Interesting travel advice
August 13, 2008 3:02am CST
Beverages US Airways will begin charging for soft drinks on August 1. That includes bottled water. Yes, bottled water. The airline is completely unapologetic about the new charge. "We've chosen to be more aggressive than our competitors," Doug Parker, the airline's chief executive, told his employees in an internal memo. You can say that again, Doogie. Few people have a problem with an airline charging for soft drinks. But water? Come on. Given the fact that the tap water they serve on planes is often not potable, that leaves us with few alternatives. How to get around it: Bring an empty water bottle through the Transportation Security Administration screening area and fill it at the closest water fountain in the terminal. Remember, you can't bring liquids through a checkpoint, but there's no rule against empty containers. You can also buy bottled water inside the terminal, but that's not an ideal solution. Those bottles may cost more than the ones you buy on the plane. There have been isolated reports of overly vigilant screeners confiscating empty bottles, but it's still worth a try. Checked luggage Remember when you could check two or even three bags at no extra charge? Ah, the good ol' days. But that's history. Three airlines -- American, United and US Airways -- have announced plans to charge passengers for the first checked bag. The other carriers can't be far behind. Airlines insist they need the extra money to cover their fuel costs, but this probably has almost nothing to do with higher energy prices. Airlines have been waiting for an excuse to add these extras for a long time, and when fuel prices come back down, these fees will almost certainly stick. Just wait and you'll see. How to get around it: A lot of so-called travel experts now recommend you send your luggage to your destination using either an overnight service or through one of the pricey luggage shipping companies. But that's silly. Why ship your luggage when you can still carry it on the plane for free? If you have to carry a second bag, either fly on an airline with a free first-bag allowance, like Continental or Delta, or send the bag by second-day mail. And always do the math. A $15 charge for a bag might be a bargain compared with what the postal service charges. How you guys find this as useful as I did!
• United Kingdom
13 Aug 08
This is valuable travel advise. In the past I used to take a large water bottle with me to drink at the airport and during my flight. Since last year the airport security have strict rules about carrying liquids. All must be in less that 100ml in containers inside a clear plastic wallet. Considering a small fruit carton is 250ml that would be hardly any water to drink. I know that once through security and passport control bottled mineral water is expensive and usually only 500ml bottles are for sale. Sometimes there isn't a water fountain so it you brought an empty bottle to fill you would be disappointed. Tap water from the bathrooms is not safe to drink. I have a toddler that needs babies bottles. I fill three of these with water and have a container with milk powder in it for my son's feeding. I can have some of my son's water to drink. Security don't restrict babies feeding luckily. When he moves on to having beakers I will still use this way to get water through the security check point. I flew with my toddler to Latvia and the airline allowed 15kg baggage. I did the cheapest option, have one piece of luggage for £16. If I had taken a second piece of baggage it would have cost £32. It would have cost £32 more for a third piece of baggage. 5kg+5kg+5kg=15kg that is the same weight as 15kg, how crazy its pricing system for baggage is. I paid an extra £8 to bring my son's travel cost and it is lightweight. Traveling with hand luggage only is the best way to travel but that would be impossible for me.