Step-by-Step First-Time Air Travel Guide

For the first-time flyer, air travel can seem like a daunting job. Where do you buy a ticket? What happens when you reach the airport? Do you require identification? Even though the options and questions appear endless, there is no need to worry: so long as you can read and ask questions, you may successfully fly. To make your very first flight more stressful, it is helpful to have some idea of what to expect.

Purchase a ticket. The simplest way to search multiple dates and flight times is to search for your flight ticket on the web. To have a broad idea of bookings, use an airfare search engine like Kayak or Expedia. Enter in your departure city, arrival city and dates, and the motor will return a variety of flights that match your criteria. Select one to observe times, connections and time between flights. Whenever you're ready to buy a flight, click on it to select and follow the purchasing instructions. Usually, airlines will send you an email verification and e-ticket amount; write down these numbers for reference.

Collect photo identification. If you're traveling within your home state, you'll require a photo identification card, such as a driver's license. If you are flying internationally, you'll need a passport, typically one that's valid for six months from the date of departure.

Ensure that your luggage meets airline requirements. Most airlines allow passengers to deliver one carry-on item and one personal item, such as a laptop or purse. Check the specifications to your airline by visiting its site and looking for a section about baggage--about the American Airlines site, by way of example, "Baggage Information" is beneath the "Travel Information" tab. Pay attention to fees for checked bags--many airlines charge for every bag you assess to be carried in the cargo area--and also the burden limits, and be sure to keep inside them.

Pack your carry-on bag carefully. In a bag you choose the airplane, you are able to place liquids in 100 mL (or less) containers so long as they fit in a single, quart-sized, sealable, clear plastic tote. According to the Transportation Security Administration, "Consolidating the bottles to one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on tote enables security officers to quickly clear the items." Agents will confiscate any dyes or liquids that do not adhere to this policy.

For the first time traveling in a plane, allow extra time to make it through the airport and also get accustomed to this procedure. If you're going to be parking, check into the long term lot for multiday remains; for this option, some airports have shuttles to the terminal when the lot isn't within walking distance. To give yourself a buffer of time, aim to arrive at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and three hours prior to an worldwide flight.

Check in at the airline desk. Follow the signs to the check-in desks, and have your picture identification ready to introduce to the broker. He'll look up your booking, print boarding passes and gather any luggage fees for checked bags. If you haven't selected chairs, you can even ask the broker to get a window or aisle seat at this moment. You will be requested to put your checked luggage on the scale beside the desk for weighing, and they'll be labeled and put on a conveyor to be carried to the plane. Take your boarding passes and ID card from the broker.

Proceed through security. Follow the signs for security, and head to the line. Once you are at the screening machines, take off your shoes and coat and set them in a plastic bin with your clear plastic bag. If you are traveling with a notebook, place it into a different bin, and send it down the conveyor along with your carry-on bag. Wait for an agent to wave you through the metal detector, and walk through. Retrieve your items.

Find your gate. Your boarding pass ought to have a gate number on it; should not, check the digital screens to find your flight and gate amount. Follow the signs for a gate, and have a seat until a gate agent calls for boarding. Airlines generally plank by row, and thus don't approach the gate before your group is known as. Locate your chair by assessing the amounts over each row, and stow small bags under the seat in front of you and bigger luggage in the overhead bins.

Collect bags. As soon as your flight lands, exit the plane and follow signs for luggage claim. Your flight number and departure city will be on a digital screen; wait with the audience until the conveyor starts moving and your luggage arrives.

Step-by-Step First-Time Air Travel Guide