The good thing about doing things now, is that you can search for almost about anything. So, if you’re a first time plane traveler, knowing what to expect on your first flight can save you time, money, effort and even save face in front of your friends – which can be a laughing story for a lifetime.
Now, if you are a friend or relative of someone who will be flying for the first, you can share this to them for easy understanding.
If you’re a first time plane traveler, I am sure you are excited as I was when I got to ride a plane for a trip. And as much as fun as it can be to see how it is like hovering the sea of clouds, it can all be spoiled by few things that you should consider important before and after the actual boarding.
Your excitement in riding a plane the first time cannot overshadow the fact that any mistake can jeopardize your flight, and more so, your whole trip. So here are few reminders on how you can make sure you have peace of mind taking that first plane trip:
1. BE MINDFUL OF TIME
You don’t want to fail getting into your first plane ride if you don’t get there on time. What estimated departure time shouldn’t be your basis for the time you should be at the airport.
There is what you call “CHECK-IN” time wherein for that period and a little before the flight that you are needed at the airport to check-in.
For domestic flights, you need to check-in yourself and your luggage within 2 hours before the flight.
While international flights are 3 hours before.
It is best to be on time for your flight. If it is peak season, then, expect more people, so come in earlier.
You also have to be mindful of:
- Traffic going to the airport
- Queue of people going through the scanners, check-in counter and if it is international, through the immigration
In order not to cause any further delays, be sure to:
- Have a copy of your Ticket (Print-out or E-Ticket) with you to show at the entrance and at check-in counters
- Identification Cards (government issued IDs are best)
- Passport (for international flight + government ID)
- Check-in online if you can, at least 4 hours before the flight
- Do not leave and lose your boarding pass
You can do a self check-in at the airports or do a web check-in using your phone or laptop.
2. THINGS YOU BRING
When traveling via plane, you should also consider the weight and size of your baggage.
Depending on the airline and what you paid for, there are baggage allowances corresponding to your ticket purchase. Be mindful of your allowed weight. In cases of going overweight, best to buy upon buying ticket for cheaper deals.
Always take note of the baggage you are allowed to bring. And make sure you check-in your baggage at least 45 minutes before your flight.
For those you would want to carry on-board or “cabin” luggage, make sure you not to bring prohibited things on board.
- Flammable items (eg. alcohol, perfume, aerosol, etc.)
- Spillable batteries
- Sharp objects (knives, swords, swiss knife, etc.)
- Sporting goods (baseball bat, hockey sticks etc.)
- Tools (hammer, saw, axe etc.)
Liquids are allowed, only to a minimum level – at 100ml (perfume, alcohol, aerosol, etc.)
For more specific details, be sure to visit your airlines official website.
Upon purchase of ticket, you can select your seat for an additional. In case you’d want to pick a seat, you’d have to select from window seat, aisle seat or sometimes, with bigger planes having 3 seats.
Window seats, for me, are still the best. Whether for first time plane travelers or frequent flyers, since the best views are always seen better from the window of course. But you have stretch a leg to go to the comfort room in case you’re sitting beside a stranger – specially if on a 3-seat row.
Aisle seats are best for frequent goers to comfort room and for people who have anxiety issues of heights.
Exit Row Seats
If you’re at the exit row seats, you have to be mindful that you can’t put any of your cabin luggage or anything in front of you. In case of emergency, you are to one responsible to open the doors.
Traveling is best (or worst, lol) with companions. In some cases, you don’t always take that leisure trip. In times that you need to travel with an infant or person on a wheelchair you have to take note of the following.
WITH ELDERS or PEOPLE with Special Needs (on wheelchair)
When traveling with people on a wheelchair, keep in mind that you CANNOT do a web check-in if you’re all together in one itinerary.
Special assistance will be extended by the airport personnel to make sure that you get on and off board safely.
An infant is seated on the lap of an adult. Airlines allow 1:1 infant – adult ratio.
Other airlines provide bassinets to infants upon request of at least 24 hours before the flight.
NEVER, ever… EVER, joke about a bomb. Or else, you wouldn’t like the consequence.
OTHER FLIGHT TIPS
- Listen to on-board instructions
- Use of phones and electronic gadgets not allowed upon take off and landing
- Read the emergency manual
- Some airlines have allotment of food for passengers
- Buy on-board food upon booking for cheaper price
- Chew on gums during the flight. You will know what I mean when you feel the pressure right into your ears on take off.
- Go to the comfort room
- Don’t take the life vest or emergency guide leaflet with you off the plane
- Of course, bring a camera or smartphone with decent camera for that selfie on your trip
- Check the website of your airline to know more of the reminders
And most importantly, ENJOY your first plane trip.
Cherish the moment of your first time experience.
To frequent travelers, please comment other things that I may have not included.
Again, enjoy your first plane ride.