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Air Travel Advice

To view as a powerpoint presentation, click here.

First things first...

  • Get your passport!
  • Contact other students on your program
  • Know dates of travel
    • Be aware of time and date changes!
    • Example: If you want to arrive in Europe on the 6th of June, you need to leave the United States on the 5th of June.
  • Book early
    • More selection and better prices
  • Research your destination
    • How many airports are in (or near) your destination city?
    • Check for fares and ground transportation to pick your best option.
  • Pay close attention to your connecting flights
    • Do your flights arrive and depart from the same airport? 
    • How long do you have between flights?   
  • We recommend travel cancellation insurance

Research Your Flight

Travel Agents

  • Don't neglect knowledgeable travel agents. A good travel agent can still save you a great deal of time and money.
  • Fore a list of travel agents in Milwaukee click here

The Know-How on Internet Travel


Purchasing Your Flight

Booking your ticket

  • Avoid peak travel time.
  • Fly nonstop or with the least amount of connections possible. Each time you land and take off it increases your chance of encountering delays.
  • Take early morning flights. Early flights are less likely to be delayed and if they are delayed you'll have more options remaining throughout the day to complete your trip. (Please note: non-stop flights to Europe generally leave at night.)
  • Check flight status before you leave for the airport
  • Avoid flying between Milwaukee and Chicago if you can, these flights are frequently delayed.

Try different options

  • Try different dates
  • Fly midweek (Friday, Sunday and Monday tend to be the heaviest travel days.)
  • Fly on a different day (some destinations might not have daily flights)
  • Try different departure cities
  • Try different destinations
  • Fly into one city (e.g. Rome) and return from another (e.g. Florence)
  • Try alternative airports near your departure or destination city
  • Try two one-way tickets to get there and back
What does it mean if the ticket is nonrefundable?
  • This means that you will not be issued a refund for the amount of the ticket if you don't use it. Policies can vary, so check your airline's policy.
  • Some airlines will allow a nonrefundable ticket to be used another time, but there is usually a penalty in the form of a fee to change the original itinerary of the ticket. If you are using a travel consolidator, remember that they can sign agreements with the airline that will eliminate some of your protections, so in their case nonrefundable may mean use it or lose it.

What can I do if I want to change my plans?

  • Many tickets permit date changes (with an added fee and payment of the fare difference), as long as you stick to the originally ticketed airlines, routing and there is a flight with space available on your desired new dates.
  • Date change rules, fees (if any), and procedures vary by airline, check with your air carrier.

Ready to Go?

How early should I get to the airport?

  • Follow the instructions included with your ticket.
  • Airlines recommend that you should arrive three hours before departure on international flights.
  • Please be aware that airlines have recommended arrival times and stricter REQUIRED arrival times. All airlines do REQUIRE that you arrive at the check-in counter, the flight's departure gate and even onboard and in your assigned seat a prescribed amount of time before the flight's scheduled departure time.

Get to know the airport

  • Before you depart, become familiar with the layout of the airport
  • Many airports have websites, which include gate maps
  • Look at the in-flight magazine

What should I do if my plane is late in arriving and this causes me to miss a connecting flight?

  • If you've already missed your flight, go to the personnel of the airline that caused you to miss your flight.
  • The airline personnel will help you re-book a new ticket.
  • They may also help with some of the extra expense and/or provide you with a meal or hotel voucher if necessary.

What should I do if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

  • If your flight is delayed or cancelled, work with the airline's counter personnel to book you on another flight.
  • Being nice and working with the agent will often bring much better results than losing your temper.
  • While in line at the counter, call the airline's reservation center directly to book another flight. See if they can guarantee you a seat on another flight.

What should I do if my luggage is lost or delayed?

  • Make a claim before you leave the airport (some claims will only be honored if they are made before you leave airport property)
  • Leave a good description of your luggage and some specific contents (take a digital picture of your luggage)
  • Leave complete contact and itinerary information
  • Find out whom you should call and when they'll be available for updates on your luggage (some airlines have online tracking service)
  • Find out the airline's policy about missing luggage. (What will happen if you buy replacement items and your luggage is found the next day?)