Traveling by air seems to be the easiest and fastest mode of transportation, by far, if your destination is halfway around the world. Everyday millions of airline tickets are sold in every part of the globe because people would generally choose a plane to save time and effort. But no matter how time-efficient the air travel is, there are still things that you need to prepare before your departure. Here are the 5 useful tips before your scheduled flight.
Tickets and Travel Documents
A decade ago, a printed copy of your airline ticket is a must, a few years back you can already present the copy of your ticket directly from the email, but just recently you can already check-in on your flight days before your scheduled departure. Most airlines, nowadays, make use of their online portal to do web check-ins and make traveling by plane a breeze, especially if you don’t have a lot of baggage to check-in. Aside from the tickets, though, you also need to be mindful of the travel documents you would need, especially, if this is an out of the country trip. Reading online blogs or even checking official websites of your country of destination would give you the list of the needed travel documents like visas, passports, and government issued photo IDs. And it is very important for you to process these documents well ahead of time for you to avoid last-minute delays.
Arrival at the Airport
For international flights, airlines recommend you to come at least 4 hours before your schedule; as for domestic flights, 2 hours before would be enough. You also have to consider the time it takes for you to travel from your home to the airport, if you’re living an hour away then you should, at least, leave home 5 hours before your schedule flight so you can have some time cushion just in case there is traffic on your way or you left a few things at home.
Once you enter the airport, there are big screens showing the statuses of all the flights for that day. You may want to immediately check your own flight status to know whether it’s on time, delayed, or worse, cancelled. Once the status is okay, you may want to go nearer your check-in counter, even if the check-in time is a few hours away. There are also self-check-in kiosks where you can do online check-in but it, usually, has to be at least 4 hours before your schedule. If you have lots of baggage, you may want to line up right away so you can free yourself from the burden of looking over your stuff while waiting.
Boarding pass is the final clearance you need before your flight, and you have to secure this, because if you lose it, you’re in a big trouble. But since technology has made everything easier, you can now present a paperless boarding pass, just secure the electronic pass on your phone or tablet and you’re good to go.
So this is the fun, or for others, the boring part of your travel, because depending on the time you finished your pre-boarding tasks, you’ll either have a long or short time of waiting until your flight departure. If you’re in a huge international airport, then you’re in for a treat; you can spend your waiting time roaming around the airport because there will be gift shops, restaurants and other entertainment areas for travelers. However, if it is a domestic flight and you’re stuck in a small airport, bringing a pocket book to read or surfing the internet would cover up the waiting time.