This post has been originally published by Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on November 11, 2015.
By: Hipmunk Staff
There’s nothing under the sun that captures the imagination quite like outer space. With the discovery of water on Mars, the meteoric rise of Matt Damon’s new film, “The Martian”, and the impending release of the new Stars Wars flick, the universe has been, well, everywhere lately.
Back here on the earth, the closest most of us mere mortals will come to outer space is a visit to one of America’s NASA-run Space Centers: the Johnson Space Center, located in Houston, TX, and the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, FL. We wondered, which Space Center location’s vacation price is down-to-earth and which one is other-worldly expensive? Read more…
This post was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on November 23, 2015.
If you’re planning to fly after 2015, heads up: A driver’s license might not be sufficient identification for boarding an aircraft, even if you’re flying domestically.
That’s because new restrictions on IDs used to board commercial aircraft are slated to take effect sometime in 2016. It’s the next and final phase of the REAL ID Act, which was enacted in 2005 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish federal security standards for government-issued IDs. Here’s what you need to know to be able to breeze through security even after the new regulations take effect. Read more…
This post was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on November 19, 2015.
A TSA agent at New York’s JFK International Airport made headlines this week for stealing a $7,000 luxury watch that a passenger accidentally left in security. This isn’t the first time the TSA has been charged with theft. A 2012 ABC News investigation revealed that hundreds of TSA employees have been fired for swiping items from travelers’ bags. And a CNN report found that passengers incurred over $2.5 million in property losses between 2010 and 2014—to the tune of more than 30,000 reported losses.
While these might seem like small sums relative to the number of travelers passing through the world’s airports every day, that’s no comfort to the passengers who have lost precious goods. A good rule of thumb when it comes to luggage theft is to think for the best and prepare for the worst. Here’s how to respond when property goes missing from your luggage in the airport.
1. If your luggage is gone entirely, report it to your airline.
2. If you’re missing a specific item, start by checking with the airport’s lost and found department.
3. If the item isn’t in lost and found, it’s time to file a claim with the TSA. When filing, include as much information as possible—receipts, appraisals, and the information for your flight will all help your claim to be processed in a timelier manner.
4 .File a claim with the airline. Each airline has its own regulations for processing reports of missing items. Contact the airline’s customer service department to learn about your options.
5. If you think an expensive item (such as electronics or jewelry) was stolen, call the law enforcement office at both your departure and arrival airports and file a report for stolen goods. Be sure to request a copy of the police report; this might come in handy as the TSA processes your claim.
6. If your missing item doesn’t turn up during the TSA’s investigation, check with your insurance company to see if it will cover the loss. Many homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plans will cover theft. Some credit card companies may also provide coverage.
Once you’ve filed a claim, you’ll receive a letter detailing next steps. Note that it can take up to six months for a claim to be investigated, and claims involving law enforcement will typically take longer.
Also be aware that screening at some airports is carried out by private companies instead of the TSA. In those cases, you’ll need to contact the airport directly in order to file a claim.
Still have questions? Contact TSA to learn more.
Tips for Preventing Theft
It’s great to respond proactively if a theft occurs. And it’s even better to prevent one in the first place. The following tips can help prevent theft and better empower you to process a claim.
- Take pictures of everything in your luggage and photocopy receipts for those items when possible. This will prove you were in possession of the item(s) prior to any theft. Make duplicates of the photos, then prepare two envelopes containing the photos and receipts. Give one envelope to a trusted friend who won’t be traveling and keep the other one on hand.
- Don’t check valuables. Jewelry, electronics, and cash are all easy targets in checked baggage. Keep these items in your carry-on or on your person at all times.
- Pack light. What’s better than keeping your valuables nearby? Keepingall of your luggage on hand. Learn how to pack light and you just might be able to fit everything you need into a carry-on. This will eliminate any worry about your luggage being in somebody else’s hands.
- Use distinctive luggage. Thieves will be less willing to abscond with a tie-dye print bag covered in glitter stickers than yet another plain black suitcase.
- Review the contents of your carry-on post-screening to be sure that you have everything you were carrying prior to moving through security.
- If you’re traveling with a companion, keep a few people in between youwhile going through security. That way you can watch out for each other’s belongings while you take turns going through the body scanner.
While you can never be 100 percent prepared against theft, taking a few precautions and understanding the claims process can help you respond quickly and effectively should the worst actually happen. Now that you’ve been given the 411 on protecting your luggage, go find a cheap flight on Hipmunk to put that knowledge to good use!
Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve. In Edinburgh, it is celebrated with a Hogmanay festival. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world. The festival starts on December 30 and takes place over the course of the following three days. It features numerous exciting events including live music and fireworks. In 2014, the Hogmanay sold out with more than 148,000 attendees from over 70 countries participating in the celebrations. This year’s festival is expected to have well over 150,000 revellers. Here are some of the reasons to attend:
It Is One of the Biggest New Year Celebrations
Hogmanay has been listed as one of the Discovery Channel’s Top 25 World Travel Experiences and is considered one of the world’s best New Year celebrations. Read more…
This post was initially published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on November 16, 2015
Traveling is exhausting, and there’s nothing more frustrating than paying too much for a mediocre cup of coffee at the airport. Here’s some insurance against that scenario: a guide to the best airport coffee in the world. Read more…
For those who have been on safari in South Africa you will have most probably been to Johannesburg, or at least been through it for its close proximity to the game parks. One thing I think we would all agree on if you have visited the ‘City of Gold’ is that it certainly isn’t the Wild West. Crime is undoubtedly an issue in South Africa, and perhaps more prominent in Joburg, but the financial hub of the country is still a place that can offer a worthwhile experience, or at least a respectable stepping-stone to your desired destination.
Founded on a gold rush in 1886, Joburg now holds the title of the largest city in the world not located on a river, coast or lake. It also lies 6000ft above sea-level and is known as the biggest man-made forest on earth, as almost every road is an avenue of trees. The city forms the financial hub of the country as most corporates and stock-exchange listed businesses base their head offices out of Joburg. This means that although it might not have the scenery of Cape Town it does have the city buzz that urban lovers will fall right into. Read more…
If you are planning on taking on exotic and fun trip down through parts of the Caribbean or Gulf area you very often may find that you are going to be leaving from one of the ports in San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan is not only a destination for many cruise ships but it is also an area where many cruises depart from for seven, ten or fourteen day long cruises. If you are planning a cruise and know that you need to go to Puerto Rico to leave from this area, you are going to want to be careful to make all of the appropriate travel arrangements for you and your party. One of the best and most relaxing ways for you to travel is to use one of the airport to cruise transfers SJU has to offer.
Shuttle Service that is Reliable and Fun
Many people that fly into Puerto Rico and are leaving from the area to go on a cruise may simply try to take a cab over to the port area so they can meet their ship. It is important for you to know that when you are cruising there are also going to be thousands of others doing so at the same time you are, making it challenging for you to find a cab with all of the crowds. You might also have trouble finding a cab that can easily fit all of your luggage as well, potentially creating a problem. Finally, you do run the risk of getting a cab driver that may not have the insight and experience in driving the area, taking you longer to arrive to the port. You can avoid all of these potential problems when you use the best shuttle service San Juan cruise ports have available through VIP Limo Puerto Rico. Read more…