Your first time flying by plane whether alone or with your family can be intimidating. At the airport, everyone seems to know exactly what to do and where to go except you. Meanwhile, security is everywhere and eyeing you because you look lost and confused. Avoid all of that confusion by following these simple steps to walk into the airport with confidence.
Almost everyone purchases their tickets in advance online. There are many benefits to this. Most online retailers offer many options like texts or e-mails with updates about any gate changes or flight delays. This is a great asset to have as in airlines things often change with little notice. You can also check in online up to 24 hours in advance and print your boarding pass. Finally, pertinent information like carry on luggage size, items not allowed on-board, and a price list can answer a lot of questions in advance. Doing these things ahead of time can reduce the time spent waiting in line at the airport. Once you arrive at your airline’s check-in area, they will simply scan your tickets, weigh your luggage, and take the checked baggage.
The longest wait times in airports are usually waiting in the security line. Be sure to arrive at least two hours early to avoid missing your flight because of delays. Airport signage will direct you to where the security line begins. Once you go through you cannot come back out. The procedure varies based on location but they all do not allow any drinks through; you can bring an empty bottle and fill it with water on the other side to avoid purchasing expensive alternatives. You will have to place your items in separate bins, often including shoes and belts, then walk through a security machine. Some people may be scanned with a metal-detecting wand after this procedure as another precaution.
There are digital screens that tell you where your gate is located, you can double check that it hasn’t changed from your ticket information. Typically, about 30 minutes prior to a flight’s departure time boarding begins so ensure to be present at this time. Your ticket will have your seat number on it or if it hadn’t been assigned go up to the gate’s desk to receive a seating assignment.
After deplaning you will head to the luggage claim area to pick up your checked luggage. There are screens that will tell you which carousel is for your flight. There is often a delay between getting off the plane and the time it takes for airline employees to unload the luggage, this is normal.
Air travel is a fun exciting experience. There is no need to be intimidated by the complexities of the airport. Arriving early, having your ticket ready, preparing for security, and knowing where to pick up luggage make the event much simpler. Enjoy your airplane adventure with confidence armed with knowledge!