You have booked flight tickets and a travel package for your journey. Now, you need to get ready for the travel ahead. This blog will help prepare you till you board your flight. The Covid-19 pandemic has added some new formalities which are part of your travel documentation now. There are a few nitty-gritty that will help you have a smooth ride to the airport. It will also help move around the airport and board your flight without any hitch. Let me help you with, before going to the airport travel tips.
I’m not talking about packing tips. I’m talking about the weight limitation. Yes, every airline has a different weight policy. The trend has been 7kgs in carry-on luggage. This is the luggage/backpack which you carry on the flight with you. The other is the check-in luggage which airlines store for you. The limitation for this baggage is 15kgs. This information is provided with the ticket you buy. If you cannot find it do call the airlines. The airlines charge exuberant prices if you go overweight with baggage. If you are on a budget, this will reduce your travel budget.
Before you stand in the queue look for the weight machine! You can find them at the airports as soon as you enter. This will help you shuffle things from one bag to another if one is heavy. If you have 2-3 books they might increase the weight of the baggage. However, try to weigh your luggage from home. This will reduce surprises. Do note, there are certain things which you cannot carry in your handbag. If you are a new traveler check the airline website.
The most important, before going to the airport travel tips, is the web check-in. We all know middle sit suck. The middle seat gets into your nerve more when it’s a long flight. The tussle to get the armrest is legendry. The window seat gives you the best view and a shoulder to sleep. The aisle sits gives you the freedom to move freely. Me, who drinks a lot of water, love the aisle seat. So web check-in and choose your seat. It will not only give you your choice of the seat but also save time at the airport. By doing a web check-in you will get the boarding pass at home. If you don’t have check-in luggage you can straight away go to the security check.
I would recommend that you spend some money at the time of buying the flight ticket. You get the option of choosing your seat. You have to pay extra for that. If you like airline food you can book that too at the time of booking your ticket. Budget airlines like Air Asia, Indigo don’t provide food if you have not booked it in advance.
You will be leaving your house empty for some time so the house needs to be prepped. One day before put locks where applicable. Check all doors and windows are closed. Make sure to close the LPG knob or the gas pipeline knob from the main. You should also cut the electricity supply from the main. I would recommend emptying the fridge too. Inform your newspaper guy, maid, and the milkman. Inform your neighbor that you are leaving for some days. If you are going on a long vacation ask your relatives or friends to check your house once in a while. If you are living in a flat ask to inform your security guard. Do close/check all water taps are tight shut before you leave.
If it’s a domestic flight you should reach one hour before the flight time. If it’s an international flight you should reach the airport three hours before your departure time. Now, if you are flying from your hometown you will have an idea of travel time to the airport. If you are flying from another city do ask around. As things like traffic peak hours, discover best means of transport. Taxi is not always the best mean of transport. In Delhi metro is the best option; in Bangalore, Volvo Buses are better options and so on. Double-check the terminal number it creates a lot of problems. A place like Mumbai which has two airports creates a lot of confusion. Call your cab before time, factor traffic jams, and even a car breakdown.
For first-time flyers, the international airports are huge. The airport will look like a maze and confusing if you don’t know where you are going. So factor that time also, it will help that you don’t miss your flight.
While you are in the taxi get the documents ready to enter the airport. This would be the passport and the flight ticket. These two documents will help you enter the airport. You can also find the trolley to carry your luggage just outside the airport. Once you enter go to your airline counter and get into the queue. Keep your passport and flight ticket in your hand. They will take your luggage and give you your boarding pass. Now, if you have done a web check-in you don’t have to get into this queue. You straight away go for the security check queue.
Once you Reach the Security Check
Put all your things into your bag or you can put them in a tray. You should only have a boarding pass in your hand. Everything includes all things metal that includes your belt, coins, and mobile phone. You have to take off your shoes too. If you are carrying a laptop you need to put that into another tray. If you get a beep you will have to be re-examined.
For an international flight, you have to also go through customs and immigration. They will check your passport and visa. They will sometimes ask the reason for travel. Just say vacation or holiday. In the case of countries where you get a visa on arrival, they will only check your passport. Once done they will stamp your passport for `ok to board’.
This is another world within the airport. These are your duty-free shops and be amazed to see the wonders of the world. First stop the duty-free liquor shop…kidding. Your boarding pass tells you which gate you have to reach to catch your flight. There are a lot of terminals at an international airport so it might take 15-30 minutes to get there. Don’t worry though there are `moving walkways’ which help you to go faster. If you have time and money do check out the shops. It’s also time to empty your bladder and fill that empty water bottle. Once you reach the terminal confirm with the gate staff that you are at the right gate. Sometimes gates do change. If it’s a silent airport you might miss the announcement. Check your phone for all incoming messages; airlines inform you about and late departures.
Hope you have filled that water bottle and bought a hoodie or warm clothing. An in-flight air conditioner can get very cold. Place your luggage just over your seat. You now only need your phone for entertainment and a pen. You will be filling an immigration card which the airline provides. Listen to all announcements made on the aircraft. Before landing they do tell you which conveyer belt your luggage will arrive.
Eccentric Blogger, Traveler and Consultant.