What Do I Need to Bring on Domestic Flights?
While security is the same whether you are flying within the United States or abroad, documents and carry-on restrictions for domestic airlines vary. For a stress-free and enjoyable flying experience, ensure you have the following items packed for your next domestic flight:
Before leaving for the airport, ensure you have government-issued identification, your domestic flight ticket and any necessary documents if traveling with your pets or children.
Documents and Identification Required by Domestic Airlines
When flying, ensure you have government-issued identification with you at all times. Otherwise, you may miss your flight. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), any traveler over the age of 18 must present his or her domestic airline with a valid identification card. A driver’s license, passport, passport card or military ID are some of the most common forms.
Aside from identification, your ticket is the most critical document for domestic travel. Whether you collect it at the baggage counter, print it off at home or use an electronic boarding pass, ensure you have your ticket before lining up for the TSA security checkpoint.
Domestic Flight Comforts
Blankets and pillows for passengers on domestic flights, especially during short trips, are comforts of the past. Bring a neck pillow and a small fleece blanket if you plan to sleep or think you may get cold on the flight. Alternatively, scarves are excellent for keeping warm in the sky. Snacks and a bottle of water (filled or purchased after going through security) also can make travel more comfortable. Unlike most international trips, complimentary warm meals and beverages are not offered on domestic flights.
What to Bring When Flying With Children
While children under the age of 18 don’t need identification when traveling with a companion in the U.S., each domestic airline has its own regulations. For American Airlines flights, for example, you may be required to present proof of age for your child. If your last name differs from your child’s last name, you might be asked for identification as well. To prevent any travel mishaps, carry a copy of your children’s birth certificates.
Parents also might want to bring a car seat or stroller, especially when traveling with young children who are unable to walk long distances. Most domestic airlines check these items at the gate. Domestic flights generally have changing tables in the plane bathroom as well, so don’t forget a diaper bag. Blankets, toys, snacks and noise-canceling headphones for babies also can make flying with children less stressful.
What to Bring When Flying With Animals
Accommodating passengers with pets and service animals varies between domestic airlines. For example, Alaskan Airlines requires advanced notice as well as specific documentation for service animals. No matter the regulations or airline, though, if you are traveling with a pet, you should bring copies of your animal’s vaccinations, as well as proof of training and ownership, to avoid delays.
If you are flying with your pet, don’t forget an approved pet carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you along with bowls for food and water.