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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Chapter 3: Air Travel

Making Your Flight Reservation

As with all types of travel reservations, you can book your flights directly (with the airline), through a qualified travel agency, or via an Internet travel site. Most airlines today issue electronic tickets by default; you pick up your physical boarding pass when you check in at the airport.

Carefully consider the location and time span between connecting flights, and make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get from one gate to another—especially if the first flight has a poor on-time arrival record, or if you're traveling during a bad-weather season. (Snowstorms tend to disrupt northern schedules during the winter, whereas thunderstorms wreak havoc with all airports during the summer months.) Another useful tactic is to insist on a seat at the front of the plane if you have a connecting flight.

Also consider using secondary airports rather than busy major airports. (For example, Long Beach and Burbank are both secondary airports to Los Angeles International; Midway is a viable alternative to Chicago O'Hare.) These secondary airports frequently offer lower-priced fares—and are often easier to navigate.

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