driver or someone who can call the driver. This will be useful in case of an emergency or a “no show”. Also ask for instructions on where the driver will meet you. Most likely the driver or supervisor will hold a board with the hotel name or your company name on it. Your name will be printed underneath that. In some cities like Hong Kong and Dubai, each hotel chain has its own desk that you go to in order to connect with your transfer pick up.

          Hot Tip:

          Limousines – The driver will have the flight details. They will call the airline ahead of time so they will know if the flight has been delayed. There is no need to worry about this!

          You must remember however to call if you change flights or there will be no one there to collect you. This could be difficult in countries where they do not have a reliable taxi service or you do not speak the language.

          Hot Tip:

          If you are in a country that does not speak your native language, transfers can be a challenge. If you are being transferred directly to your office or a location that is not well known, make sure you ask your host to send you the directions in the local language/script. This will ensure the driver knows how to get there. Hotel websites usually provide a printable version of the address from airport in the local language which may be useful. Directions can also be printed in the local language/script.

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            Entering Airports

            Entering airports can be somewhat different depending on where you are in the world. Most run along similar lines so if you know how to get through your local airport, that is a good start.
            However, there are some airports that you cannot enter unless you are a passenger. You will be asked to show your ticket/boarding pass (if you

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            Entering airports can be somewhat different depending on where you are in the world. Most run along similar lines so if you know how to get through your local airport, that is a good start.

            However, there are some airports that you cannot enter unless you are a passenger. You will be asked to show your ticket/boarding pass (if you printed one already) and passport to be allowed in.

            Some airports have a first high level screening of luggage and bags as you enter the airport. Examples are Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Almaty. You just put your bags (suitcases,carry on, laptop bag, handbag, purse) on the conveyor belt and they will pass through the large size scanner. Then, just collect you bags on the other side and progress to check in counters.

            Once inside the terminal you will need to check in.

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              Domestic Check-In

              Domestic check-in is fairly straight forward. Firstly you need to be aware of the check-in time limits. Different airlines in different countries have different rules. To ensure you have sufficient time allocated, check with your travel agent, the e-ticket notes or the airline website prior. It is very common these days that the airline will have a cut-off time and

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              Domestic check-in is fairly straight forward. Firstly you need to be aware of the check-in time limits. Different airlines in different countries have different rules. To ensure you have sufficient time allocated, check with your travel agent, the e-ticket notes or the airline website prior. It is very common these days that the airline will have a cut-off time and if you are not checked in by that time you will not be allowed to board the aircraft. As a consequence, you will need to re-schedule a different flight (and pay any subsequent charges for the change).

              There is usually a separate line to check in for economy travelers, business class and first class. If your airline has a frequent flyer program, there may also be a line for members. Some airlines have a group check-in aisle (used for company conference check-in sometimes).

              This is also where your “status recognition” will come into effect. To learn more about “status Recognition” or “status credit systems”, Click here. Depending on your status (for those airlines that have status recognition), you will be allowed to join the line above the class you are flying. For example, if you have Emerald One World Status, you will be able to join the first class line irrespective of which class you are actually flying in. This will speed up your passage through check-in.

              You will need photo identification for domestic check-in and if you have an airline status card, use that so it can be scanned at the check-in counter. However, if you are checking in for a domestic flight in a foreign country, you are usually required to show your passport. The check-in attendant will give you a boarding card. They will also give you luggage tags (receipts) for each piece of luggage. Make sure you have all these items and keep them in a safe place. You will need your boarding card several times so also make sure this is easily accessible.

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                Self Check-In Kiosks

                Most major airlines at most airports have or are introducing self check-in kiosks. They are straight forward to operate. Just follow the prompts on the screen. You will need your passport, frequent flyer card or booking reference to get started.
                This is ideal if you are checking in with no bags as it is much quicker. It can also be

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                Most major airlines at most airports have or are introducing self check-in kiosks. They are straight forward to operate. Just follow the prompts on the screen. You will need your passport, frequent flyer card or booking reference to get started.

                This is ideal if you are checking in with no bags as it is much quicker. It can also be used for checking in with luggage. Make sure you have your boarding card and luggage tag receipts for each piece of luggage when you leave the self-check-in area.

                Some airlines (eg Qantas) now have an electronic tag which looks like a luggage tag. It is a luggage tag but it also has an electronic tag built in. It negates the needs for a baggage tag. If you have one of these, do not print a baggage tag for that luggage. The reader can only read one and will be confused if it sees both a baggage tag and the electronic tag.

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                  On Line Check In

                  Most major airlines also have on line check in. From your home, office or smart phone, you can complete your on line check in process, Then you only need to present your bags when you arrive at the airport (similarly to self check-in) for domestic flights. If you check in on line, you can print your boarding pass at

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                  Most major airlines also have on line check in. From your home, office or smart phone, you can complete your on line check in process, Then you only need to present your bags when you arrive at the airport (similarly to self check-in) for domestic flights. If you check in on line, you can print your boarding pass at home or at the office which is also very convenient. This service is especially advantageous for those flying with no luggage as it allows you to arrive at the airport at the latest possible time.

                  For international flights, you will be able to complete the online check in process. However, you will still need to use the kiosk to present your passport. Usually you can check in on line but often you cannot print your boarding pass. This is because you need to show your passport at the airport prior to processing luggage. Also if you require a visa at your destination, the check in counter will need to sight this to ensure its validity. In some instances you can input the visa details at the self check in kiosk at the airport. Read more about this topic including more on visas and passports here

                  All flights are closed at specified times prior to departure times. Ensure you are aware of those times to be sure you make your flight. Some airlines have phone readers so you can have your boarding pass on your smartphone. Also you can leave the printing until you get to the airport and to it at the check-in kiosk.

                  If you undertake the on-line check in process and then cannot make the flight what transpires. The flight can still be changed attracting the normal cost associated with the changes. It is however administratively more complex so should be avoided where possible.

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                    International Check In

                    International Check in is also straight forward and again there will be check in time limits which are longer than domestic flights. You will need to be sure to get to the airport in sufficient time to meet these requirements. This will make completion of your international check in efficient and effective. The same system of lines for each class,

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                    International Check in is also straight forward and again there will be check in time limits which are longer than domestic flights. You will need to be sure to get to the airport in sufficient time to meet these requirements. This will make completion of your international check in efficient and effective. The same system of lines for each class, club member lines and status recognition will apply as do for domestic travel. Click here to refer to domestic travel section

                    You will need your passport for Identification for countries that require a passport for entry (most). The check-in attendant will check for the necessary visas for those countries that require them. They will also be checking for other entry requirements. Some countries you may be entering allow you to purchase your visa on entry into that country. For most destination countries where a visa is required, the airlines will not be allowed to let you fly if you do not have a valid visa. There are also rules on the amount of time your passport needs to be valid for entering some countries. Check them in Your Infrastructure – and again the airlines will not allow you to fly if you do not meet the requirements.

                    If you are traveling internationally, for many countries, there will also be an immigration form to complete. Either your travel agent will have sent you with the ticket and/or it will be available at the check-in counter. This is required when you depart through immigration after checking in your luggage.

                    If you are traveling internationally, for many countries, there will also be an immigration form to complete. Either your travel agent will have sent you with the ticket and/or it will be available at the check-in counter. This is required when you depart through immigration after checking in your bags.

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                      Luggage Restrictions Domestic Flights

                      There are luggage restrictions domestic flights for all classes of travel. These encompass the number of bags you can take, the maximum weight on any individual piece of baggage and the total weight for checked-in luggage. Separate limits apply to carry-on baggage. Your travel agent or the airline will be able to inform you of these. This is usually printed

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                      There are luggage restrictions domestic flights for all classes of travel. These encompass the number of bags you can take, the maximum weight on any individual piece of baggage and the total weight for checked-in luggage. Separate limits apply to carry-on baggage. Your travel agent or the airline will be able to inform you of these. This is usually printed on your e-ticket but you can also check the airline website or call your travel agent prior to traveling for more information. You will be charged excess baggage for exceeding the limits. Some airlines are extremely strict on these and others not so.

                      Large luggage items like art folio bags, large camera suitcases, surfboards, skis, etc are becoming increasingly challenging to travel with. Some airlines are happy transport these items. Some airlines will only transport them domestically and some airlines will not transport them at all. Your travel agent or the airline website will have all the information with respect to what can and cannot be taken. What limits there are (if any) is outlined in the luggage or baggage section of the airline website.

                      If the airline is carrying your large items, they will be tagged when you check in. The check-in attendant will ask you to take the tagged items to another line to put outsized items through a different conveyor system. The reason for this is to protect your large items. Often they will not fit through the regular conveyor system. They will be sent down an alternative shoot or hand carried by luggage handlers.

                      Make sure you know the luggage restrictions for domestic flights prior to travelling. This way you will not be surprised at the airport with a fee or worse, refusal to transport order.

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                        Luggage Restrictions International Flights

                        Luggage restrictions international flights exist. Quantity of luggage limits and weight limits apply. There are luggage limits for all classes of travel. These encompass the number of bags you can take, the maximum weight on any individual piece of baggage and the total weight for checked-in luggage. Separate limits apply to carry-on baggage. These limits will vary depending on your

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                        Luggage restrictions international flights exist. Quantity of luggage limits and weight limits apply. There are luggage limits for all classes of travel. These encompass the number of bags you can take, the maximum weight on any individual piece of baggage and the total weight for checked-in luggage. Separate limits apply to carry-on baggage. These limits will vary depending on your international destination also and need checking. The information and restrictions are usually printed on your e-ticket. You can also check the airline website or call your travel agent prior to traveling for more information. You will be charged excess baggage for exceeding the limits and some airlines are extremely strict on these.

                        There are also restrictions on what you can and cannot put in your suitcase. These restrictions are managed by the international aviation authorities and are consistent globally. They include fuels, liquids that contain or can act as fuels (eg chlorine and detergents), flammable liquids, compressed gases (even aerosols), firearms, knives, some batteries, and many more. Familiarize yourself with these here and do not carry them. There are significant fines for even attempting to carry them. From personal experience, a mistaken item in your luggage will necessitate a conversation (at least) with the airport authorities or police.

                        In some airports, you are required to put your suitcases and bags through security scanning yourself. Sometimes this is prior to check-in and sometimes it is once the bags are tagged. The signage and airline staff will be able to assist you if you require help. It is always a good idea to watch more experienced travelers as they approach check-in to figure out what “the drill” is in any given country.

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                          Outsized Luggage

                          Outsized luggage items like art folio bags, large camera bags, surfboards, skis, etc are becoming increasingly challenging to travel with. Some airlines are happy transport these items. Some airlines will only transport them domestically and some airlines will not transport them at all. Your travel agent or the airline website will have all the information with respect to what can

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                          Outsized luggage items like art folio bags, large camera bags, surfboards, skis, etc are becoming increasingly challenging to travel with. Some airlines are happy transport these items. Some airlines will only transport them domestically and some airlines will not transport them at all. Your travel agent or the airline website will have all the information with respect to what can and cannot be taken. What limits there are (if any) is outlined in the luggage or baggage section of the airline website.

                          If the airline is carrying your large items, they will be tagged when you check in. The check-in attendant will ask you to take the tagged items to another line to put outsized items through a different conveyor system. The reason for this is to protect your large items. Often they will not fit through the regular conveyor system. They will be sent down an alternative shoot or hand carried by luggage handlers.

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                          1. Does anyone know if it is possible to book in oversize luggage through the discount airfare portals? This would be great if possible!

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                          Luggage Services

                          In some cities, there are also luggage services which pick up your luggage from your home or office six to twenty-four hours before your flight and thus eliminate the check-in process offered. They are expensive but do mean you do not have to worry about your luggage and may be useful if you are going directly to the office at

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                          In some cities, there are also luggage services which pick up your luggage from your home or office six to twenty-four hours before your flight and thus eliminate the check-in process offered. They are expensive but do mean you do not have to worry about your luggage and may be useful if you are going directly to the office at your destination and want your luggage delivered to your hotel or home. Take a look at www.luggageconcierge.com in US and https://www.airportr.com/ in the UK.

                          Also some airlines now offer luggage delivery service at some destinations for a fee. For example, American Airlines will deliver your luggage from the airport to your hotel, office or home at some international destinations from all US airports. You need to sign up for the service prior to travel and check in at the ticket counter. Your luggage will arrive withing 4-6 hours inside 100mile from the airport. To learn more click here.

                          “Never pack your bags again” is the promise of www.dufl.com. Dufl is one of the new luggage services available. It is like a personalized valet service. Dufl will collect the clothes and other items that you will likely use in your travels. They photograph and prepare a visual inventory for you available in your dufl “closet” in your account on their website. When you travel you just select the items you want from your “closet”. Dufl will professionally pack and deliver your clothes, shoes, toiletries and other items to your destination (hotel or other address) in your suitcase.

                          When you depart your destination to return home, dufl will collect your suitcase. They then launder your clothes and put them back in your “closet” for your future trips. There is a monthly fee for storage and a one time fee for each standard delivery (more for fast delivery). Save time packing, unpacking and laundering. Save time at airports as you will not have to check baggage ever again. They are based in USA but will deliver globally.

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                            Airport Security Screening for Passengers

                            You and your carry-on luggage will be expected to pass through airport security screening for passengers. This applies whether you are traveling domestically or on an international flight. The job of the security screening team is to ensure the aircraft is safe, They are interested in metal detection, nitrogen detection and contraband detection. The goods which are not allowed on

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                            You and your carry-on luggage will be expected to pass through airport security screening for passengers. This applies whether you are traveling domestically or on an international flight. The job of the security screening team is to ensure the aircraft is safe, They are interested in metal detection, nitrogen detection and contraband detection. The goods which are not allowed on the flight, are limited and/or need to be presented in a particular way are nominated on the airline websites. Your travel agent will also be able to advise you.

                            Sharp objects are not allowed to be taken on the airplane so leave them out or pack them in your suitcase. Depending on where you are flying to and from a number of other objects and container types will be considered contraband. Further, the quantities of some products you are allowed in your carry on luggage is limited, As is the quantity of luggage pieces, weight of the luggage. Even the way some products are carried is stipulated – for example, liquids, gels, creams and similar substances on international flights are limited to up to 100ml per item and no more than 10 items (total one litre). If you have, for example, a half empty unit, it will be counted as 100ml. Containers which hold more than 100ml liquids are not allowed. This is the international standard and it is deployed in most airports globally. These liquids need to be presented in a clear plastic ziplock bag of a specified size. Some immigration departments provide these at the airport, some do not. Many people think it is a good idea to transfer liquids from the large supermarket container to a small clear bottle. This is ok for product you put in your luggage but not for carry-on luggage. Remember for carry-on luggage, the bottle or container that you use should be the original branded bottle. The immigration official will have no idea what you are carrying if you transfer the product to a small, clear container so most likely it will be confiscated.

                            You will be expected to pass your bags and other goods and chattels through a metal detection machine via a conveyor belt. Put your bags on the belt. Empty your pockets of wallet, coins, phone, keys and pager. Place them in the plastic tubs provided and put them on the belt. Also take your coat or jacket off and put it in a tub and pass it through security on the belt. You will also be expected to pass any steel capped boots or shoes through this machine. In some countries, all shoes are required to be removed and transferred through the security scanning. In most countries you will be asked to take your computer/tablet out of its case and pass it through the metal detection machine separately to your bags. A plastic tub will also be provided to put this in. The ziplock bag of liquids will also need to be passed through separately. Finally, lithium batteries greater than specified grams have special requirements. Some airlines do not allow them, some only allow them in carry on luggage and some only allow them in regular luggage – check the airline website for details. Most personal devices (telephones, computers, tablets, cameras, personal game devices) do not pass the threshold so they are ok. External batteries for recharging your telephone or computer often do surpass the limit so take care with those and check before you travel.

                            You will then be asked to walk through a metal detection screen. If the alarm sounds, you will be called aside to have a metal detection wand passed over your body (by a security official). If the wand beeps, they will have found the offending item which you will be asked to put through the baggage metal detection device or show it to the official. Then you will have to pass through the detector again to make sure you are “clean”. Increasingly at international airports, body scanners are used instead of or as well as metal detectors. The instructions are simple and the attendant will assist you. In some countries, a pat down is required. Male security officials will do this for men and female security officials will do this for women. It is not comfortable but it is necessary. In some countries where the culture is more sensitive, females who are asked to complete a pat down are taken behind a curtain (like a fitting room in a clothing store) for modesty.

                            You will get used to other items that may trigger the screening device. For example, a large faced titanium watch will trigger the alarm and perhaps a pair of stiletto shoes which have a metal shaft in the heel may trigger it. In this case, you will soon learn which extra items to put in the tub and pass along the metal detection machine’s conveyor belt prior to going through the personal screening device.

                            On the other side of the personal screening device you can collect your computer, bags, coat and shoes from the conveyor belt. You may also be asked to turn your computer on (this will show the security person that it is a computer and not a bomb or similar). This is the point where any contraband items like nail files, scissors, etc will be taken from you or worse. The immigration department at the airport has the right to ask you to go back to check in to put items in regular luggage, confiscate anything which does not meet the standards or worse prosecute you for trying to take more dangerous items through security check points (eg knives). Any confiscated item will not be returned as they are placed in a secure box and then destroyed. Make sure that you do not have any of these items in your carry on items.

                            You may also be called aside randomly for extra screening of yourself and/or your bags. Nitrogen detection of computer bags, clothing and shoes is a random test which is done in most airports these days. The reason they are screening for nitrogen is that it is a key component in bomb making. A wand with a piece of cotton is wiped on your bag and computer and the piece of cotton is then but into a screening machine. A few seconds later, the machine will tell the security official if your computer and bag pass or fail the nitrogen traces test.

                            You may be asked questions at the security check point. Be prepared to respond appropriately to officials and be co-operative. This is not a time for cynicism or telling inappropriate jokes.

                            There will be security officials everywhere in this area so just ask if you are not sure what to do or what is going on.

                            The US, not surprisingly, has much more challenging airport screening. Firstly it takes longer so make sure you allow extra time at US airports for this. If you travel globally, you will notice that it is much slower in the US with re-checking taking place more often. Here are some tips on what to expect in US. Also, there is a list of the options for subscribing to services that will fast-track you through airport security. TSA pre-check and Clear are two examples. click here for a recent article on US airport security

                            Depending on where you are traveling to and where you are traveling from, there are heightened rules around what you can and cannot take on board. You need to check with your travel agent or airline at the time of flying on this matter. Airline websites have all the latest information about what you can and cannot carry as carry on luggage. Transit passengers through specific destination are also bound by these rules Check the Useful Websites quick finder. Terrorism has impacted the world we live in and the way we fly so make sure you are not carrying items and products which are not accepted between certain destinations. This will ensure minimization of the lines at airports and that you do not lose your products to the security trash can. Take a look at www.baa.com for UK airport security, www.tsa.gov for US airport security and www.smarttraveller.com for Australia.

                            Hot Tip: There is always a line at at the security check point at airports so it is a good idea to get ready while you are in the line. There is nothing more frustrating than the person in front of you who has not even emptied their pockets of small change and holds up the line as a result.

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                              Airport Security Screening with Medical Conditions

                              Passing through airport security screening with medical conditions requires some preparation. If you have a medical reason that means you cannot pass through a metal detector or body scanner, be prepared. Bring an appropriate letter from your doctor which meets the requirements of the immigration department in your country (the country of your passport).
                              Also if you have metal

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                              Passing through airport security screening with medical conditions requires some preparation. If you have a medical reason that means you cannot pass through a metal detector or body scanner, be prepared. Bring an appropriate letter from your doctor which meets the requirements of the immigration department in your country (the country of your passport).

                              Also if you have metal bolts or similar inside you (as a result of surgery) it is best to have a letter from your doctor to explain this. This is not required but a good precaution. The metal detector will pick up these items and you will be scanned with the wand to verify it. Body scanners show these up on the screen the immigration officer looks at. The immigration officer will most likely ask you to show where the item is. There are looking for the scar from the operation!

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                                Duty Free

                                You may choose to buy duty free (tax free) products on the way out of the country. In you home country you can purchase duty free either at the airport or in designated shops in the downtown areas of major cities. You may chose to purchase at the airport as you arrive at your destination. Duty free shopping is cheaper

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                                You may choose to buy duty free (tax free) products on the way out of the country. In you home country you can purchase duty free either at the airport or in designated shops in the downtown areas of major cities. You may chose to purchase at the airport as you arrive at your destination. Duty free shopping is cheaper than retail in many products and countries. This is because the import duty or tax is not charged because technically the goods do not come into the country. If you purchase the products downtown, they will be sealed. When you get to the airport, a customs official will want to see the goods. They will check the seal and take the extra receipt as you pass by immigration (in most countries). In some countries, there are other practices which will be clearly communicated at the airport.

                                The country you plan to take/bring the goods into will have limits. These are in the form of both quantity limits for things like alcohol and cigarettes. Secondly there are currency limits on the total value of the goods you are allowed to bring/take into a given country. The airline website, your travel agent, the duty free store or the website of the country you plan to take the goods into should be relied on to clearly state this. DO not rely on the duty free sales assistant who may not be familiar with all destinations. You are not allowed to bring goods in that exceed the limits. In the case of quantity limits, the goods will be confiscated from you if you are caught. In the case of value limits, import duty on the combined value of your goods will be charged for the amount that exceeds the limit.

                                The discounts are not as good as they used to be. This is because import taxes are not as high as they used to be. However the discounts can be worthwhile in some product categories.

                                Some countries now have a service whereby you can order and pay for the goods via telephone or internet for pick up as you depart the country. This will be either just past immigration or as you board the aircraft. Alternatively you can collect them as you return. This saves you from having to carry the goods on your journey. You will need the receipt/s for collection. Remember, passing the limits can lead to confiscation of items above the limit. Passing the limits in the case of one item (eg an expensive watch) will mean duty is payable at immigration on your return.

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                                  Airline Lounges – Domestic

                                  Once you are checked in for your domestic flight, there will be many retail outlets for you to peruse and most major airlines in most cities will have an airline lounge or club. These often require membership via an annual fee. Alternatively depending on your Status with your airline, you may be able to enjoy these facilities free of charge.

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                                  Once you are checked in for your domestic flight, there will be many retail outlets for you to peruse and most major airlines in most cities will have an airline lounge or club. These often require membership via an annual fee. Alternatively depending on your Status with your airline, you may be able to enjoy these facilities free of charge. Thirdly, sometime you can enter on a pay per use basis. The class you are flying will also be a determinant of which lounge/club you are allowed to enjoy. Some airlines have separate lounge for first class passengers, for example.

                                  Most of these lounges/clubs have a business center, power and portal access for computers and phones. Television is provided and basic refreshments are free of charge. Some require you to pay for more substantial drinks and food while others provide these free of charge. Some have restaurant service. Check the airline website for the details of what is available at the lounge/club you will be visiting.

                                  Most airline lounges also have showering facilities which range from shower rooms with towels provided through to “Cabanas” with bath or shower. At the higher end, the choice of bath fragrances and even massage services, at a fee, can all be booked ahead of time.

                                  Hot Tip:

                                  If you are waiting in an airport lounge, keep your eye on the television monitors. They will be displaying flight departure times and updates to ensure you board the plane on time. This may seem obvious but if you listen to the number of passengers being called to flights when you travel, you will notice that very often people are called to flights They are focused on other things (like working on their laptop or phone).

                                  In some lounges, they will also announce the flights and any updated information.

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                                    Airline Lounges – International

                                    Once you are checked in for your flight and been through immigration, there will be many retail outlets for you to peruse and most major airlines in most cities will have airline lounges or a club. If you are traveling on an airline which is part of an alliance program (eg Star Alliance, Elevate, One World, Flying Blue, Skywards, etc)

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                                    Once you are checked in for your flight and been through immigration, there will be many retail outlets for you to peruse and most major airlines in most cities will have airline lounges or a club. If you are traveling on an airline which is part of an alliance program (eg Star Alliance, Elevate, One World, Flying Blue, Skywards, etc) there will be a lounge/club for the airline resident in the country you are in. You will have reciprocal rights to use. Like domestic lounges, these lounges/clubs generally provide a wider range of services than their domestic equivalent.

                                    Lounges often require membership via an annual fee or alternatively depending on your Status with your airline, you may be able to enjoy these facilities free of charge. Sometimes you can enter on a pay per use basis. The class you are flying will also be a determinant of which lounge you are allowed to enjoy. Some airlines have separate lounge for first class passengers, for example. Most of these lounges have a business center, power and portal access for computers and phones. Television is provided and basic refreshments are free of charge. Some require you to pay for more substantial drinks and food. Others provide these free of charge. Some have restaurant service. Check the airline website for the details of what is available at the lounge/club you will be visiting.

                                    Most airline lounges also have showering facilities which range from shower rooms with towels provided to “Cabanas” with bath or shower. The higher end may provide the choice of bath fragrances and even massage services, at a fee. These can all be booked ahead of time.

                                    Hot Tip:

                                    Keep your eye on the television monitors with flight departure times and updates, etc to ensure you board on time. This may seem obvious but if you listen to the number of passengers being called to flights when you travel, you will notice that it happens all the time. It is mostly because people are focused on other things (like working on their laptop or phone).

                                    In some lounges, they will also announce the flights and any updated information.

                                    Hot Tip:

                                    Check out www.loungepass.com for a list of airline lounges.

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                                      executive-travel-assistant-airports-accelerating-finding-lounge-services

                                      Finding Lounge Services without paying for Lounge

                                      Information on this topic is ….. Coming soon!

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                                      Information on this topic is ….. Coming soon!

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                                        executive-travel-assistant-airports-accelerating-independant-lounges

                                        Independent Lounges

                                        Information on this topic is ….. Coming soon!

                                        Hot Tip:
                                        Check out www.loungepass.com for a list of airline lounges.

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                                        Information on this topic is ….. Coming soon!

                                        Hot Tip:

                                        Check out www.loungepass.com for a list of airline lounges.

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                                          executive-travel-assistant-airports-accelerating-departure-gates

                                          Departure Gates

                                          At the Departure Gates, the flight will be called. In some airports boarding occurs by row number. Alternatively there may be a “Group” nominated on your boarding card and the flight attendants will call boarding by “group”. Some airlines call for people requiring assistance to board first, people with children and then remaining passengers. Listen to the announcements. Usually business

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                                          At the Departure Gates, the flight will be called. In some airports boarding occurs by row number. Alternatively there may be a “Group” nominated on your boarding card and the flight attendants will call boarding by “group”. Some airlines call for people requiring assistance to board first, people with children and then remaining passengers. Listen to the announcements. Usually business class, first class and high status passengers are encouraged to board at anytime.

                                          You will be asked for your boarding pass at the departure gate. In some countries and on some flights, passports may also be required to be shown.

                                          On international flights headed to high risk areas, there may also be a second screening station at the gate. This may include further metal detection and perhaps even manual bag searching prior to boarding. Singapore Changi airport and some others do the airport screening at the gate (instead of after immigration).

                                          Hot Tip:

                                          When you check in for a flight, there will be signs and the attendants will usually tell you how long prior to a flight to be at the Departure Gate. This is your responsibility. If you are late, you risk the flight being closed, after which your luggage will be removed from the luggage hold, you will be removed from the flight manifest, you will not be able to travel and you will have delayed the flight as a result, for all other passengers. Pay attention!

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                                            International Transfer from International Flights

                                            If you are transiting at an international airport from one flight to another international flight, you need to do an international transfer. You do not have to go through immigration and customs, in fact you should not go through immigration and customs. There will be signs in the terminals nominated “transfers” or “connections”. Follow these signs and you will be

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                                            If you are transiting at an international airport from one flight to another international flight, you need to do an international transfer. You do not have to go through immigration and customs, in fact you should not go through immigration and customs. There will be signs in the terminals nominated “transfers” or “connections”. Follow these signs and you will be put through security screening again. Then head to the departing side (or level) of the terminal to head toward the boarding gate of your next flight.

                                            Your boarding pass for your onward flight may have been issued at your airport of departure. This is usually the case if you are traveling on the same airline. If you are travelling on a different airline for the second flight, usually you will need to get your boarding pass for the second flight. To do this you will need to go to the “transfer desk” to get onward boarding pass. Transfer desks are usually nominated by airline . There will be clearly marked signs for this.

                                            Usually your luggage will have been tagged to your final destination. You can see this on your baggage receipts. If the luggage receipt shows the destination airport, you do not need to worry about your bags. They will automatically be transferred to your second flight.

                                            Unfortunately, if the original departure location and airline were not able to tag your bags to your final destination, you will need to go through immigration and customs and collect your bags. Then you will need to re-check in at the check-in counter for your next destination. This takes time but is the normal process for transferring through outbound and inbound immigration. It applies if you do not need a visa for the country you are transiting through or you have a visa for that country. However, it can be problematic if you do not have a visa (if it is required) for the airport country where you are transiting. This is because technically you are entering that country even if only to check-in and then go back through immigration to take your second flight. The staff at the airport will assist you with this. Usually you have to be escorted by airline staff from inbound immigration, through customs, to check in and back to outbound immigration. An immigration official will call the airline and get them to send a staff member down to manage this process.

                                            Hot Tip:

                                            One airline may fly out of several terminals so you need to check the destination or flight number details to ensure you get to the correct terminal – follow the signs and read the detail!

                                            eg British Airways flies out of many terminals at London Heathrow. A bus transits passengers between terminals at Heath row and the signs at each terminal outline the destinations that BA flies to from that terminal. The same is true at Changi Singapore Airport where Singapore Airlines flies out of more than one terminal and there is a train between terminals.

                                            Be careful to check the signs in detail as you will be delayed if you get off at the wrong stop and you may have limited time for your transit.

                                            If you do get off at the wrong stop you will be allowed on the next bus to go to another terminal.

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                                              Singapore Changi Airport

                                              One of the great airports of the world is Singapore Changi Airport. And it has been for decades. This airport understands its consumers and how people move through airports, what they want to do there and how, and uses that information to provide this outstanding airport experience consistently overtime. It constantly works on improving the experience for all and it

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                                              One of the great airports of the world is Singapore Changi Airport. And it has been for decades. This airport understands its consumers and how people move through airports, what they want to do there and how, and uses that information to provide this outstanding airport experience consistently overtime. It constantly works on improving the experience for all and it works. Singapore Changi Airport serves more than 100 airlines flying to some 380 cities in about 90 countries and territories worldwide. This translates to approximately 60million passengers in the last year. It is also one of the busiest cargo hubs globally moving around 2 million tonnes in the last year. All flights are international as the country is so small that there are no domestic flights.

                                              The concept of a line at this airport is almost non existent. It is very common to not need to wait at airline check in counters and immigration lines. Of course there are lines sometimes but they are short and the staff are very efficient. One process which is quite different at Singapore Changi Airport is that the security processing takes place at the gate. This improves efficiency at immigration for sure. Make sure arrive at the departure gate with more time than you would in other airports to allow time for security checking which is also very efficient.

                                              Singapore Changi Airport is served by 3 teminals which are connected both internally and externally with a monorail that runs continuously. The Skytrain, as it is called, has separate cars for airside (internal) and landside (external). The trains stops at each terminal and in Terminal 3 (the largest) stops at the outlying boarding gates so that passengers do not have as far to walk. A 4th terminal for discount airlines will open end 2017 and Terminal 5 in under construction to meet the growing needs of passenger travel for the future. It is scheduled to open mid-2020’s.

                                              Singapore Changi Airport has a well presented and comprehensive website which will be useful for pre-planning your stay at the airport www.changiairport.com

                                              Getting to and from the airport

                                              The airport is 20km from the city. It is well served by Mass Rapid Transport system which serves all of Singapore. The trains run at very frequent intervals and you can access all areas of the city from Changi Station. Follow the signs in all terminals to the station. The fare depends on where you are going but even at distant suburbs in Singapore, it is around $2.00. To Orchard Road Station (the tourist district of the city) is 15 stops, takes around 35minutes and costs $1.70. This is the most efficient way to get to the city. Once you are on the train you can look up where to transfer to other lines or pre-plan using the journey planner on this site www.smrt.com.sg

                                              Buses also service the airport to some destinations in Singapore but usually the train is the best alternative. Use the Journey planner on this site to determine if the bus is a better option than the plan www.smrt.com.sg . Buses to Johur Bahru (across the border in Malaysia) also leave from the airport. All buses leave from the basement of all terminals.

                                              Taxis are relatively cheap and available from each terminal. Join the queues across from arrivals hall at Terminal 3 and well signed at the end of the arrivals in terminal 1 and 2. The Taxi line moves fast and is well managed as is the speed and security with the way the taxis are managed. The Taxi costs between $20-40 and takes 25-40 minutes, depending on what time you are travelling and where you are going.

                                              Facilities at Singapore Changi Airport

                                              This airport is extremely well serviced with everything you will need at arrival, departure and in transit. Highlights:
                                              • Shopping. All the name brands and more are available at each airport. The airport bookshops are well stocked with books and magazines and much on the Singapore and its key historic and current contributors
                                              • Bathrooms are immaculately clean and refreshed often
                                              • Airline lounges and pay per use lounges are available in all terminals.
                                              • Luggage storage facilities in all terminals for short term and long term storage
                                              • Business Centers in all terminals with passenger meeting facilities available
                                              • Free Wifi for your personal devices and Free Internet connection stations throughout the terminals
                                              • Free City Sight-seeing Tours. This tour is run exclusively for passengers in transit and so long as you have the required in transit time available, you can take the tour of the city and be returned to the airport in time for your onward journey.
                                              • Sculpture and art exhibits including an aviation art gallery and massive installations throughout the terminals, galleries in themselves
                                              • Gardens to wander around in including the butterfly garden
                                              • Swimming pool and Jacuzzi which is most unique. It is outdoor so allows you to get outside the terminal and remember, the weather is always warm. It costs around $17 and includes showering facilities.
                                              • Movie Theatre and TV Lounge which is something not available at other airports
                                              • Entertainment deck with latest games centre
                                              • Hair, Beauty and spas to get your hair cut/blow dried, nail salon, massage and other beauty services
                                              • Hotels. Airside there is a hotel which can be booked by the hour in case you need a few hours sleep while in transit and there is a 5 star hotel landside which is connected to Terminal 3 (no bus ride required!)
                                              • Free to Use Rest Areas with lounging chairs that have let supports and lie back to allow better rest and sleep
                                              • Prayer Rooms which are useful as quiet spaces also
                                              • Medical Clinics and pharmacies with pharmacists on duty at all times
                                              • Wheel Chair and Special Needs Support which can be pre-booked
                                              • ATM machines and money changers throughout all terminals
                                              • GST refund facilities at each terminal
                                              • Local SIM card Purchase are for sale at each terminal
                                              • Post offices and postal and courier services from vending machines
                                              • Telephone services including pay phones and fax facilities
                                              • Ground Transportation Concierge to help you get where you need to go
                                              • Hotel Reservation Counters for making reservations at all types of hotels throughout Singapore
                                              • Information and Customer Service Counters which are always manned
                                              • Convenience Stores with a range of groceries!
                                              • Lost and Found with very helpful staff
                                              • Baby care rooms in all terminals which are much more than a shelf
                                              • Family activity stations including the Slide @T3, a very fun airport experience
                                              • Children’s playgrounds of all descriptions and include activity stations for drawing and the like

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