Myth: Commercial jet doors can be opened in mid-flight
There are a couple of reasons for this, but the big one is cabin pressure which, in effect, seals the doors shut. Plus many aircraft doors are "plug-type" in design meaning the doors are bigger than the opening (unless they are rotated). Again, though, once cabins begin to pressurize, which occurs as the plane begins to taxi, well -- forget it. Those doors are shut.
Myth: Airlines reimburse you for all losses when luggage is "mishandled"
Read the fine print on your airline's baggage policy (found in the carrier's "Contract of Carriage" section): many airlines don't allow you to transport "valuables" in your checked-baggage, such as electronics and jewelry, although many of us do this anyway. By putting that in writing, the airlines are telling you that if they lose the bag, they certainly won't pay for those losses.
Myth: Big payouts await those who are bumped from flights
You might get a big payout, if you're involuntarily bumped and if you can't be quickly accommodated on another flight. In fact, starting in August when the rates go up, you could get as much as $1,300 in cash for being booted from an overbooked flight, but if you're rebooked on a plane that gets you to your destination within one hour of the originally scheduled arrival time, you get zip.
Myth: Canceled flights mean free hotel/meal vouchers
The good old days are long gone so if you're expecting special courtesies from the airlines when bad things happen, think again. If it's a weather problem, the airline has no responsibility, but even if a cancelation is due to a problem "within the airline's control", don't hold your breath
Myth: Cell phones in flight can cause big, big problems
The answer to this one is a little bit murky; while the FAA (and the FCC) continues to ban cell phones on U.S. airlines, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates they don't cause big problems. In fact, some international carriers including Emirates do allow cell phones on planes with no reported ill effects (though those who must sit through conversations about the latest singer voted off "American Idol" may have a different opinion).
Myth: Shop for flights on weekends to get the cheapest airfare
Weekends are the worst times to shop, since the airlines know you have extra time to do so and they usually make you pay more. The best day (and time) to shop? Tuesdays at about 3pm eastern time. According to the historical data we collect at FareCompare.com, one or more airlines usually launches an airfare sale on Monday evening; by Tuesday afternoon, carriers on competing routes match those sale prices since they don't want to risk losing your business. The process is complete by Tuesday afternoon.