The Ultimate Airport Survival Guide

Airport – Your entry point into and out of any country in the world. Crowded, busy, exciting and often frightening, airports put a clear and bright light on travellers. Some of the travellers are in awe of the airports while others tend to hate them.

Regardless of what you feel and if you are travelling domestic or international, or for pleasure or work; if you are a first-time traveller or if you are travelling after a long break, the experience can be quiet daunting.

Will you be able to check in quick and easy? What about security? Will you be able to relax and board quickly? The fast-changing policies of the airport make it challenging to understand, and you end up feeling nasty.

Don’t worry!! It doesn’t matter if you are travelling by air for the first time or after a long haul,

our ultimate airport survival guide will make the entire process easy for you.

How to check-in?

For the first time air travellers or those travelling after a long time, one of the significant changes to notice is automated check-in. Automated check-in is the service that enables you to choose the seat of your choice. All you have to do is check-in online up to 24 hours before the flight departure time, and you may download your boarding pass in your phone or take a print copy at home.

One of the widely used nowadays at the airport is self-service check-in and bag drop. Both of these services have reduced the waiting time during the check-in process. During the initial days, self-service check-in was limited to only domestic flights but now has extended to international flights as well. All international airlines now offer such services, and one of those is Air Canada offering easy Air Canada Check-In for all travellers.

How much to pack?

While you are busy packing, never forget to consider the weight allowance and size restriction for check-in and carry on. Since each airline and ticket is different, make sure that you pack your things in conformity with the weight allowance and size restriction.

What not to pack?

Before you start packing, it is essential to familiarize yourself with things you can and cannot take on-board.

Many things that are not permitted to take on-board, including utensils, flammable products, sporting goods, and items with sharp edges. However, the most common concern is related to LAGs (liquids, aerosols, and gels), which may include perfume, skin care and hair care products. Also, make sure that you don’t pack any dangerous item.

This list of prohibited items will acquaint you with all the things you can’t carry while travelling by air.

What about security status?

Airport Security Control - Airport Security Check.
Airport Security Control – Airport Security Check

After you check-in and hand over your luggage, the next call is to go through the airport security check process. Also, the items you can and cannot take comes under consideration at this point.

On a strict note, all the passengers are supposed to go through a metal detector and have their carry-on luggage X-Rayed here.

Make sure to make your way through this process by standing in the queue and preparing yourself. The criteria to be followed is drained water bottles, belt off, bag of LAGs out, laptop out of the case, and emptying the pockets into the provided tray.

You may be asked to go through an explosive trace detection (ETD) test under which your belongings are cleaned with a swab for traces of explosives. Just like ETD, you may also be asked to go through a body scan test. Under the body scan test, a non-ionising millimetre wave technology is used to detect the items carried or worn on the body without causing any harm.

What identity proofs to carry?

Identity proofs to carry at airport.
Identity proofs to carry at airport.

For a domestic trip, even your driving license will work, but if you are travelling internationally, you will be required to show a valid passport. Make sure that you carry all the documents in compliance with the requirements of your journey (domestic or international).

When to board?

Boarding gates are identified by a letter and a number, and the same will be printed on your boarding pass. Passengers who check-in online don’t have this information printed on their boarding pass, so they are required to check the information boards.

**Boarding gates close 15 minutes before flight departure, and if you miss boarding within this cut-off, you might have missed your flight. So make sure that you are available at the airport on time.

When the process of boarding begins, you will be scanned, and if you are on an international trip, your passports will be checked. Remember to keep your boarding pass handy as crew onboard will ask for the same to assist you to the allocated seat.

Stow your luggage, sit comfortably and relax, and you are all set to fly!!

Things to Remember while Travelling by Air

  • A hot tip is to book your air tickets online and get attractive discount deals. Faremart is one such online platform with access to 450+airlines, both domestic and international, offering hassle-free booking with best deals.
  • To visit the website of the airport and check for an update, advice or news which may affect your travel.
  • Travelling on an international flight will require you to have an up-to-date passport. In such cases, most countries require that your passport have at least 6 months left before its expiry.
  • If you have a plan to drive to the airport, make sure to book the parking spot ahead online to secure a spot at the best possible rate. Also, check for traffic on the day of your travel and leave for the airport accordingly.
  • Make sure you reach the airport 2 hours before the departure of domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight. You must also check the status of your flight online before arriving at the airport.
  • If you have a specific diet requirement, make sure to check the website of the concerned airport to discover eating options. You may also bring your own meal and save a lot of money against the inflated prices at airport restaurants.
  • Duty-free alert: If your journey involves multiple stops in different countries, there will be different rules & regulations at each airport. So if you happen to purchase a new bottle of perfume or wine at any stop, chances are it may end up being confiscated at any airport. In such cases, check ahead and make sure that you pack your purchase in a tamper-proof bag along with the receipt.
  • The emergency outfit is a must-have item. You and your luggage check-in at the same time and you have to depend on TSA to get your luggage on the plane and onto the right baggage claim. Well, we have all been there but what if you have to be present somewhere important after your flight lands at the desired destination and you lose your luggage? So, it is always a good practice to carry one full outfit in your personal carry-on bag.

You may also go through useful tips and tricks for travelling by plane and turn your flight journey into an awesome experience.

If you take care of the process mentioned above and steps to keep in mind, your entire travel is going to be more comfortable and enjoyable.

Happy Travelling…!

Image source: Freepik

Published by Nishitha

I am done with my Physiotherapy Graduation. And I always try to share Health and technology tips with people. Apart from Physiotherapy and being a tech savvy, I do explore more on Technology side and I keep sharing my findings with wider audience.

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