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First Time Flying? 5 Tips for First Time Flyers


Have you never flown on a plane before? Are you ready to get on board? If this is your first flight on an airplane, we’re here to help. Read on for our tips for first-time flyers!

Ready to fly the friendly but no-so-easy-to-navigate skies for the first time. Here are our tips for first time Flyers. Photo: Diana Rowe

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5 Tips for First Time Flyers

Are you planning a trip that involves flying on an airplane for the first time? Are you nervous about what to expect and really have no idea where to start!? Don’t fret, this guide is here to ease your tension. Keep reading to learn 5 tips for first-time flyers so you can enjoy the experience. 

Packing Your Luggage

My perfect carry-on is the American Tourister expandable hardside luggage with spinner wheels.
My perfect carry-on is the American Tourister expandable hard-side luggage with spinner wheels.

For your flight, passengers have the option of checking your luggage or carrying it on. Checked bags are bigger, bulkier, pieces of luggage, stored underneath the plane. Carry-on luggage is smaller luggage carried on the plane with you and placed into the overhead compartment, or under your seat. 

Checked Bag or Carry-On?

From how to navigate the airport to check or carry-on bags, 5 tips for first time flyers #tipsforfirstimeflyers #firsttimeflyers #traveltips #familyvacation

Undecided whether to carry-on or check your bag?  Consider where you are going, how long is your flight (look at these jet lag tips!), any layovers, how long you are staying at your final destination, and how much luggage you will need. Checked bags will generally have a fee attached (and these fees add up quickly!). Checked bag fees vary depending on the chosen airline, so be mindful of how many pieces of luggage you’re packing. 

Checked bags also don’t have as many restrictions (with the exception of weight) on them since they are going underneath the plane. This means you’ll have the freedom to pack more items and avoid worrying about lugging them through the airport.  The airline professionals handle your bags once you arrive at the check-in counter. 

If you are planning on checking your bag, also bring a carry-on with your personal items and at least one change of clothes. There are times that your checked bag might get on the wrong plane or get delayed, while you, meanwhile, have landed at your final destination — without a change of clothes and toothbrush. Consider (at a minimum) carrying on some of these items on the plane, just in case your bag goes missing. 

Going Through Security

Skip the long lines at customs and immigrations by applying for Global Entry. Photo: Diana Rowe
Skip the long lines at customs and immigration by applying for Global Entry. Photo: Diana Rowe

After checking in with the airline, next up is security checkpoints and screening. This process may seem a little scary or nerve-wracking. But take a deep breath! If you are unsure what to do and where exactly to go, you can always ask one of the TSA agents to help guide you through the security process.

Upon arrival at security, speed the process by having your ticket and your photo ID ready. If traveling with your passport, take it out of the holder so it can be easily viewed by the agents.

Next, you will go through the x-ray machine. Place all of your electronics, loose change, belts, and other small items into the bin. Shoes have to also be removed and placed on the conveyor belt next to your bin.

Once you have made it through the x-ray machine you can step to the side and gather up your belongings. To make getting your shoes on and off easier, so you don’t hold up the line, you might want to wear a pair that you can slide your feet in and out of easily. 

Navigating to Your Gate

Save money by using a travel agent for your next vacation. Image via Pixabay
Save money by using a travel agent for your next vacation. Image via Pixabay

Once through security, check the flight information board or app to verify your boarding time and gate information before heading to your gate. This will help you avoid missing your flight if there have been any changes in location or time. Then, especially for first-time flyers, locate your gate and where your flight will be loading and getting ready for departure.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time at the airport before your flight so that you can now take a break at the gate before boarding your flight. Take a bathroom break, get a drink or a bite to eat, charge your devices, or just sit and relax before its time to get on the plane. 

Finding Your Seat

Get on board with these tips to stay healthy when traveling.
Get on board with these tips to stay healthy when traveling. Photo: Pixabay

Most airlines allow you to reserve your seat with a purchased ticket but some have an open seating option. If traveling on an airline with open seating, make sure you check in early enough so that you can be in one of the first boarding groups to get a good seat.

If not open seating, then check your boarding pass before to find your assigned seat and to join the correct boarding group. Upon entering the plane, the rows start at the number one and then go higher as you walk further back. Seat numbers go left to right, with seat A starting on the left side of the plane. 

Load your carry-on bag directly in your overhead and any personal items under your seat. The flight attendants might have to rearrange the luggage in the overhead to make everything fit, so keep an eye on your bag so you know where it gets moved to make it easier when you are disembarking from the flight. 

Exiting the Plane

First-time flyers, do listen to the crew on when and how to exit the plane.
First-time flyers, do listen to the crew on when and how to exit the plane. Photo: Diana Rowe

Once you have arrived at your destination, and the plane has exited the runway, the plane will head to dock at the gate. Pay attention to the instruction by the crew when to unbuckle, gather your things, and exit the plane. The passengers towards the front disembark first, so be patient while you wait for everyone to gather their things and make their way off the plane. 

Once you have exited the plane if you have a checked bag, head to the baggage claim area. Airport signage clearly marks the directions to the baggage claim and which carousel will have the luggage from your flight. After you have secured all your luggage you can then look for your airport car service or head to the car rental booth to rent a vehicle or pick up your reservation. 

Learn More Tips for First Time Flyers Today!

These are some of the most helpful tips for first-time flyers. Know what to expect when packing your luggage. How to navigate through security and how to find your seat on the plane. What to do after your plane lands. Once familiar with the process, flying can be fun and one of the best ways to get to your destination. 

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