The step-by-step process that airline travel demands can be tedious. We recently published a list of airport travel tips for you to reference when preparing for your next trip, and while we hope that those tips serve as a guiding light, we understand that the challenges are going to be exacerbated if you are traveling internationally.
For that reason, we have decided to drill down even more into flying across borders like an expert.
Passenger Rights and How They Vary
Traveling internationally comes with more responsibility and less margin for error when compared to domestic travel. This applies to both passengers and airlines. Your rights as a passenger are no less complex.
It’s common for the process of booking an international trip to present additional factors that require consideration. This is especially if your passport is lightly used, or not used at all, and long trips are a rarity.
As you cross borders and timezones there is more grey area as far as your passenger rights are concerned. At TravelRefund, we will help fight for your flight delay compensation claim, but we also want to keep you informed and help you travel the globe like a pro. Below, we dive into some questions that need answering before you go about your business.
Checking All The Boxes: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Flying Internationally
1. Do I Have All of My Travel Documents?
Without valid identification, your boarding pass, and any other documents such as a VISA or passport, getting through airport security, to the gate, onto the plane, off the plane, and onwards to your final destination will prove to be quite the challenge.
Carrying ID and your boarding pass is expected for any flight, but national passports are critical if you have plans to traveling outside of your home country. Forgetting such important documentation will drag down your first international flight experience, that’s a guarantee. Without these documents, you won’t be able to get to your gate, nevermind your final destination.
Some countries have strict regulations on passports and other forms of identification. In some cases, passports are required to have at least six months of validity before reaching their expiration date. This brings us to our next tip for international travel, which is to check in on the regulations and requirements for each aspect of your trip.
2. Have I Double-Checked Requirements for Your Airline and Destination?
There are rules and regulations when it comes to traveling internationally. There are identification requirements to be aware of, the currency that might require exchanging, and perhaps even strict rules regarding the luggage that an airline will allow.
If it’s your first time flying internationally, our tip for you is to take notes as you pack, and pack with your destination in mind. As you prepare and gather your things, check the airline’s rules for luggage and verify that you are within those parameters. Doing so will limit the chance of security issues or excessive fees, and it will help you organize your trip.
3. Am I Giving Myself, and My Party Enough Time?
Waiting for the last minute to leave your house will be a stressor for anybody who is making the trip with you. With international travel, your plan for departure should be kicking into gear days, if not weeks, before your flight. This includes packing, printing and gathering any documents, and planning transportation.
Once the day of your flight arrives remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry! International flights are expensive, and recouping costs for a missed flight is not as easy as fighting for compensation following a flight delay or cancellation, per EU 261.
Arriving at least two hours prior to your departure, or even earlier if you are new to the process, will provide enough cushion to check-in and make it through security and immigration with time to spare. Each travel experience is unique, so prepare for delays and questioning at any level of security, boarding, and departure.
4. Am I Prepared For Potential Flight Delays or Cancellations?
Maybe it’s asking a lot for passengers to review their rights ahead of their flight. In the instance that a flight is delayed or canceled, and the airline is at fault, there could be compensation waiting for you to claim. If that situation does arise, we want to assert your rights as a passenger. Here is a quick preview of what those are.
European Passenger Rights Regulation EC 261/04 protects against more than just flight cancellations. It covers lengthy delays, missed connecting flights, and overbooked flights. These rights apply for any passenger who is facing flight cancellations or delays in the EU, meaning if your flight is scheduled to take off or land in the EU.
Getting what you are owed will come back to who is responsible for the delay. These discussions can be messy and disjointed, especially when we are talking about expansive international travel.
5. Do I Have a Plan For When I Land?
Whether you got off without a hitch or you were dealing with extended delays, you will need to know what happens once you touch down at your destination.
Really, this should be the fun part. For novice international travelers, however, there are a lot of unknowns. The advice we have to share with you as far ar as this tip goes really boils down to “do your research!”
There are far too many determining factors for us to provide a concrete list of what you need to do when you land. Transportation to where you will be staying is a good first step, but we will leave the rest up to you!
Reach Out To TravelRefund For Assistance With Your Compensation Claim
Traveling outside of your country for the first time can be exciting and intimidating. Our list of questions to ask yourself before taking off apply to all travelers, but they are particularly pertinent for first-time flyers. The underlying tips will prepare you for the unexpected and smoothen out what we understand can be a bumpy road.
In no way do we hope your travel experience is choppy or hampered by delays, but we will be there to assist you with any claims if they do arise.
No Cure, No Pay
TravelRefund will be relentless in the fight for your flight delay compensation. By no cure, no pay, we mean you won’t get charged if our case isn’t successful.
Interested in learning about your options when filing a claim for your flight delay? Check out our online form, fill it out and send it along, and we will reach out to you!