a couple last-minute questions..

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Dec 29th, 2009, 05:12 PM
  #1
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a couple last-minute questions..

Hi. Well the big day is finally almost here. I leave Dec. 31 for my trip to Florida. For a domestic flight (Phila. - Orlando), how much in advance should I get to the airport - 1 hour in advance, or will I need more time? Are the extra security checks for international travelers only or will everyone be affected?

Also, I understand about taking liquids in my carry-on bag, no more than 3 oz. right? What about snacks - can i take my own snacks on board with me - trail mix, chips, or whatever? Thanks, Greg
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Dec 29th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Most airlines suggest you arrive at the airport about 2 hours prior to your departure time. December 31 is a "peak travel" day and your airport is likely to be more crowded than usual so error on the side of having more time rather than cutting it too close. Give yourself at least 90 minutes.

You will have to go through the same TSA Security checkpoint screening and procedures as international travellers. You will do this after you check-in and get your boarding pass. Depending on the time of day the lines can be long and slow moving.

The TSA "3-1-1 Rule" for liquids and gels in your carry-on is fully explained on their website: http://www.tsa.gov/311/

Basically you may take as many 3.4 oz. containers of liquid that will fit in a 1 Qt "zip lock" bag. Each person in your party is allowed their own quart size ziplock bag.

Yes, you can take snacks with you on the plane as long as they are not liquids or gels. If they are liquids or gels than they are subject to the 3-1-1 restrictions.
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Dec 29th, 2009, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm planning (hoping) to check-in online the evening before. So hopefully I'll be able to print my boarding passes and have them with me on arrival at airport. But I will still have to get in line to drop-off my suitcase, right? I'm traveling solo and will only check one bag. Greg
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Dec 29th, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Yes you'll still need to check-in your bag at the desk, even if you've already printed your boarding pass.

The airline normally tells you how early they want you to be there. Read the fine print on your ticket passengers agreement. It's usually 90 mins domestic and 120 mins international.

You can take one 1-qt. ziplock bag with liquids packaged in containers no bigger than 3 oz each in your carry-on. You can pack whatever sizes you like in your checked luggage.

You can take whatever snacks you want as long as they couldn't be in anyway be considered a "gel or liquid".
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Dec 30th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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On your airline website, find how much time they give you to check in your suitcase. Some airlines have cut-off time of 60' some 30' - even if the security line is short.
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Dec 30th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Based on the feedback I've had from my friends this week, I would definitely get there at least 2 hours before the flight. Things are a bit chaotic, and it is a heavy travel season. Have a fabulous trip to Florida!!!
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Dec 30th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Thanks everyone. My stomach is a little in knots, but just some pre-trip jitters, lol. I'll try to post when I get back. Greg
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Dec 30th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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Have a good flight, and a safe trip. You'll be fine.
suze
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Jan 1st, 2010, 09:00 AM
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Just a quick update. I made it to Ocala, FL. Having a good time so far.

There was an 1-2 inches of snow on the ground in Philadelphia area. This led to our US Airways flight being delayed. Instead of 1:40, we waited for plane to be de-iced and we left at 4:15 or 4:20. So I got to Orlando at 6:15 p.m. I was happy however when the pilot announced the weather was 72 degrees in Orlando as opposed to 30/40 back home.

When plane taxi'd onto the runway we were number 3 in line for take-off. After that only a quick (not stricly enforced) reminder to have seatbelts fastened. After that no more announcements - plane started to cruising down runway and whoosh... we were off. I was expecting the pilot to announce 'prepare for takeoff', but no - we just went.

The flight was uneventful. A tiny little bump here and there, but nothing major, and before I knew it we were there. I was fortunate there was a friendly guy in my row. And we talked for a little while, which helped me to relax. Then I waited to be picked up at MCO airport.
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Jan 1st, 2010, 09:10 AM
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* A quick note about checking in online. If you decide to check-in online, check your bag(s) online, and pay the baggage fee online, don't forget to print a copy of the receipt that your airline should send you by email. * Because if the check-in clerk at airport can't find record of your payment, and you don't a present a receipt, they will charge you the luggage fee again!

I didn't print a copy of my baggage-payment receipt, and had to run over to the Airport Marriott to borrow internet service to print a copy of my baggage receipt. The internet fee was $6.00, but it was better than being paying the luggage fee twice ($25 at airport)! Lesson learned! Greg
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Jan 2nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Gregs, glad you made it to Ocala intact. I just got off the phone with my buddy in Crystal River, FL. Unfortunately he tells me that they are expecting temps in the 20's overnight out your way. Bummer.
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