1. Check Your ID
Sings have sprouted up at many airports to alert travelers that beginning Jan. 22, the Transportation Security Administration will begin strict enforcement of the REAL ID Act requirements at airport security checkpoints.
That means that passengers presenting a driver’s license or identification card from a state where those documents don’t meet the REAL ID Act’s minimum security standards – and where extensions to meet those requirements have not been granted – may be turned away. (Find out your state’s status here: dhs.gov/current-status-states-territoires)
TSA will continue its current practice of accepting alternate forms of ID, such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card, at airports. But next year, driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards from states that don’t yet have real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID won’t be accepted.
Enacted by Congress in 2005, the real ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued IDs and requires them to include a person’s full legal name, birth date, gender, address, signature, an ID number, a photo and a security feature such as a bar code or hologram.
2. Finding Cheap Fares
The peak summer travel season is well underway, but there are still days where you can find less expensive airfares. Just remember, fare hikes (and drops) can vary slightly depending on the route, and airlines are constantly tweaking prices.
U.S DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:
– June 15: Expect a hike as the most expensive vacation fares go into effect. You can still save by departing on or before June 14.
– Aug. 30: The fall deal zone gets, a little later start than in recent years, but if you can delay a trip until Aug. 30, you will see a drop from peak-season pricing.
FLIGHTS TO EUROPE:
– Aug. 21: Trans-Atlantic fares drop on this date; fly in late August and avoid summer fares and summer crowds.
FLIGHTS TO ASIA:
– Jun 20: The final price hike of the season.
– Aug.7: Summer prices drop somewhat.
– Aug. 20: A more significant drop; this would be a good time to fly.
3. Southwest, Delta Win Kudos
Frequent fliers, listen up. Tuesday is the “cheapest” day to use your airline miles. And you’re most likely to find the lowest-mileage domestic coach-class award tickets on Southwest and Delta.
At least that’s the ﬁnding of a new report out by MileCards.com, a website that lets users compare travel credit cards based on where they want to fly. The group says it analyzed “over 100,000 award travel date and route combinations among the frequent-ﬂier programs of the ﬁve biggest US. airlines,” which are American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska Airlines.
The MileCards.com analysis looked exclusively at domestic awards for economy class travel. Among the notable ﬁndings:
On average, frequent ﬂiers will expend the fewest miles or points for award travel on Tuesdays. According to MileCards.com, “across all airlines studied, prices on Tuesday are 26 percent lower on average than those on the most expensive day,” which is Sunday.
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards and Delta’s SkyMiles were cheapest for awards in the U.S., according to MileCards.com. Its analysis found Southwest charged an average of 13,629 miles for a round-trip award. “The catch,” according to MileCards.com, is that “Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii, or some popular award destinations in the mainland U.S., like Vail and Anchorage.”
4. Fewer Flights To Cuba
It’s going to be a little more dﬂﬂcult to get to Cuba from the U.S. Spirit Airlines has become the latest U.S. airline to give up on scheduled passenger service to the island nation; it was scheduled to halt its Havana-Fort Lauderdale ﬂight schedule May 31.
That makes Spirit the third US. carrier to exit the Cuban market this year, after similar plans were announced in March by Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways. American and JetBlue have reduced capacity to Cuba, though they’ve done so by changing frequency or switching to smaller aircraft rather than discontinuing routes.
Spirit’s decision to exit Cuba comes about eight months after regular passenger ﬂights to the island resumed for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Despite Spirit’s move, South Florida travelers will still have numerous options for non-stop ﬂights to Havana. American and Delta ﬂy to Havana from Miami, while JetBlue and Southwest fly from Fort Lauderdale.
5. Tiny Airports Go Intl.
An old terminal of Bradley Airport – U.K
In the past, only the biggest and busiest US. airports had international air service. Now smaller airports — such as Bradley International near Hartford, Conn.; T.F. Green Airport near Providence, R.l.; and Stewart international Airport in New York’s Hudson Valley — have snagged direct ﬂights to Europe and a slice of the trans-Atlantic air service pie. They’ re adding amenities and sprucing up facilities. Bradley, which is adding Norwegian Air ﬂights to Edinburgh, built a duty-free shop for international travelers.
T.F. Green is currently expanding its international arrival facility, with the goal of having enhancements in place for Norwegian Air ﬂights beginning in June.
Stewart just ﬁnished razing a World War ll vintage hangar to make room for more aircraft parking. lt gets international service with Norwegian Air’s daily ﬂights to Edinburgh starting in June. Flights from Stewart to Dublin and Belfast begin July 1, and ﬂights to Shannon, Ireland, and Bergen, Norway, kick off on July 2.
6. United Makes It Up to Passengers
In the wake of negative publicity over its treatment of passengers, United Airlines now offers up to $10,000 compensation for travelers who voluntarily give up their seats on an overbooked ﬂight.
United also said it would reduce overbooking, and will no longer attempt to involuntarily remove passengers who’ve already boarded their ﬂights “unless safety or security is at risk.”
And the carrier is making permanent a policy it adopted April 12 that it will no longer call law enforcement ofﬁcers to remove passengers except in cases of “safety and security.”