When purchasing your tickets, always ask about APEX (Advance Purchase Excursion) fares, which offer significant discounts for tickets that are purchased several weeks in advance.
If you will be traveling extensively around the US, ask your travel agent or airline about Visit USA. These discount tickets are offered by many major US airlines, including American, Delta, Northwest, TWA, United, and US Airways, to travelers from abroad. Visit USA tickets must be purchased before departing for the US.
You will most likely arrive in one of the following gateway cities: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. These cities have the most international flights. Other airports may have direct flights from selected countries.
If your ultimate destination is elsewhere, you will need to take a connecting flight after you exit immigration and customs. Processing through immigration and customs can take up to two hours or more, so allow sufficient time to make any connections.
Keep in mind that air travel covering more than a few time zones often results in a disorientation called “jetlag”. Your body will initially have trouble adjusting to the time shift. During your flight, avoid caffeine and alcohol, but drink plenty of water. After you arrive at your destination, it is important to go to sleep at the normal time for your destination, and to walk around in the bright morning sunlight after you wake up. Most people take about 3 days to recover from jetlag.
The major US airlines are as follows:
- Alaska Airlines (1-800-426-0333)
- America West (1-800-235-9292)
- American (1-800-433-7300)
- Delta (1-800-241-4141)
- Southwest (1-800-435-9792)
- United (1-800-241-6522)
For travel to the US, you should compare the fares on several major international carriers. Sometimes the US airlines are cheaper, and sometimes the major carriers serving your country are cheaper. You may also wish to check prices with a consolidator (also known as a “bucket shop”). Consolidators can often offer significant discounts over the published fares.