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6 Tips to Make Your First Flight Experience Safe & Stress-Free

Dec 17, 2020

It is hard to forget your first flight. It is a barrage of emotions: nervousness, excitement, anxiety, or a combination of all! If you are stressed about your first flight, keep the points below in mind, reach the airport on time, and you’ll be fine! Let’s get started with some important first-time flight tips.

Book your ticket well in advance

Try to book as early as you can. Doing this will help you get a good fare rate, and also book the seat of your choice. Most people travelling for the first time prefer to book a window seat for the view. You can either book your tickets online or take the help of a travel agent. The tickets can be booked directly from the website of the airline, or any of the popular travel sites (MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Goibibo, IRCTC, Ixigo, Yatra etc).

These sites often have offers running, which can help you get a good price. In my experience, if you end up cancelling your flight for some reasons, some of the sites can charge a high cancellation charge as compared to airline websites. So, I recommend you to book tickets from airline websites.

Prepare for the Airport

Before you leave for the airport, keep your documents handy. It is important to have your ID proof, Visa (if travelling abroad), passport etc. When entering the airport, you’ll be asked for your ID and flight ticket. You can even show your ticket, in case you prefer to check in in advance. Or, you can show the PNR in your confirmation email. A lot of people print out the PNR copy, but it is not mandatory. As a general rule, you should aim to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled time of departure for domestic flights (3 hours for International flights).

Check In tips:

You can opt to check in online 48 hours (may vary as per airline) before the flight time, and print your boarding pass from home. Otherwise, every airline has plenty of check-in desks available at the airport. Eitherway, the airline staff will check the PNR in your confirmation email and issue the physical boarding pass. This is an important piece of document. Take care of it. At this point, you have to drop your check-in baggage at the kiosk. The general rule is that the airline staff attach a barcode to your baggage and weigh your luggage items. If you exceed the limit, then as per airline rules, you will have to pay an extra amount. Be sure to check the permissible amount of luggage beforehand and pack accordingly.
You can also carry a hand baggage item with you (check with your airline for the allowed weight limits for hand baggage).

Security Check and Boarding process

After collecting your boarding pass, you will go through the security checks. At this point, you may have to place your phone, wallet, laptop, watch and other electronic items in a tray for separate screening. After you complete the check, the security officer will stamp your boarding pass. Be sure to not carry certain items like scissors/knives, matches etc. with you. If your destination is abroad, then you will have to pass through the immigration checks. Here you will have to furnish documents like your Visa, boarding pass, passport, hotel booking, return tickets and more. If the personnel find anything suspicious, they have the authority to reject your flight.
Once you are done with all the procedures, you have to wait for your flight time. In this extra amount of time, you can enjoy the airport lounge facilities to entertain yourself.

Flight Time

Check your boarding gate number in the boarding pass. Locate the said gate and wait for the boarding to start. Here, the airline staff will check your ticket once again, before letting you board your flight. After boarding, you just have to locate your seat number and you’re mostly done! The in-fight staff will walk you through safety demonstrations like seat belt regulations etc. Be sure to switch off your phone or put in the flight mode. As the seat belt sign comes on, you have to put on your seat belt. Some of the basics of in-flight safety are that during takeoff roll you can’t stand up or you take off your seat belt. Once it goes to a certain height, the captain will turn off the seat belt sign and then you can put off the seat belt. After that happens, you can eat food, you can go to the restroom.

After Landing:

Before landing, the pilot once again indicates to wear your seat belt with the sign. By this time, you can even feel the plane descending its height, to prepare for landing. Don’t stand up or move until the plane stops. Here too, you have to wait for the signal of the belt sign turning off. You are now free to use your mobile phone. The in-flight staff will tell you about the belt number from which you can collect your baggage. If you are travelling domestic then you have to go directly to the baggage belt, collect your bag and exit the airport. However, if travelling international, then you must first be cleared by the immigration authorities. They will ask for your passport, visa and other documents. After you are done, you can collect your baggage and exit the airport.

I hope these first-time flight tips were helpful. Stay tuned for more content!

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