Airport Frequently Asked Questions

It sometimes helps to have potential airport frequently asked questions answered on a page like this to save you a bit of time.  After reading this page, send me a message if you haven’t gotten an answer to your question.  I read all of the comments and questions I get.

Q: Do you have a trip planning service?

A: Not at this time.  However, I might offer a trip planning and guidance service in the future.  Building airport sites that provide awesome information for travelers is my current focus.  For planning on your own, you can pick your own hotel with an intelligent search, book an all-inclusive resort for a relaxing stay, or rent a car at Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, or any of the other large rental car companies.  Many times a package deal can be found by checking with the airlines, like United.com, Southwest.com, Spirit.com or Alaska.com.  These packages save you money by bundling the car, hotel and flight together.  If you need travel apparel and supplies to keep your belongings safe and secure, check out Walkabout Travel Gear for all your travel accessories.

Q: Can you give me a list of things to do once I get to my airport of choice?

A: Each airport site has a destination guide, where I give you a nice mix of popular restaurants, hotels and attractions to plan your trip around.  Check with the airport site of your choice and click on “Destination Guide”.

Q: What qualifies you to provide airport information and guides?

A: I’ve been a traveler for many years.  I’ve served my country for twenty of those years and I’ve been fortunate to go to many places that tourists will never visit or experience.  I’ve flown to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Korea and Japan on military aircraft, both large and small.  Of course, I’ve also been to major tourist destinations all over the world on some pretty awesome vacations, which is why I’m so passionate about this website.  I want to bring you the best of airports in the United States and the world!

Q: Can I advertise on your website?

A: I consider advertising on a case-by-case basis.  If you would like to open a dialog with me about your offer or concept, please use the contact page to send an email message.  I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Q: What do I need to take a flight overseas?  Do I need a passport or a visa?

A: Many countries allow U.S. Citizens to be admitted as a tourist to their country without a visa (or they will issue the “equivalent” of a visa upon arrival, usually a stamp in your passport). You should check with the country you will be going to visit. You need to know their visa requirements and how long you can legally stay.  For countries that do require a visa, be sure to get one issued to you well in advance of your departure date.  You will not be allowed to board the flight without a passport and a valid visa.

Q: I’ve never traveled outside of my home country before. How can I overcome my fear of traveling to another country?

A: It’s normal to be a little fearful the first time you travel to another country.  You’re concerned about getting into an airliner and flying for many hours to a new place, with new people and new customs.  I remember the first time I went to Europe.  We landed at Frankfurt airport in Germany.  Once off the plane and through customs, I realized that I didn’t know how to speak or read any German.  The culture shock hit me and my friend and I walked around the airport trying to figure out how to get a bus to go to the hostel.  I’ll never forget how that felt. It doesn’t have to be that way if you do a little preparation before you go.  So, try reading about the history and the culture of the people there.  Also, acquaint yourself with the traditional food dishes and watch travel shows about the country you’ll be visiting.  I always suggest to friends and family that you join an organized tour for some or even all of the time you’ll be there.  You’ll have instant friends to talk to, food is mostly arranged, transportation is provided and a guide will take you to see a lot of tourist sights in a very short span of time.  If you decide to go back to the same country again in the future, you’ll feel a lot more confident and will most likely want to travel on your own the next time.  I can highly recommend that you learn to speak the language of the country you’ll be visiting.  I use Rosetta Stone to brush up on my Italian before every trip to that fabulous country.  the local people really warm up to you if you at least try to speak their language.  Ease into it and you’ll have a great time!

Q: I’m afraid to fly!  How do I overcome this?

A: There are a lot of resources available to you if you are afraid to fly.  A Google search will return a lot of good advice for you to follow.  Amazon has a lot of books on the subject of getting over a fear of flying.  The best advice I can give you is to start out slow and take some short flights.  Then use Google some more to find answers to any questions you have.  Your fears will be greatly diminished if you stop worrying about things that are really a normal part of flying and shouldn’t cause you anxiety.  Here are some examples of things that people worry about:

  • The plane will fall out of the sky.
  • The engines will stop running.
  • We’ll run out of gas.
  • What if something breaks?

Once you understand how safe it is to fly on a plane, you’ll see that flying is a great way to see the world and to get from place to place.  Read all you can, watch a few videos and book your tickets now!  Don’t let your fears keep you from experiencing the great destinations of the world.

Q: How can I book an Around-the-World flight (commonly referred to as an RTW ticket)?

A: Booking an RTW ticket will seem, at first, like an impossible task.  They are complicated at first glance, but armed with a little knowledge, you can do it and experience the trip of a lifetime!  There are many benefits of buying an RTW ticket.  There are several types of tickets you can choose from, so send time reading and using the pricing tools.  I recommend reading this Airport Intel blog post on the use of RTW tickets.  You’ll be able to figure out whether they are right for you!

Q: Why do things cost so much at the airport?

A: Every airport sets up their concession stands (restaurants, news stands, bars, etc.) so that they will get the maximum amount of revenue from each square foot of rent-able space.  They charge sky-high rent (usually there is a bidding process and the space goes to the highest bidder) and consequently, the vendor has to charge a lot for their goods and services.  No store or restaurant can stay in business at the airport if they charge regular prices.  So (unfortunately) we will always have to anticipate higher prices at airports, no matter where you are in the world.  But remember why the prices are so high (high cost of rent and a captive clientele) and you’ll feel a little less ripped off.  OK, maybe not.   😉

Q: How can I get through the security lines faster?  I travel a lot and I need to save time.

A: Unfortunately, we’re all in the same boat when it comes to airport security.  The process takes time and depends on how well the airport is set up to handle security and how well the TSA staffs and manages their employees.  How many times have you been standing in a long security line with only one lane open to the scanner or metal detector.  I was in Las Vegas recently, and the line was really long.  There was only one lane open to get through the body scanner.  It was frustrating to say the least.  The line was moving, but there were at least 5 other lanes that weren’t being used.  The line continued to swell to well over 300 people.  Finally, they opened another line and things started to get better just as I was getting to the head of line.  Always expect delays when you are headed to the airport.  Sometimes you will get through the line quickly and you’ll have more time at the gate to relax or do some work.  Other times, you’ll be delayed and having extra time is critical to getting to your plane before they shut the doors.

What are your options for getting through security just a little faster?  Read this post on TSA’s Pre-Check program and see if you qualify.

 








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