Flying for the first time can be a terrifying yet life-changing and exhilarating experience. Numerous formalities and research must be taken care of before flying, which any first-time flyer can find stressful. However, by being methodical and following a few simple tips, you can make your first flight a smooth experience.
The steps from packing to deplaning can be divided into various stages to make the preparation easier. This guide will lead you smoothly through the various stages of airplane travel to assuage your first-time flying jitters.
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Leaving Home as a First-Time Flyer
The first step of airplane travel starts even before you reach the airport. There are several essential things that you should complete at home to avoid issues during travel.
The most important job is packing your luggage. You might be tempted to do a rushed last-minute pack, but it is better to avoid it. Instead, pack all the necessary things well in advance and give yourself ample time to recheck them. Packaging your suitcase at least two days before your trip is best. If you plan to carry a small bag along with your suitcase, it is advisable to pack the smaller one the evening before your departure. You can pack the items you need handy in this bag, like your phone charger or toothbrush. Also, remember to choose a good travel insurance policy for international travel.
Also, remember to leave your house well before the departure time of your flight.
At the air terminal
Now that you have reached the airport early, there is plenty of time to complete the various formalities. Of course, as a First-Time Flyer, you will feel confused, but you don’t have to panic and ask the help desk if you don’t get anything.
Prepare the documents
Before entering the airport, you should keep all the necessary documents like your passport. It is best to keep them in an easily retrievable place like your jacket pocket or the front pocket of your carry-on bag. If you have not completed online check-in, keep documents like the physical ticket or E-ticket and your ID.
Many airlines nowadays allow travelers to check in online, but some airlines do not have this option. In such a case, immediately after you reach the airport, report to your check-in counter and show them your ticket and ID. You will be issued your boarding pass after they verify the documents. You can also check your oversized luggage at the counter and choose your seat. If you are doing online check-in, you might even be able to do it 24 hours before takeoff. This can be done quickly through the airline’s app or website. You will get the boarding pass once you complete the formalities online.
Check for updates
The airports have huge screens displaying information like arriving, departing, and delayed flights. Check them often to see if any information regarding your flight is displayed. Several airlines also give such information to passengers through their apps, so keep checking them.
Head to security
After you have completed the check-in formalities and dropped off your luggage, the next step is to make a beeline to security. Usually, you will have to wait since there is always a line. Take out any electronics and any liquid you have in your bag. Keep the necessary documents handy. Remove your shoes, belt, and anything metallic you are wearing. Empty your pockets and place everything on the scanner belt. You should also disclose any metallic piercings you have on your body.
Go to the gate
After passing security, the next step is to go to your assigned gate. Sometimes you might get a bit of free time before boarding starts. You can do important tasks like using the restroom, charging your phone or other devices, and eating something during this time. Also, remember to explore the duty-free stores.
Once boarding starts, follow the instructions given by the airline crew and keep the boarding pass handy.
After you board
It feels exciting after you board as the first-time flyer. After you have boarded the plane, the first thing to do is to put your luggage away. There is an overhead bin to place your luggage in. If you have more than one bag, you can keep one beneath the seat in front. Always check whether space is near your seat before placing your luggage in the overhead bin. After placing the bags, sit down and put your seatbelt on. If you wish to recline the seat, do it carefully, being mindful of the passenger behind you. You can clear up any confusion you have by asking the flight attendants. But remember not to bug them too much. Be kind and always say please and thank you.
After the plane has landed, wait for the crew to tell you to collect your belongings. Do not rush to get off the plane if you are seated far away from the door. Instead, listen to the cabin crew for a comfortable deplaning.
First-time flying can be made smooth and easy by planning and staying calm. Then, it can be easily made into the best experience of your life.