First Time Air Travel

 Purchase a ticket.

 Gather photo identification. If you are traveling within your home country, you will need a national identification card, the likes of a driver's license, passport. If you are flying internationally, you will need a passport, usually one that is valid for six months from the date of departure

 Ensure that your luggage meets airline requirements. In most cases airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on item and one personal item, e.g. a laptop or purse. Check the specifications for your airline by visiting its website and looking for a section about baggage. Pay attention to fees for checked bags (most airlines charge for each bag you check to be carried in the cargo area) and the weight limits, and be sure   to stay within them.

 Pack your carry-on bag carefully. In a bag you take on the plane, you are able to put liquids in at most 100 ml containers as long as they fit in a single, quart-sized, sealable, clear plastic bag.  Agents will confiscate any liquids or gels that do not adhere to their policies.

  Arrive at the airport early. For your first time traveling on an airplane, allow extra time to make it through the airport and familiarize yourself with the process.

If you will be parking, check into the long-term lot for multi-day stays; for this option, some airports have shuttles to the terminal if the lot is not within walking distance. To give yourself a buffer of time, aim to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

  Check in at the airline desk. Follow the signs to the check-in desks, and have your National ID ready to present to the agent. (S)He will look up your reservation, print boarding passes and collect any baggage fees for checked bags. If you have not selected seats, you can also ask the agent for a window or aisle seat at this time. You will be asked to place your checked bags on the scale next to the desk for weighing, and they will be tagged and placed on a conveyor to be taken to the plane. Take your boarding passes and ID card from the agent.

  Go through security. Follow the signs for security, and head to the l ine. At the security checkpoint, you will be asked to show your identification and boarding pass. Once you are at the screeni ng machines, take off your shoes and jacket and place them into a plastic bin with your clear plastic bag. If you are traveling wi th a laptop, place it into a separate 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 should have a gate number on it; if not, check the electronic displays to find your flight and gate number. Follow the signs to get to your gate, and have a seat until a gate agent calls for boarding. Airlines generally board by row, so don't approach the gate until your group is called. Find your seat by checking the numbers above each row, and stow small bags under the seat in front of you and larger bags in the overhead bins.


  Collect your baggage. Once your flight lands, exit the airplane and follow signs for baggage claim. Your flight number and departure city will be on an electronic display; wait with the crowd until the conveyor starts moving and your bag arrives.

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