You Missed Your Flight from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro?

You receive a call in the afternoon informing you that you are to be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 24 hours for an emergency project meeting. Because of this, you quickly pack your belongings and drive to the airport, with 4 hours to spare, prior to the last flight of the day departing. However, your drive is greatly affected by traffic and highway detours. Upon making your way passed these detours, you then park your car, and continue to the airline terminal of interest. However—the long lines at the terminal's baggage check in halt you further. When you finally proceed to check-in your bags—you are informed that you have arrived too late to board the flight with your luggage, due to exceeding the window of opportunity for loading luggage.

You are advised that you can, however, travel to Brazil without luggage. This, in turn, leaves you with the following options: you can board the flight without your personal belongings, or you can opt to travel with whatever items you can fit in a spare bag. The aforementioned raises the following question: how do you avoid/prevent this situation? 

Figure 1: Rio de Janeiro's Redeemer Monument

3-1-1 Policy

        To avoid missing your flight we recommend a two prong strategy when travelling internationally with short notice. Such strategy includes using fit for purpose carry-on luggage, and ensuring your carry-on items meet the Transportation Secretary Administration’s (TSA) requirements –this section will focus on the latter. 

        At Reaching-Ultra, we have found the of carry-on option to be of great benefit, as it avoids checking in your luggage altogether. In this backdrop, all that is required is having your luggage checked and inspected at the TSA security checkpoint—once the airport staff approves of your boarding detail—and this is where having your personal items adhere to the TSA’s 3-1-1 policy is key. Such policy covers liquids, aerosols and gels. And failing to adhere to this policy can potentially lead to having your critical medical/health related items discarded. This can be highly detrimental if the aforementioned items are essential to your well-being, and can only be obtained via a subscription. For this reason, we have broken down the 3-1-1 policy by number by way of Figure 1 and Figure 2, so as to detail exactly what each number represents, and the interrelation of these numbers.

Figure 2: Visuall illustration of the TSA's 3-1-1 policy

Figure 3: This table gives a detailed explanation on the significance of each of the 3-1-1 policy's numbers

Fit For Purpose Luggage

         Having fit for purpose luggage is key, as highlighted in the previous section. For this reason, it is important to verify—beforehand, the carry-on policy that is specific to airline you will be utilizing, failing to do so can prevent having your luggage checked in, should it exceed the size/dimension requirements. 

        Because of this it is critical that you ensure your luggage meets the size/dimension requirements of the airline you will be flying with (Carry-on policies differ for each airline). Comparatively, traveling with carry-on bags decreases the available space you have for your personal items, which makes packing resourcefully critical. Not only does the carry-on method prevent you from missing your flight, but it is equally beneficial in preventing having your baggage lost (This is of high concern when connecting flights are involved), due to the fact that your luggage is not separated from you.

Figure 4: A highly populated airport, by way of the security clearing, and baggage check in lines

Future Travels

In conclusion, remember to always drive to the airport with as much as you can possibly spare, so as to counter situations that halt your prompt arrival to an airport. We hope that the insights shared herein are beneficial to your future flights. Lastly, ensure to bring your passport with you, and to have the proper visas, in order to avoid missing your flight all together.