The airport – decoded, de-stressed, and explained

If it’s your first time flying, you could be forgiven for wondering what you’ve walked into when you enter the airport terminal building. It’s a frenetic atmosphere and if you’re not used to it and you’re not sure what to do, it can be daunting.

Well, worry not dear readers, for I am here to describe exactly what you first time fliers need to be doing.

First things first check what’s going on with your flight before you leave the house. The easiest way to do this is to simply Google the airline code and flight number. There’s nothing worse than rushing to the airport only to find that your flight has been cancelled or delayed by 3 hours! Forewarned is certainly forearmed, so stay abreast of developments and you’re less likely to be stressed out.

Head to your correct terminal building. You can find this information out online, by going to the airline’s website, or look on your ticket for the correct information.

Look at the screens and find your check in desk number. Go to that desk. You will have to queue, but this is all part and parcel of airport life!

Hand over your passport and ticket, check in and weigh your luggage, whilst simultaneously praying that your suitcase isn’t overweight! You will be given a boarding card, slip of paper, keep this safe with your passport, and don’t lose it! Your suitcase will leave you at this point, and your hand luggage may or may not be weighed.

Head to security. You will have to queue again, and once you arrive at a security desk you will be instructed on what to do. Rules are always changing, so just do a little research before you go, but generally, all liquids should be placed in a clear plastic, sealable bag, and put in a tray separate to your hand luggage, for scanning. You will be asked to remove your shoes in some cases, belts, sometimes jewellery etc, but the person at the desk will advise you on this. You will then walk through a scanner, and collect your belongings once they come through their own scanner. Get dressed again and head off!

Now you’re free to enjoy duty free! Keep an eye on the screens and when you find a gate number next to your particular flight, make sure you head there, as sometimes there isn’t a lot of time between the gate opening and the final call; you don’t want to miss it after all that build up!

Once you get to your gate, you’ll be needing that boarding card and your passport. Hand over both to the staff at the door, they will check your passport, scan your boarding card, and hand it all back over to you. Proceed to the aircraft!

Last step – Show your boarding card again to the cabin crew, who will tell you where your seat it. All that’s left to do then is sit back and relax!

See, it’s easy when you know how!

Photo Credit: Timo Newton-Syms under Creative Commons license.

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