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December 27, 2012

Holiday Air Travel Tips

Tips for Holiday Travel

Don't Get Caught in a Holding Pattern

by Courtney Caldwell

Anyone who has traveled during the holiday season knows how challenging it can be with crowds, security and possible weather delays. Being prepared is the best way to prevent what can be a very stressful situation. Here are a few holiday travel tips to help you through the chaos:

  • If at all possible, avoid traveling on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving. These are known as the busiest travel days of the year. Also, put some distance in days before and after Xmas... the weekends before and after are not only the busiest but also most expensive.

  • Go online to confirm your seat assignment. This will save you from waiting in a long line at the airport. Most, if not all, airlines offer check-in services online so you can easily print out your boarding pass at home. Once you get to the airport, just check your bag curbside and you're ready to go.

  • Another way to save time is to use a kiosk check-in when you arrive at the airport. These lines move much more quickly than waiting in line for an agent at the counter. Everything is automated but there are agents to help you just in case you need them. While you can add checked luggage to your boarding pass you will have to stand in line to give it to an agent at the counter, however.

  • Arrive at the airport two hours before your flight is scheduled to depart to allow for long lines and delays. Rushing will only cause more stress and ruin your holiday. Click here for all tips

August 17, 2011

Airline Passenger Rights Take Flight

Airline Passenger Rights go into Effect August 2011

Airline passengers need to understand the fine print

Will the Department of Transportation’s move to impose new airline passenger protection rules really make traveling easier? Ian Ford, a travel expert and business owner with more than 15 years in the industry, believes the four major components to the rules are a step forward. But, he also sees the “fine print”.

Ford points out:

1.  That airlines that lose a passenger’s luggage will now be required to reimburse the passenger for baggage fees and actual luggage cost.

2.  There will be an additional charge for unreasonable delays in getting passengers their bags, though ‘unreasonable’ and when a bag is considered lost isn’t clearly defined. Airlines may still delay weeks in getting a person their bags or money with the new rules.

3. Passengers bumped from a flight will be eligible to receive double the amount of the ticket they paid for -- up to $650 for short delays.

4. Those passengers subject to longer delays would be eligible for payment up to four times the price of their ticket, up to $1,300. Read story

July 05, 2011

How to Pick the Perfect Luggage

by Denise McCluggage

Mobility, flexibility, expandability, compatibility, packability.

All those “abilities” should be your guide when you choose your travel equipage. And that goes for both luggage and what you put into it.

Let’s start with exteriors for now - your luggage, part one.

If you haven’t yet taught your bags to heel, get with the program. It’s far easier to roll a bag than lug it by its handle or dangle it from your shoulder.

The wheel has been invented and found good. So either buy a bag with built in wheels or get a luggage cart of some sort.

Those devices of collapsible tubing, large wheels and bungee cords are inexpensive and do the trick, but they pose almost as many problems as they solve. Airlines do not permit them to be carried in overhead bins, they are awkward underfoot and are easily damaged when checked.

Try instead the lightweight, flat-folding ones that fit in a carry on. One such is the CompacCart by Moveasy. The 100 model weighs three pounds and carries 40 pounds, the 200 weighs five pounds and totes 110 pounds. (Try Similar carts can be found at and one called Roleasy at

When wheels first appeared on bags they showed up on four corners at the bottom of conventional suitcases. These were pulled with attached leashes. This arrangement - still around - is notoriously unstable tipping easily in corners, making for a high annoyance quotient.

Airline personnel were the first to adopt the now ubiquitous dual-wheel vertical cases that are towed by a pullout handle, wide side at your heels. Variations quickly hit the market and now some are even pulled narrow side. These are obviously easier to tow down narrow airline aisles, but their narrow wheel base makes them inherently less stable when dodging about busy airports.  [Read full story]

June 13, 2011

Vet Pilot Offers Summer Travel Tips

Veteran Pilot Offers Summer Travel Tips


Summer is just around the corner and the thought of a relaxing vacation is on the minds of grounded jet-setters who are itching to get away. Many are already beginning to plan out their summer destinations and this popular travel season is sure to be a busy one yet again. Knowing this better than anyone, seasoned commercial airline pilot Captain Karen Kahn offers several tips to help restless travelers keep their cool at the airport this summer.

Before Arriving at the Airport:

•    Pack smartly. Place all your valuables (jewelry, electronics, etc.) in your carry-on luggage. Bags are subject to screening and hand-searches and many airlines are not responsible for lost or damaged items. In addition, place an identification tag on the outside of your laptop as they are the most forgotten item at screening checkpoints.

•    Know your limits. Don’t forget to place all of your liquids and gels in a quart-size Ziploc bag.  Many stores now offer miniature sized toiletries for this reason.  Additionally, many airlines tack extra fees onto bags that exceed their weight limit rules. Pack only what you need and check with your airline regarding their specific regulations.

•    Go online. With many airlines you can print boarding passes on their website to skip long waits at the airport.  Some companies also offer text, email or phone notifications regarding your flight so you stay updated on your flight’s status.

•    Dress: Less is better. Keep in mind all of the airport’s security screening procedures.  If possible avoid items such as belts, hard to remove shoes, hats, and any jewelry that contains metal as removing these items takes unnecessary time that could make the difference between making and missing your flight. [Read More]

May 26, 2011

Cellphone Rudeness: What to do?

Annoying_cellphone_user Traveling comes with its own set of annoyances such as long lines, delayed flights, security, lost luggage, traffic jams and less that comfortable travel conditions. Travel does not need the added annoyance of loud cellphone users.

We've all met them. We may have even been them. Cellphone loud talkers can make flights, restaurants, lines, waiting areas and other public places miserable. In the past, a screaming child could ruin a any public situation, but many can forgive a frazzled mother. Now, that mother is shouting above the child's screaming into her cellphone, and we, the public, are not so willing to let it slide. What would you do?

Does Cellphone Rudeness get to you? Read RTM's Cellphone Rules.

August 01, 2010

RTM Launches 14th Annual Sexy Car Buyer's Guide

Hello faithful RTM Blog readers... we appreciate the support you've sent our way since the RTM blog has been up and running and we look forward to entertaining and educating you even further with the relaunch of the RTM website. It never went away. In fact, RTM has been up and running for 22 years; however due to the recession and subsequent shortage of staff, we were challenged with keeping up two blogs and publishing new articles and covers in the RTM website until now.

That said, effective August 1, 2010, RTM is back on track with the relaunch of its new home page design, which leads with its 14th Annual Sexy Car Buyer's Guide. We'll be publishing all new articles and home pages on the 1st and 15th of every month. A link to each new issue will be posted in this blog for easy access, and as a reminder that all new content has been posted  for your viewing pleasure. Starting in 2011, RTM will return to its weekly format.

Thank you for your support as RTM enters into the this new chapter of its third decade. Courtney Caldwell, RTM Editor-in-Chief.

May 05, 2010

Check With Your Airline for New Baggage Fees

Pack lightly, because airlines are cracking down on baggage charges for 2009 and 2010. Many airlines offer perks programs which exempt or reduce frequent customers these charges, and discounts for pre-paying charges online.

Overweight, over-sized, and internationally traveling bags may be charged more or less, and all baggage fees are subject to change. For all the airports listed, a carry-on and personal item are allowed on board. Charges apply both ways for round trip travel.

These charges apply to economy or coach-class tickets and usually vary for higher class tickets. This list is in order from best deal on baggage charges to most expensive. To find your airline carrier, click here.

For more airline rules and new regulations from RTM, click here.

March 09, 2010

Get Through Airport Security Quickly

Airport Avoiding a headache at airport security simply requires organization and preparation. Here are some tips for getting through security quickly.

1. Pack Smart. Your carry on should be a layer of clothes, then electronic, more clothes, and then any heavier items. This will help transportation security officers see what's in your bag. Innocent items can actually appear to be potential threats in an X-ray image, simply by the way they are packed.

2. Dress the Part. Security officers have to identify any metal that is detected at the checkpoint. If the metal detector alarms when you pass through, you will be required to undergo additional screening. This includes a hand-wand and pat-down inspection. Take out body piercings, avoid clothing with a lot of metal pieces and try to wear a pair of comfortable slip on shoes, as all travelers are now required to take off their shoes at security.

3. Be Prepared. Do you have your boarding pass and passport with you? Are they at the bottom of your bag? Keeping all your papers and documents easily accessible will help you move through security quickly.

4. Arrive on Time. Arrival time recommendations vary by airline and day of travel, so check with your carrier. Most suggest you check in two hours before boarding. Remember to give yourself adequate time to check your baggage and move through security.

5. Think Before You Speak. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats are treated very seriously. It’s best to keep any sarcastic or rude remarks to yourself or else you may find yourself missing your flight while being interrogated by security officials.

Click here for more air travel tips from Road & Travel Magazine.

October 07, 2009

Extra Baggage: Airlines Increasing Charges

Check-airline-header Pack lightly, because airlines are cracking down on baggage charges for 2009 and 2010. Many airlines offer perks programs which exempt or reduce frequent customers these charges, and discounts for pre-paying charges online. Overweight, oversized, and internationally travelling bags may be charged more or less, and all baggage fees are subject to change. For all the airports listed, a carry-on and personal item are allowed on board. Charges apply both ways for round trip travel. These charges apply to economy or coach-class tickets and usually vary for higher class tickets. This list is in order from best deal on baggage charges to most expensive.

Click here to see the current list.

Some argue that baggage allowances should be universal, but the counterargument is that differing baggage allowances allow airlines to be competitive, and customers can use these differences as a deciding factor when booking flights. Most flyers, however, rely on factors such as cost of flight, whether or not miles will apply to their frequent flyer points, amount of stops, and reputation of airline to make their chose their flying partners. When people have their mind set, extra baggage costs may just be… well, extra baggage.

For more on airlines from RTM, visit our Airline Rules section.

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June 28, 2009

What To Do When You've Lost Your Luggage

Luggage Airlines around the globe mishandled about 1 percent of the 3 billion bags checked last year. Airlines in the U.S. alone lose roughly 10,000 pieces of luggage a day. Although airlines claim to return roughly 98% of lost luggage within a few hours to a few days, it makes traveling, and more importantly, enjoying your vacation, difficult.

So, what can travelers do to avoid lost luggage? The simplest solution is to ship it directly to your location, eliminating airlines altogether.
UPS and FedEx are more reliable than the airlines, and they have much better tracking technology in place.

You should also note that if your bag is not on the carousel, wait around. Frequently, bags that don't make the right flight end up on the airline's next flight. If all else fails and your luggage is lost, be sure to file a complaint with your airline immediately. Some airlines will only have a small window of time for filing one.

For more expert advice on how to avoid lost luggage, check out RTM's Airline Rules Section.