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Travel Expert Shares Airport Hacks for Summer Jet-Setters

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It's summer and for many of us that means one thing—summer vacation. But before you fly off, take advice from an expert on how to make the most of your airport experience, and to avoid unnecessary expenses. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

It might not be a page turner, but it could pay off to include one unlikely beach read on your list this summer.

"Your airline's contract is called the Contract of Carriage, which is the legal agreement between you and the airline, has all the fine print," says Chris Elliott, author of "World's Smartest Traveler."

The next thing to do is size up your suitcase—certain airlines are reducing their dimensions for carry-on's—so you want to avoid quibbling over an angry inch.

Rifts over extra fees for everything from legroom to lunch can easily ruin your day, so be on guard.

"Airlines seem to come up with a new fee everyday. Southwest and Jet Blue, in the New York market really, have far fewer fees than some of the big legacy carriers," Elliott says.

Be TSA ready. Thankfully this year, families are being cut some slack.

"If you are under 12 you don't have to remove your shoes and the screening is a little bit different. You also don't have to go through the full body scanner," says Elliott.

If you opt to rent a car, make sure you take a picture before and after.

"Car rental companies are always very fond now of going after you for any kind of incidental damage, a ding a dent, a scratch and charging you in some cases thousands of dollars for damage that you may not have even caused."

If you have any complaints, take care of it pronto.

"If you deal with it right then and there, then you're probably going to be able to avoid all of the unpleasant things that happen if, say, you wait until you get home and you write a letter," Elliott says.

For more tips and deals on summer travel, check out my website at

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP