For those individuals who fly often, making their way through airports is simple. However, the airport can be a very stressful place for first time fliers. What do you need to take with you? When do you need to arrive? Where do you go? These are all questions that a first time flier may not have the answers to. If you are a first time flier and need information about airport procedures than you have come to the right place. Throughout this article we will speak about everything you need to know when traveling by airplane!
Let’s begin by speaking about things to consider before you even reach the airport. If you are flying by airplane, the first thing you will want to do is purchase a ticket. Some people choose to purchase very last minute flights right at the airport. Purchasing tickets at the airport, however, takes a lot of patience and is generally not recommended. If you are looking to travel, it is suggested that you purchase a ticket either online or by phone well in advance to obtain the best deals.
On the day of your flight, you will want to show up at the airport with all of your luggage, your ticket, and your passport. Most airlines will request that you arrive at the airport three hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. This is because you will want to leave yourself ample time to complete all airport procedures and arrive to your flight on time. Although it is not suggested, if you cannot show up three hours in advance, make sure you arrive at least 1 hour before your plane is scheduled to leave so that you can arrive on time.
Upon arrival at the airport, ensure that you are dropped off at the correct airline. Airlines will be listed above the road as you are driving. Once you are dropped off, take your luggage, your ticket, and your passport, and wait in line to check in with your airline. When you reach the front of the line you will be prompted to hand over your ticket and your passport, and you will be given a new ticket which you will use to board the plane. Sometimes, the person working the desk will ask you if you have preferred seating. This is your opportunity to indicate to them whether you would like a window, middle, or aisle seat. The check in desk will also be the place where you will check your luggage. Generally, you will be asked to pay a $20-$30 fee for each checked bag. To avoid additional fees, try to keep your baggage under 40 pounds.
Once you have finished at the check in desk you will directed through security. When entering security, bring all carry on luggage with you. It is important that you check the airlines carry on luggage restrictions before you reach the airport to avoid having to throw out any of your property. Make sure to consult the airline website to find out size restrictions for your carry on luggage. Generally, you will be allowed 1 small carry on bag, as well as another smaller bag such as a purse. Carry on luggage also has other restrictions relating to weapons, gels, and liquids. For exact guidelines, refer to your airlines website.
Once you have reached security you will be prompted to remove all shoes and jackets and place them in a bin along with your carry on luggage. Your items will then be moved through an x-ray machine where they will be checked for anything that could pose a danger to others. You will also be asked to walk through a metal detector. Try to remove all belts, money, and anything else that may set off the metal detector.
Once you are through security, all that is left is to find your departure gate. Locate the departure gate on your ticket and use signs to guide you through the airport. At your departure gate, wait to be called onto the plane by the flight attendants. If you have ample time before your flight departs, feel free to grab a bite to eat or check out the many stores within the airport.
For new fliers, the airport can be a very confusing and frightening experience. Follow the guidelines above and never be afraid to ask an airport employee if you have any further questions.