Flying allows passengers to save time and money while traveling comfortably. However, for those who have never stepped foot onto a plane, the entire process can be daunting.
Follow these five tips for first-time flyers to make sure your trip goes smoothly.
Scour the web for good ticket prices.
While individual airlines sell tickets directly, search engines such as Kayak and Expedia allow you to compare several airlines to find the best deal.
Follow the TSA guidelines.
Before boarding your plane, you’ll need to pass through security. Make sure your photo I.D. is valid, and keep it accessible to save time in line. International travel requires a passport that is valid for 6 months after your date of travel. While packing, place liquids in your checked baggage or in 100 mL bottles in your carry-on. Pay attention to your airline’s restrictions regarding carry-on baggage size to avoid checking your bag last minute.
Plan to arrive at the airport early enough to go through security with time to spare. For most domestic flights, arrive 2 hours early. Arrive 3 hours early for international flights.
Be prepared and aware during security screening.
While it is important to still look presentable, keep in mind the security process and the length of your flight when choosing your clothes. Shoes, jackets, and accessories should be easy to remove for security screening. For longer flights, consider bringing compression socks, slippers, and a comfortable sweater or jacket for sleeping. While in line for screening, prepare yourself so that you don’t hold up the line when it is your turn. Remove shoes and accessories, place your laptop and other electronics in their own bin, and follow all signs and verbal instructions.
Find your gate and enjoy your flight!
Check your gate number on your boarding pass or on a digital information display at the airport. Find your gate and check to make sure it is correct before you leave to get food or use the restroom. Find your seat and stow your carry-on luggage in the overhead bins or beneath the seat in front of you. When you land, check the information board to find your luggage.