Flying for the first time and nervous about the procedure of it all? We have created a comprehensive, yet brief guide that will provide you with a better understanding of the entire process you will go through when flying.
Photo by @chrisbrignola on Unsplash
The Check-in Process and Passing Through Security
The check-in process and going through security is often the most frustrating and stressful part of traveling. Even the most experienced traveler detests this part of the process.
To make your experience easier, keep these things in mind:
- Have all documentation with you including flight information, IDs, passports, boarding pass and other information you may need.
- Check-in online if your airline allows it.
- Research the security process for the airport you are at – every country has different security processes so it is best to be prepared.
- Arrive with plenty of time to wait in line at the check-in counter and to go through security. It is better to be early to the airport than run to your gate!
Boarding and Preparing for Take-off
Some things to expect when boarding the plane and preparing for take-off include:
- Wait patiently until your section of the plane is called for boarding. Airlines board in a very specific order.
- Visit the restroom before boarding as it may be a while before you can safely head to the restroom on the plane.
- Put your carry-on in the overhead compartment as quickly as possible and do not stand around in the aisle.
- Bring hard candy or gum so you are prepared for when the plane takes off.
- Fasten your seat belt when the plane is ready to take-off.
What to Expect When it Comes Time for the Landing
Just like when the plane was taking off, there are a few things you will need to do when the plane is preparing to land in order to keep yourself safe. Some of the things you will be asked to do include:
- Sit in your designated seat. You will be asked to sit down several minutes before the actual descent of the plane.
- Put your seat belt on and keep it on until you are told by airline staff to remove it.
- Secure trays that were in front of you in their upright position.
- Prepare to feel a sudden bump. Even the smoothest landings will feel bumpy, so prepare for a sudden jolt or bump.
Once the plane has landed, there are a few things you can do to make your experience easier as you prepare to leave the plane:
- Don’t immediately rush to the front of the plane to get off it unless you have a connecting flight that may be missed.
- Do not block the aisle as you get your items from the overhead compartment or pick up other carry-on items.
Picking Up Your Luggage
Picking up your luggage from the baggage claim is the very last thing you will do at the airport. Some ways you can make it easier to pick up your luggage include:
- Putting an identifying marker or item on your luggage. This will allow you to quickly identify your luggage among the sea of black suitcases.
- Double-check that you are at the correct baggage claim carousel. The carousel is where your luggage will eventually be when it is finally removed from the plane.
- Don’t crowd around the carousel. Stand back and when you think you see your luggage grab it and move back from the area.
- Happen to pick the wrong luggage up? Just put it back on the carousel or notify one of the staff from the airline.
In the event that your luggage is missing, you will want to head to the airline customer service location. There you will be asked to fill out a form that asks you to describe your luggage and where you were traveling. If the luggage is just delayed, most airlines will deliver the lost luggage to you at no cost.
Following these tips will help prepare you mentally for the several stages of flying for the first time.
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