It seems strange to talk about the first flight for someone in 2016, but this topic is really relevant. And there are millions of people in the world, of all ages, who have to make its first flight in the life.
The idea to write this article keep me during one of my own flight. On one of the trips, my neighbors in airplane was an elderly couple Ivanov (name fictional).
Mr. and Mrs. Ivanov flew from Chelyabinsk to Frankfurt with a connection in Moscow. When we were almost ready for landing in Moscow, Mr. Ivanov called air hostess and started asking her where to go upon arrival in airport. I realized that the Jones family is very worried and totally do not know what to do at the airport, I decided to help them.
Mr. and Mrs. Ivanov flew in an airplane for the first time in them life. They flew to the wedding anniversary of best friends, with which they had not seen for 15 years. Having decided on this trip family Ivanov was very worried, because they have never been abroad, and spoke only in Russian language.
Fortunately, I had enough time between flights to bring them up to passport control and then to the terminal, and to the gate. Telling where to go upon arrival in Frankfurt and what to do at the airport. We became a friends.
So, having seen what problems had Mr. and Mrs. Ivanov in their first flight, I decided to search the Internet: Guide for those people who are traveling for the first time in their life. But no concrete data, I could not find. There are suggestions on: in which time better to arrive at the airport, where to buy a ticket, what to visit in a given country, but an article about what to do at the airport, where to go, what to bring, etc. I have not found. And I decided to write it myself.
So we begin.
Here’s what you need to know about the flights.
- There are 2 types of flights: domestic and international. Domestic flights is a flights inside of your country. In the case of the European Union, domestic flights is a flights inside of European Union. International flights is a flights from your country to another. In this case, you will need to cross the border of your country. Therefore, before the flight you will have to go through passport control in your country and when you will arrive in other country you will need to pass passport control in the country to which you came. I will tell you briefly about the domestic flights, and I will pay more attention to international flights.
- Be sure to read the rules of air company before flying. How many kg is allowed to put in your luggage and how many kg is permissible to put in hand luggage. For every overweight you will have to pay according to the tariffs of air company.
- Before traveling to another country BE SURE to read on the Internet or at the website of the Embassy, about any forbidden products or items, for import into this country. Maybe you will need to declare something. Whatever they wrote, you must follow. Be sure to observe and respect the laws of other countries. Remember, you are guests in foreign country!
- Going on a trip, try to take less things, in hand luggage. Just in case, if you will have some connection flight, will be more easy walk through the airport with light bags. For example in Asian airports, almost in every corner you can take the free trolley to transport luggage. And you will need to send back this trolley only before boarding. So, if you will have a heavy hand luggage you can always put on a trolley and walk relaxing around the airport. In no other airports of the world, I have never met such a service. Please note that I’m not talking about the trolley that you take upon arrival at the airport to pick up the luggage and go to the parking lot. I’m talking about the same trolley, but in Asia they are allowed to use in all airport, which greatly facilitates life of the travelers.
- Always check the date, time, airport, terminal of departure, just to avoid force majeure before the flight. Once, traveling from Malaysia to Europe, I bought tickets, but did not check that Kuala Lumpur have 3 airports. Fortunately, arriving at one of these airports, I had enough time to move to another. By the way, the logistics in Kuala Lumpur arranged well, so from one airport to another, I took the very fast train. If I’m was not managed in the proper way, I could miss the plane to Europe.
- When is better to come in the airport? It all depends of several factors. There is a rule that if you make a domestic flight, it is enough to arrive at the airport 1.5 hours before departure, if the international flights 2 hours before departure. But you should always pay attention for other factors: what time of year you fly; what day of the week; departing from what city? If you are flying in the holiday season, it is best to arrive at the airport early. If you are flying during the week, this is the time when usually travel only for business, you can come in airport for 1.5 hours. Maybe in your city organized some big event with lots of invitees, then, it is likely better to arrive in advance. If you are traveling with children, it is better to arrive in advance. Another very important factor, town in which you live. If you live in a small town and your airport usually empty and performs all-only a few flights a week, you can safely come to these 1.5-2 hours. If you live in the city and the airport in your city is a international hub, then no options, you must come in advance to avoid confusion. Whatever it was, I think it is better to spend the extra half an hour at the airport, than be late and lose the flight.
- To travel with comfort and good mood, follow the safety requirements at airports. Do not bring flammable, piercing and cutting items, no food. All what is necessary you can buy at the airport. Security officials may be asked to take off your shoes, or remove outer clothing, or inspect your hand luggage. All this is done in order to your own safety, so patiently follow all requests of security officials.
- Usually in airports are very clear and easy navigation. So, if you do not understand what is written, you can always look at the picture and understand which direction to go. Problems arise when you arrive in a large international airport and you need to go from one terminal to another. In this case, do not be afraid and worry, just follow the directions and you are sure to find your desired gate.
- If you are traveling with connection flights, make sure that your luggage flies up to the final destination, and you do not need to take it in one airport and drop off again in another. As a rule, if the flight ticket purchased in one air company, then your luggage will proceed from point A to point B without any problems. An exception can only make in the country, which according to the laws, you will need to get the luggage and send back at each stop. In this case, you will need more time between flights, consider this moment when buying tickets.
- Usually on the ticket already printed gate number. But if you have some connections flights, I recommend that upon arrival at the airport to check the number of the gate on your ticket with number of the gate on electronic scoreboard at the airport, because when you make the first flight the gate can be changed. If for any reason the gate of the flight is changed or flight is delay, it will announced on the speaker.
- Learn English, at least a minimum set of phrases. If you cannot, don’t worry, in critical situations, body language works wonders. One of the positive aspects is the fact, that today the number of travelers from different countries around the world is very large and there is a great chance to meet a person in the airport, who speaks your language. Nevertheless, here is a list of words that you will need to translate to your native language, and remember their meaning in English. They will help you to quickly and easily navigate through the airport: Check-in, Boarding Gate, Exit, Passport control, Domestic flights, International flights, Arrival area, Departure area, Toilet, Medical Assistance, Transfer passengers, Luggage claim, Lost and found luggage, Police, Customs, Terminal.
- If you get lost or you are in doubt, you do not know what to do – ASK SOMEONE TO HELP YOU! By the way, this rule is important also in the life! Do not hesitate to ask, people often have great pleasure, helping their fellows.
So, I propose to write step by step what to do at the airport. Arriving at the airport in the first place you should go to the check-in desk to drop off your luggage and check-in. Then you need to go in the inspection area and from there to the departure lounge. When you arrive In the departure hall, first you will need to find a gate and then, depending on where it is, spending time at the airport. If you have a lot of time, you can walk through the airport, but remember how much time you need to get back to the boarding gate. As a rule, boarding begins 40 minutes prior to departure, but nevertheless, you can always find the exact time on the ticket.
If between flights you have a few hours, you can always spend time with pleasure at the airport. Today, airports are more like a mall, you can make a shopping, relax, enjoy a massage, etc. For more information about services in the airports you can read here: Airport.
Have a nice flight!