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Every week, join Sydney Waters as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Fly Safely on Your Vacation

Happy family traveling by plane and taking a selfie with a cell phone while smiling - travel concepts
Hispanolistic/Getty Images
Happy family traveling by plane and taking a selfie with a cell phone while smiling - travel concepts

Are you thinking about traveling by air for a few days?

Before clicking the button to buy tickets, BBB recommends the following:

  • Make sure everyone who is traveling has the appropriate ID. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 7, 2025; however, make certain parties traveling together have a current compliant ID as required by each state.
  • Read all cancellation policies carefully. Not all situations require a full refund of the ticket value and fees if your flight is canceled. Each online travel agency, airline, and broker is different.
  • Consider trip insurance. Have a complete understanding of what the policy does and does not cover.
  • Be an informed traveler. Refer to the Department of Transportation website for details on consumer issues, filing complaints, and other aviation information.
  • Avoid hidden fees. Read the fine print!

Flying is one of many aspects of your trip to consider. Here are some other travel-related resources from BBB:

During the holiday or any time of year, find ways to travel safely and avoid scams. If you plan to travel to or from Canada, check for travel advisories. Remember to report any suspicious activities to BBB Scam Tracker and sign up for Scam Alerts.

Sydney Waters is the new Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau and responsible for outreach efforts in Southern Illinois and Eastern and Southwest Missouri.