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COOL THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is famous for its stunning landscapes, incredible wildlife, award-winning wineries, beautiful beaches, and its lively and cosmopolitan cities. I’ve been to the country twice and always leave wanting more. There’s something deeply special about this place.

Stretching over 2,800 kilometers (1,700 miles) and home to over 56 million people, you could easily spend months here and still not see everything. Heck, just driving from one end of the country to the other would take several days.

Though there are hundreds of things to see and do in South Africa, here’s a list of what I think are the must-see and must-do activities while you’re here:
 

1. Go on a safari


Most people come to South Africa to go on a safari — and for good reason. It’s home to some of the best game drives in the world and you’ll want to spend at least a couple of nights in one of the hundreds of national parks. There’s truly nothing like it.

The most well-known safari destination is Kruger National Park, which has incredible diversity and tons of amazing wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and Cape buffalo).

I went to Kruger a few years back, and it was everything I’d expected and more. Although you can drive yourself around the park, I actually recommend using a guide because they’ll be much better at spotting animals and will also give you heaps info about them, their habitat, and the park itself. Since this is one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences it’s worth spending the money to get a knowledgeable guide.

While Kruger is the most famous safari destination, there are dozens of other options across South Africa. Here are a few I recommend:

  • Hluhluwe and iMfolozi National Park – Located in the east of the country and is known for its rhino populations.
  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – On the border with Botswana in the north, it’s known for its black-maned lions.
  • Addo Elephant National Park – Near Port Elizabeth on the south coast, this is a great choice for self-drive safaris.
  • Pilanesburg National Park & Game Reserve – Home to the Big 5 and is doable in a day trip from Johannesburg if you’re short on time.

Safaris are so common in South Africa that pretty much every price point and budget is covered. Accommodation options range from budget-friendly campsites to upscale guesthouses and resorts.
 

2. Visit Cape Town


Cape Town is the most popular destination in South Africa — and for good reason. It’s a vibrant, multicultural city with lively bars, delicious food, great weather, lots of nature and hiking nearby. In addition to the city’s amazing beaches, the waterfront is bursting with things to do as well.

There’s a lot to do in the city so check out this entire post I wrote on what to do while you are there!
 

3. Go Surfing


Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean coasts of South Africa offer world-class surfing. Jeffrey’s Bay on the south coast near Port Elizabeth is the most famous surfing destination in South Africa and offers big waves and multiple breaks.

There are also a number of good surfing locations near Cape Town, including Dungeons in Hout Bay and a number of others further south on the Western Cape, such as Long Beach.

If you’re a beginner, Durban is a great option for surfing lessons because of the reliable waves and warm water of the Indian Ocean. Expect to pay around 500 ZAR per person for a 2-3 hour lesson.
 

4. Learn About Apartheid


You can’t visit South Africa without learning about the horror of apartheid (a system of institutionalized racial segregation), which cast its shadow over the country from the 1940s all the way into the 1990s. Opened in 2001, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg does an excellent job of highlighting apartheid’s history and legacy.

While in Johannesburg, be visit the Constitutional Court. It stands on the site of a former political prison and you can tour some of the prison ruins and learn more about the many political prisoners who were unjustly detained here.

Also, be sure to visit the District Six Museum in Cape Town. It’s a memorial to the people who lived in the area in the 1970s who were forced to relocate so that white citizens could move in. It’s both sobering and illuminating.
 

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SPRING BREAK VACATION IDEAS

Time to start booking a spring break trip. Or mini-vacation. Or weekend getaway. Why? Because this is a great time to find cheap flights and this list of spring break vacation ideas will get you started.

SPRING BREAK VACATION IDEAS

As always, there are tons of fun destinations around the world but these are our picks based on staff recommendations as well as friends and family. Remember, before you ding your credit card, be sure to compare airfare firstThen, find a hotel deal.

EXOTIC DESTINATIONS

Spring break is a great time to get out of your rut and try something new. Popular exotic destinations include Marrakech, Morocco; Bali, Indonesia; and Phuket, Thailand. Imagine riding a camel in the desert near  Marrakech, watching a fire dance in Bali or just lazing on a beautiful beach like the ones in Phuket.

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BEACHES

The classic spring break destination. Everyone loves sun, sand, and surf and luckily there are beautiful beaches all over the world. Head to Miami to enjoy some Florida sunshine along with the South Beach club scene. Or check out the West Coast for a relaxing time at Coronado Beach near San Diego. For an island experience, consider Ibiza off the coast of Spain or Naxos, Greece; both offer plenty of fun activities like snorkeling and boating plus lovely scenery and excellent seafood.

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BIG CITIES

Some big cities have it all: Unusual museums, an amazing array of restaurants, theater and nightlife as well world-class attractions like the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower. Popular cities for spring break travelers include Los Angeles, New York City, ParisLondon and Rome. Each one is different, each one is exciting, each one is an absolute must-see.

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Coronavirus: Look for Cheap Airfare Now, Book for Later

Grounded

We don’t need to tell you coronavirus has grounded travelers. According to the TSA, a year ago – on March 29, 2019 – more than 2.5 million people passed through security checkpoints in U.S. airports. One year later – March 29, 2020 – the number dropped to 180,000. A loss of 90+ percent!

What’s a traveler to do? Wait. Wait for the all-clear from health authorities and government officials but in the meantime, you can dream about where to go next, and we can help make those dreams come true. Go to cheapnfly to look for cheap airfare now, book for later. These four steps will get you started.

Step 1 – When to fly

No one can say when COVID-19 will subside and quarantines are canceled but if your airline is waiving cancellation fees, you can guess about travel dates. Tip: Fall and winter are always cheap times to fly, so if you’re looking for a super bargain, travel in early November or early December (just before and after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving). If you’re looking for a family reunion, go ahead and book flights for Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year’s. Don’t worry about paying top dollar for the holidays; they won’t be dirt cheap but as FareCompare’s CEO Rick Seaney says, airlines will probably need to cut fares throughout the year, to lure us back into the habit of plane travel.

Step 2 – Find cheap flights

Cheap times to fly begin in late August for domestic and international travel and as we said, continues into winter and fall, but how you fly can save money, too. Suggestions:

  • Cheap times of day: Fly early in the morning, at the dinner hour or overnight.
  • Cheap routes: Connecting flights can be much cheaper than nonstops, but not always so compare fares for both.

Step 3 – Before you buy

Before you book your fall or winter deal or whenever you plan to travel, check out your airline’s cancellation policy, and here’s a list. Most carriers are waiving change fees (which run as high as $200 per ticket) but check to be sure your travel dates are covered by the policy change so you won’t have to worry if you decide to move your flight to a later date.

Step 4 – Stay connected

The only thing consistent about this pandemic at them moment is its total lack of consistency; little is known about COVID-19 and our knowledge of this coronavirus keeps changing and updating. For would-be travelers champing at the bit, the solution is to stay on top of the news and follow your airline on Twitter and Facebook for updates. You can also keep checking the airline’s website where any changes to the carrier’s coronavirus policies will be noted on the homepage.

But for now, let’s dream about getting back in the air. Ready? Look for cheap airfare now, book for later.

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Airlines Waive Change Fees Amid Coronavirus Travel Fears

Cost of Change Fees

Some of us who would ordinarily be planning a trip and buying tickets right now are holding off, waiting for the latest news and statistics on coronavirus or COVID-19. Find updated health information here:

Airlines are well aware that many will not or cannot fly during the pandemic, so they are trying to ease coronavirus travel fears about future flights by waiving change fees (which can cost from $75 to $200+ per ticket). In effect, airlines are saying, book now but you can change your mind later without paying a penalty. Only in certain cases are we seeing full refunds, but travel information keeps changes so check with your carrier for the latest guidelines.

U.S. Airline Fee Waivers

We update these pages as soon as we become aware of new information. NOTE: Several states now require visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival (though in some cases, self-quarantine only applies to visitors from certain locations). See your airline and news websites for the latest information.

Alaska

  • UPDATED 4-2-2020: Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 30 for travel through February 2021. Also, per Alaska’s website, “Effective March 25, 2020, the State of Alaska will require all arriving guests to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their perceived health until April 21, 2020.”

American 

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020:Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 15.

Delta

  • UPDATE 4-3-2020You can now rebook travel for up to two years after the original trip. Complete details here.

Frontier

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees are waived for some flights, but not all; it depends when you purchase the tickets. More information.

Hawaiian

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees waived for flights booked March 1-31 for any Hawaiian flight; changes/cancellations must be made within 24 hours of take-off. Also, there is now a 14-day quarantine requirement that went into effect March 26 for all arrivals into the state of Hawaii.

JetBlue

  • UPDATED 4-2-2020: Change fees will be waived for customers traveling through Oct. 24, 2020. According to JetBlue’s website, “If you need to cancel your travel plans, we’ll credit the amount in the form of a travel credit that’s valid for one year. For changes, fare differences may apply.

 Southwest

  • This airline isn’t waiving change fees because it doesn’t charge any. If you want to change or cancel a flight, simply let Southwest know at least ten minutes before take-off. Cost to you: $0.

Spirit

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: The airline asks customers to contact them for a reservation credit, and to do so online if possible.

United

  • UPDATED 4-8-2020: The electronic certificates received for canceled flights are now valid for two years from the date they were issued. More information here.

International Airline Fee Waivers

Click the airline name for the latest information on changing or canceling your tickets.

Aer Lingus

Aeromexico

Air Canada

Air France

British Airways

Emirates

KLM

Lufthansa

Norwegian

Qantas

Virgin Atlantic

Note about Fare Differences

In some cases, if you cancel or change your flight to a later date – one which has more expensive airfares, you may have to pay the difference.

Does this ease your coronavirus travel fears at all? We’d love to hear what you think on our Facebook page.

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9 Ways How Technology makes Travel Convenient and Safe?

Travel and technology go hand in hand. Researchers and the aviation industry always work on incorporating the latest developments in the world of technology with the travel industry.

It is not going to take long before artificial intelligence and other highly sophisticated technologies take over.

Even today, technology has benefitted travelers and travel service providers alike.

Therefore, this article will discuss 9 amazing ways in which technology shaping our travel trends, and making the activity convenient and safe.

1. Online Flight Ticket Booking

Airports are generally crowded places. Moreover, people from all over the world come in close contact. You never know who has been where.

When it comes to communicable diseases, airports can become a breeding ground. The world is undergoing such an outbreak right now.

Therefore, it is best to spend as little time navigating through airports as possible. This is when online air ticket booking sites come to rescue.

Avoid booking flight tickets at the airport counter as it means waiting in queues. Moreover, using self-check-in kiosks is not very safe either. Lastly, you can also make flight bookings on call.

2. Online Check-in

More and more passengers are moving from traditional checking-in at the airport to web check-in.

No matter what airline you book, no matter where you book from, online check-in for your flight is available.

All you have to do is log on to your airline’s official website and enter a few details like flight reference number to complete the process.

Online check-in saves time at the airport. You can skip long queues and proceed to the baggage drop area. This is even more effective for last-minute flight booking.

This also means no physical contact with others at the airport such as fellow-passengers and airline staff.

3. Mobile Boarding Passes

Boarding passes secure your place on the aircraft. It is a piece of paper that contains detail like flight number, boarding gate, name of the passenger, and so on.

With the advancement in technology, passengers are shunning the paper boarding passes. There are shifting towards mobile boarding passes for all the good reasons.

Once you have checked-in for a flight, you receive a digital boarding pass. You can email it to yourself or save it on your device.

When you are at the airport all you have to do is scan your pass and you will be allowed to board the flight.

It is convenient and safe in cases of communicable diseases. This is so, because paper boarding is usually inspected manually by the security staff.

4. Mobile Banking and Virtual Wallets

Virtual and digital modes of payment are remote and the safest modes of payment when you travel to areas at risk of communicable disease or infection.

Using cash and plastic money requires physical contact with the cashier. When you are at the airport or enjoying a vacation outdoors, try not to share high-touch items such as currency notes.

Make payments using virtual wallets or choose mobile banking.

You can use these modes of payment for almost all sorts of purchases. Just like making online flight booking you can settle all purchases.

5. Navigation Support

One of the most terrifying things that can happen is losing your way at an unknown place. The situation worsens if you are not well-versed in the local language.

Sometimes names and addresses are too complicated to remember. Once, again technology comes to your rescue.

Features like GPS and navigation support are a blessing.

You can save the location of all the important landmarks in your device including your staying accommodation.

In addition, you can save emergency details, such as contact info and addresses of nearest police stations, hospitals, and so on.

6. Cheaper Flight Deals

Technology also bridges the gap between passengers and cheap airline ticket booking. You can find some of the best travel offers online.

Unpublished fares and error-fares enable the cheapest flight bookings. Moreover, social media has open doors to travel deals.

You can follow your favorite airlines and flight booking portals for the latest deals and discounts

7. Communication with Loved Ones

Uninterrupted communication with your loved ones is one of the best things about technology. You can send them information in real-time.

Free messaging and calling applications and video-calling have made the world a small place.

Further, features like location-sharing have taken communication a step ahead.

People do not have to worry about their kids or family while they are away from home.

Moreover, airlines from across the globe are installing high-speed wi-fi inside aircraft.

Some of the major airlines in the world like Delta, Southwest, Lufthansa, Emirates, and KLM already offer the service.

8. Reliable Transportation Booking

Hailing a cab on a late-night after a party or a shopping spree in an unknown country may feel a little scary. However, technology has helped the world once again.

Reliable and safe transportation booking applications have made intra-city commute convenient. Services like Uber, Ola, and others ensure complete safety.

There are other advantages to booking transport online. You can keep track of important information like driver details, booking receipts, etc.

9. VPN to Protect Personal Info on a Public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is available at almost every place. It doesn’t matter whether you are at the airport, in the mall, or enjoying a cup of coffee at the restaurant, Wi-Fi is everywhere.

However, you must always exercise precaution while logging in to an unknown Wi-Fi source, especially at a tourist place.

With cybercrime on the rise, it is important that you access public Wi-Fi systems via a VPN. Virtual Private Network hides your IP address making it impossible for a hacker to locate you.

Not only this, but there are also a lot of other aspects in which technology helps a traveler and everyone involved in the aviation industry.

For instance, Canadian airports are considering using drones to upgrade security systems. Similarly, many airports across the world will soon adopt facial recognition technology.

Technology has truly revolutionized travel.

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A Guide to In-Flight Airlines Meals and Snack

There were times when airlines offered free and complementary foods and snacks to the passengers flying internationally from the USA to India or any other destination. After the introduction of low-cost flights, such a trend has experienced a halt. 

With the increasing demand for cheap air ticketsthe passengers have, however, faced issues linked with less space for legroom.

In addition to this, the privilege of free drinks and foods on airlines has also been reduced to a large extent by many airlines.

And in case you get a decent meal on cheap air tickets international from India to the USA, you should be prepared to pay extra for these services.

You might be aware that the food served in the airlines is not freshly prepared but is packed and preserved.

Moreover, the quality of food largely on the kind of ticket that you have purchased. 

You can experience the difference in the quality of meals served in the business, economy, and first-class.

Moreover, it has been observed that some of the airlines serve better food than the others on their online airline booking.

The significant difference is observed in the ways the food is served. While economy class travelers get their food served in disposable containers, those traveling in business class get their food in fine bone china and real cutlery.

Budget Airlines’ In-flight food

When you are traveling on a short-haul flight with budget airlines, you must not expect them to serve you with food, drinks, and beverages.

However, certain budgeted airlines serve good food on their cheapest flight booking in India

Moreover, while on long-haul flights, these budget carriers serve only one meal. One can also include juices, liquor, snacks, and more on paying for whatever they have ordered.

In addition to this, when you are traveling with cheap flights to India from the USAyou can carry along your food according to your interests.

Moreover, you can even buy food from the restaurants in the departure lounges and even from the kiosks.

Also, on cheaper flight bookingwith these airlines, you can carry home-cooked food. The only condition that implies is, the food carried must follow the security restrictions set by the airlines.

In-Flight Meal upon Payment

When the meals are not a part of the cheap flights to Indiapassengers can even make a pre-order of the food that they wish for their flights.

Moreover, there are certain airlines that allow passengers to make a payment on the flight after they receive their ordered meal.

Therefore, the passengers must carry small currency along with them to conveniently for their foods and drinks.

Meals on Highly-expensive Airlines

When you have booked a ticket for India from the USA with an expensive airline, you can rest assured of high-quality meals that meet all the quality standards set by the airlines.

The in-flight meals include proper food, snacks, drinks, beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, on their long-haul flights.

Also, these airlines include meals in the ticket prices. Moreover, whether it is a domestic flight or an international one, these top-end airlines offer snacks and drinks for all.

It is the reason that accounts for the higher cost of tickets on such airlines.

Economy Class Meal in Flights

As already stated, most of the airlines serve food in the economy class in plastic trays and cutlery.

Also, the menu of an in-flight economy class meal can be easily predicted.

This lunch tray will include meat, salad, vegetables, a bread roll, and dessert in small quantities.

First and Business Class In-Flight Meals

When it comes to traveling in business class, you have a good choice of food. You can rest assured of a three-course meal with complimentary wine. 

Moreover, the food served is prepared under the guidance of renowned chefs. Also, the food served is good to see and taste at the same time.

The passengers will also have access to a full bar with complimentary drinks and snacks.

Also, unlike economy class, the food is served in real cutlery with proper shakers for salt and pepper.

Glasses and cups are used for drinks and tea rather than disposables. In addition to this, hot towels are used for cleaning instead of paper napkins.

Traveling with babies

When it comes to serving baby food on flight tickets in India, passengers need to carry baby food and formula milk on their own. And the same is to be included as a part of carry-on baggage.

However, meeting the guidelines of the airlines regarding the baggage allowance.

Moreover, the parents should note that the airlines offer no additional facility for sterilizing the feeding bottles on-board. The only solution to this is to carry additional bottles on India’s air ticket.

However, flight attendants can assist you with hot water in case of an emergency. Moreover, the passengers can freely contact the airlines for the options and facilities available.

Alcohol on airlines

While you are traveling on an international flight to India from the USAyou will note that most of the airlines serve alcohol.

Also, not only internationally, some of the airlines serve drinks on their domestic carriers as well.

When you are traveling with first or business class, you can have access to the entire bar for ordering drinks of your choice. Moreover, you can even ask for a refill

However, certain airlines offer complimentary champagne to the passengers for a special touch at the start of their journey.

You might observe people complaining about airline food quiet often. But getting food thousands of feet above the sea level is no less than a blessing.

When you book flight tickets onlineyou should check for the kind of food served along with other facilities to ensure a good in-light experience.

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Should You Buy Travel Insurance from Your Airline or Online Travel Agent?

we’ve all seen it. In some cases, you can’t avoid it. When clicking to purchase your ticket, up pops the prompt, “Peace of mind is a click away. Would you like to protect this trip for $XX.XX dollars?” Usually, it’s not much, but is it even worth the extra money? Likely, no. Here’s why.

On most airline sites, it’s a misnomer. In actuality what they’re offering is trip protection, not travel insurance. And the wording makes a difference.

Trip protection generally does what it says. It protects the flight and corollary aspects such as bag damage, and delays. While assistance in the event of medical emergency may be listed, it’s more than likely not included once you dive deeper into the fine print. Full-fledged insurance it’s not. If a medical emergency occurs when traveling domestically, most plans do not include coverage, and on international itineraries, it’s barebones and insufficient.

I’ll break down some of the listed protections these plans provide and scenarios where you’re probably already covered.  

Baggage Loss and Delay Coverage

Most plans offer reimbursement if your bag ends up lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen while traveling on a domestic itinerary of up to around $500. That turns out to be a lowball amount compared to DOT regulations holding airlines responsible for up to $3,500 paid per passenger who has a lost, damaged, or delayed bag on domestic trips. Internationally, guidelines set during the Montreal Convention put airlines on the hook for $1,780 per piece. Much more than touted international protection plans sold by Delta’s partner Allianz only covering $300. Therefore, the coverage these plans provide is basically null, as better provisions are already in place.

Travel Delay Coverage

If your trip is delayed by the airline, plans will offer you generally around $250-300 to cover select eligible expenses. But for the coverage to kick in, the delay has to be six or sometimes 12 hours or more before you can expense items like accommodation and meals. With receipts, this benefit tops out at $150 per 24-hours. So, to get the full value of the coverage, you’ll have to be delayed 2-days or more, which is relatively unheard of without the airline just canceling the flight altogether. If an extended delay requires an overnight, most international carriers will offer free accommodation, which I’ve listed here. ­That’s virtually the same coverage that these policies offer, only you don’t need to file for it. While at first glance this perk seems helpful, the likelihood of a delay lasting over 6-hours is exceptionally slim for the extra out-of-pocket protection.

Related: What Does Credit Card Insurance Actually Cover?

Travel Cancellation or Interruption Coverage

The biggest selling point on airline offered protection policies is the flexibility to cancel a trip if a major life event happens, and you can no longer go on your travels. But keep in mind this is not “a cancel for any reason” option. To qualify and receive a full refund there are pages of fine print specifics you must adhere to for coverage. A simple case of the sniffles won’t cut it. In many policies, you or your traveling companion’s condition must be “disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel their trip” and authorized by a doctor.

Travel always comes with risks. Added protection can be beneficial if something unforeseen happens on the road or right before your planned trip. But the policies found during checkout on the carrier’s site are often rife with loopholes compared to buying a plan from companies specializing in travel insurance. If you’re looking for the easiest way to gain added protection without having to shell out more to the airlines, purchase your ticket with a credit card that includes trip cancellation and interruption insurance as one of its perks like these cards listed here.

Emergency Medical and Transportation Coverage

All major US airlines offering trip protection add-ons during purchase do not provide medical or transportation coverage on domestic trips. So, if that’s a concern, there’s no need to accept the policy offered by the airline and start looking elsewhere. Because none will cover your return home if you fall ill in the USA. On international itineraries, limited medical and evacuation are included but are fairly weak compared to more comprehensive coverage suggested by travel insurers.

For example, a plan provided by AIG when booking on United’s site only offers up to $20,000 for an emergency evacuation, when the recommended amount by most travel insurance providers is upwards of $100,000. To further put it in perspective, the average evacuation cost runs around $45,000, so with the plan promoted via the airline, you’d still be looking at a bill of 25K afterward. Some health care providers do cover emergency medical care abroad, but policies vary. You may be comfortable with your current plan and forgo buying added insurance. But if you do, make sure to know the specifics of coverage amounts extending outside of the States.

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You Missed Your Flight. Now What?

Missed FlightAvoid Missing the Next Flight

Missed your flight? If it wasn’t your fault – meaning you were delayed by bad weather or mechanical problems – the airline will take care of you and help you figure out your next move. Learn more about that here. What we’re talking about now is what to do about a missed flight when you are to blame.

What to Do if You Missed Your Flight

Be pro-active: If you know you will miss your flight – or even think you might – get on the phone and talk to the airline. What they will tell you will vary by carrier but here are some guidelines.

1. Contact the airline immediately

  • If you know you’ll be late or will not show up: Call the airline immediately or you could forfeit the entire cost of your ticket. If you’ve already flown part of the trip, you might forfeit whatever remains (it happened to a friend of mine who missed his connecting flight when he fell asleep waiting for boarding to get underway). A phone call will usually keep your ticket valid but you may have to pay a change fee, which can cost as much as $200. Finally, if the fare has risen since you purchased the original ticket, you might have to pay the difference. Bottom line: A call salvages something; not calling forfeits everything.
  • If flying Southwest: Southwest is the only U.S. airline with no change fee. BUT you still have to call – ten minutes before departure – or you’ll fall under Southwest’s No Show Policy and lose all remaining value of the ticket.
  • If you’re not sure you’ll make the flight: Call the airline anyway and explain your situation. If you get to the airport at the very last minute, employees may be able to ease your way on board (or even hold the plane for a few minutes). Tip: Throw yourself on the mercy of the airline; it may not work but you won’t know ’til you try.

2. Talk to a gate agent

  • If you’re at the airport, to a gate agent. Multi-task, if possible, meaning call the airline and stand in line for an agent because you never know which will be quicker. A gate agent may be able to put you on standby for another flight or find you a seat on another airline’s plane. If there’s a change fee to pay, ask the agent if they can waive it. Again, such requests are rarely granted but you never know.

How to Avoid Missing the Next Flight

  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck: A fast security line can sometimes mean the difference between making a flight or missing it. PreCheck is cheap ($85 for a five-year membership) and the interviews don’t take long. Learn more here.
  • Use a carry-on bag: Again, it’s faster because you won’t have to wait in line to check the bag. You also don’t have to worry about losing a carry-on and most U.S. airlines don’t charge a fee for hand luggage.
  • Leave for the airport earlier: Expect traffic jams, expect flat tires, expect long lines at security. Just don’t expect any mercy from your airline if you fail to call and say you’re running late.
  • Put airline contacts in phone: With luck and an early wake-up call, you’ll never need the airline’s phone number but make sure you have it anyway. Tip: If you’re an elite miles member, put the membership hotline number in contacts.
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Airlines Waive Change Fees Amid Coronavirus Travel Fears

Cost of Change FeesList of Airlines Dropping FeesNote about Fare Differences

Cost of Change Fees

Some of us who would ordinarily be planning a trip and buying tickets right now are holding off, waiting for the latest news and statistics on coronavirus or COVID-19. Find updated health information at the Centers for Disease Control as well as tips and advice specifically targeting travelers. For the latest on international travel, check with Travel.State.Gov which has excellent country-by-country information.

Airlines are well aware that many will not and cannot fly during this pandemic, so they are trying to ease coronavirus travel fears about future flights by waiving change fees (which can cost from $75 to $200 per ticket). In other words, book now, then change your mind about flying later if you want, without paying a penalty. As for full refunds, some are allowing this but information keeps changing; click the airline names below to see the very latest guidelines.

U.S. Airline Fee Waivers

We update these pages as soon as we become aware of new information.

Alaska

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 30 for travel through February 2021.

American 

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020:Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 15.

Delta

  • UPDATE3-30-2020: Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 15.

Frontier

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees are waived for some flights, but not all; it depends when you purchase the tickets. More information.

Hawaiian

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees waived for flights booked March 1-31 for any Hawaiian flight; changes/cancellations must be made within 24 hours of take-off. NOTE:There is now a 14-day quarantine requirement that went into effect March 26 for all arrivals into the state of Hawaii.

JetBlue

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees will be waived for customers traveling through May 31, 2020; customers may rebook their flights for travel through October 24, 2020.

 Southwest

  • This airline isn’t waiving change fees because it doesn’t charge any. If you want to change or cancel a flight, simply let Southwest know at least ten minutes before take-off. Cost to you: $0.

Spirit

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: The airline asks customers to contact them for a reservation credit, and to do so online if possible.

United

  • UPDATED 3-30-2020: For tickets issued March 3 through March 31, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

International Airline Fee Waivers

Click the airline name for the latest information on changing or cancelling your tickets.

Aer Lingus

Aeromexico

Air Canada

Air France

British Airways

Emirates

KLM

Lufthansa

Norwegian

Qantas

Virgin Atlantic

Note about Fare Differences

In some cases, if you cancel or change your flight to a later date – one which has more expensive airfares, you may have to pay the difference.

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A Guide to Portland International airport

The Portland International Airport has been said as the Best Airport in the United States. Also, the Airport is among the main travel hubs in the Pacific Northwest region.

Moreover, the Airport has been serving more than 19 million passengers annually, whether it is international travel or a domestic one.

So, if you have booked your flights from Portland International Airport to India, here is an airport guide to help you avail of the best services at the Airport.

Terminals at Portland International Airport

When you have booked flights from the USA to Chennai or any other Indian destination, you will see that the Airport has only one terminal that is shaped like a ‘U.’

So, in case you have selected a connecting flight from the Airport, you can easily commute from one point to another.

You can simply board a MAX light train available at the Airport at affordable prices. Moreover, on your flight tickets from India to the USA,you will see that the train takes you downtown, avoiding all the traffic.

Moreover, the terminal at Portland International Airport is divided into North and South terminal areas. In addition to this, it has five concourses named A, B, C, D, and E.

Among these, the first three that are A, B, and C are at the Southside of the terminal, whereas, D and E are at the Northside.

Airlines from Portland International Airport

When you book cheap airfares to India from Portland International Airport, you will note that the Airport has most of the domestic carriers along with a few international carriers.

These international carriers mainly take you to Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, etc.

Some of the most popular airlines flying from the Portland International Airport are:

  • Air Canada Jazz
  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • American Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Flexjet
  • Jet Airways
  • Korean Air are some of the airlines on the list.

Airport Lounges Portland International Airport

In case you have planned a layover during your flight ticket bookings from India at the Portland International Airport, lounges at the Airport can be a great spot.

These areas are perfect for relaxation and even to complete all your pending works, and that too with a minimum number of people around.

However, there are a number of lounges spread over the five concourses of the Airport, but when you are on your flights from the USA to India, you will not be served liquor in any of these, as it is against the law.

1. Alaska Airlines Lounges

This lounge is present in the C Concourse near Gate 5 of the Portland International Airport.

Also, the lounge services can be availed of by Priority pass passengers, American Express Platinum cardholders, and Alaska Airlines Premium Passengers.

So, if you have booked flights with Alaska Airlines, you can get a chance to avail of the services.

Moreover, if you do not lie in any of the mentioned categories, you can buy a pass for a day and score an entry.

However, the lounge is not spread over a large area. It has a nice view of the tarmac. And, along with that, the lounge has a TV viewing area and a business center as well.

You can enjoy a cold buffet at the lounge, and when you come here in the morning, pancakes are also available.

2. Delta Sky Club

This lounge allows the passengers entry only when they are a member of the Sky Club or a first and business class flyer.

Although the largest, the club is less crowded as compared to the other lounges at the Portland International Airport.

In addition to being the largest, the food is served in the lounge at the seats. And to your surprise, you can also get wine and beer here.

3. United Club

When you have taken air flights to India from the USA, you can avail of the services of the lounge only if you are a premium passenger.

Also, entry is provided to the walk-ins on payment in case of availability. The lounge offers an old school vibe with an excellent Wi-Fi connection.

This United Club lounge also serves a cold buffet with excellent beer and wine.

Facilities at Portland International Airport

The Airport has many amenities, carefully built to meet the needs of every passenger. For the passengers traveling with family, the Airport has a separate play area for kids.

This play area is present at concourse connector between north and south terminal area, and even Gate C19. In addition to this, you can easily locate baby care facilities all through the Airport for nursing mothers.

Moreover, one can easily avail of the services of a pharmacy in case of any medical emergency. Also, one can enjoy a haircut and an old fashioned shave at the ‘The Barbers.’

Also, when you have taken flight tickets from the USA to India from Portland International Airport, you will observe rotating art exhibitions, live performances, and musicians, cheering up passengers at almost all times.

In addition to this, one can get rid of all the stress at the specially designed spa areas near Concourse C.

Moreover, you can also enjoy over the cloth massage, a foot massage, waxing, eyebrow and eyelash tinting, etc.

Along with all the other facilities at the Airport, you can locate a Hollywood theater here. This theater shows short films by local filmmakers for your entertainment.

Eating Joints at Portland International Airport

So, before you board on your international flights to India, the Airport offers many restaurants at the Portland  Airport. Here is a list of the eating areas:

1. Before the Security Check

The Beaches Restaurants and Bars: It serves sushis, burgers, salads, and more. The area is famous for its delicious breakfast.

Flying Elephant Deli: The place is apt for coffee lovers.

Sandoval’s Fresh Mexican Grill: One can stop here to treat their craving for a breakfast burrito.

2. Concourse A

Starbucks: A famous coffee stop for all coffee lovers.

3. Concourse B

Stumptown Coffee: Get your daily java of coffee from this mouth-watering joint.

4. Concourse C

Café Yumm: The café offers gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, vegan, and vegetarian food as well.

Mod Pizza: For the pizza lovers

Mo’s Seafood & Chowder: The place offers seafood in its most casual form, also in the quick-serve option:

Henry’s Tavern: One can taste local beers here.

Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen: the restaurant offers flavor able Asian menu.

5. Concourse D

Rogue Ales Public House: The pub serves high-end pub grubs.

Burgerville: The area is special for the order that is beyond guessing.

Hissho Sushi: The place cooks sushi with the most natural ingredients.

6. Concourse E

The Country Cat: the place offers Oregon cuisine. The restaurant offers a full bar.

Laurelwood Brewing Company: The pub houses café with many options.

The list of facilities at the Airport is endless. Explore some on your own after booking flights to India from Portland International Airport.