Flying on a plane for the first time or the first time in a long while can be a pretty exciting and life-changing adventure. But it can also get incredibly stressful.
You might want to head for the gate with the swagger of a seasoned traveler, but that’s hard to pull off when you don’t know how much it costs to get a bag checked or what to expect when you need to go through airport security.
So, how can you deal? Let’s look at these tips before take-off to boost your confidence and make your trip easier and more worry-free:
1. Check the airline’s luggage requirements
It is pretty easy to overpack, but if you do, it can seriously cost you. So, it is important to visit your airline’s website to check luggage size and weight restrictions and the fees charged for extra baggage. However, these guidelines can vary from one airline to another.
To make your life easier, we have listed down how much baggage you can carry with you while flying:
● Two carry-on items for free: a full-size carry-on, which can be the size of a small rolling suitcase, and a small personal item, such as a purse or backpack
● One checked suitcase
2. Check-in online
Various flight apps Self-check-ins will allow you to check in for your flight and print off your boarding pass directly from home through the airline’s website or mobile app. So, opt for check-in before reaching the airport. This way, you can skip the check-in queues and go straight to security, which is a massive time-saver.
3. Arrive at the airport two hours early
We hate to break it to you but catching a plane isn’t similar to seeing a bus; it’s a much longer process. Yes, it takes hours to get your boarding pass, check your bags, and go through security before you get on the flight. The rest of the time, especially during peak travel, can take longer than usual. So, it is advisable to show up at least two hours before take-off for domestic travel and three hours for international travel.
4. Keep checking your itinerary and flight status
Keep checking the itinerary and ensure that all the flight details are as expected. Some cities, such as New York, have multiple airports. Hence, ensure that all your travel plans are in-line with that airport.
It’s equally prettyant to continually check your
status in the coming week of your trip to look for any last-minute schedule changes — these can occur more frequently than you might imagine. So, make it a point to check the status on the airline’s website.
5. Keep your IDs handy
Save your time by keeping your ID cards, such as a driver’s license or passport, handy as soon as you enter the airport. You will require it when checking your luggage and going through security. This way, you wouldn’t have to hold up the line while rummaging through your wallet for your ID cards.
6. Get familiarised with the process
Going through airport security is the most stressful part about flying, but if you know what to expect, the whole rigmarole can be less taxing.
Typically, unless you have Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Precheck or Global Entry, you will have to do the following:
● Take your shoes off
● Empty your pockets and take off all your belongings like a hat, belt, jacket, wallet, and bulky jewelry
● Remove your laptop and liquids from your bag
● Send your items like a carry-on bag through an X-ray machine
● Walk through either a metal detector or a body scanner
There are a few things every first-time flyer should know and familiarise with to make the first flight as stress-free and comfortable as possible. So, follow these tips and make your life much easier on your first flight!