One of the most frequent questions I get from those who have never traveled by plane is “what to do at the airport.” This question may even seem silly to the eyes of those who now have so many flights on their shoulders. It is not at all for those who have never traveled by plane.
Even the first time I took a plane, I didn’t have the faintest idea how to behave once I entered the departures terminal. I remember looking around me and exclaiming: what am I going to do now?
What to do at the airport?
All airlines have now introduced the online check-in procedure. It allows those traveling with hand luggage only to avoid showing up at the airport two hours before the flight departure. Also, you need to queue in front of the airline counter to have your boarding pass issued.
If you will travel only with hand luggage and with the boarding pass already printed at home, follow these steps:
- Go to the airport at least one hour before the gate closes (the gate closing time can be found on your boarding pass). But I advise you to go there a little earlier. I don’t want to be a bird of ill omen, but the unexpected can always be around the corner. You don’t want to miss your flight, right?
- Check the terminal from which your flight will depart on your boarding pass (especially at larger airports) and go to departures.
- When you enter the terminal, you will have to go immediately to the screens indicating the departing flights. Search for your flight to be sure not to make mistakes. In addition, the time and destination. Check the flight number. You can find it on your ticket. The departure gate will be indicated next to the flight. Usually, there will be a letter followed by a number such as c3. If the gate number is still not written on it, don’t panic, you can still go to security checks. You will read it later.
- Immediately take out your boarding pass and your identity document, electronic passport or identity card.
- Go to security checks. In this regard, please read our guide airport checks: what to do and what not to wear.
- Go to the gate and line upholding your id and boarding pass.
Traveler leaving with baggage
If you are also leaving with checked baggage, you will need to:
- Go to the airport at least two hours before the gate closing time. The closing time, which does not coincide with the departure time, can be found on the boarding pass). It is a good idea for intercontinental flights to go to the airport even three hours in advance.
- Enter the departures of the terminal from which your flight will depart.
- Look for the desk number corresponding to your flight on the illuminated displays.
- Go to the airline counter to deposit your hold baggage showing your id and your boarding pass.
- Always go to security checks with your document and boarding pass in hand.
- Go to the boarding gate and get in line with your document and boarding pass in hand.
Traveler leaving with online check-in
By checking in online, print your boarding pass and leaving only with hand luggage. You will have to follow the procedures described above and the traveler who leaves only with hand luggage. However, if you also have hold baggage with you, you will still have to go to the airline counter to deposit your suitcase.
Traveler leaving without online check-in
If, on the other hand, you are traveling with hand baggage. For any reason you do not have a boarding pass, you must first go to the airline desk to have it released. Some airports even have self-service kiosks, which will save you a lot of time.
Nothing changes if you have hold baggage with you, you will still have to go to the carrier’s deck.
What to do once landed and landed at the destination airport
If your flight is direct and you are traveling with hand luggage only, you will need to go directly to the exit. If you have delivered your hold baggage for boarding before departure, you will first have to look for the baggage drop-off indication. Then you will have to look for the number of the conveyor belt on which your baggage will be delivered on the luminous displays. As soon as you have taken your suitcase, you can go to the exit.
Flights with stopover
If your flight will include one or more stopovers, and you have purchased a single ticket with the same airline. When you get off the first plane, you will have to look for the departure gate of the next one on the board and reach it well in advance, without having to collect. Your hold baggage and have it checked on the new flight. You will only need to collect your hold baggage when you have arrived at your last destination airport.
For flights with a stopover, you will need to proceed with customs and recognize your baggage. Complete the immigration procedures, go through the security checks again and go to the boarding gate of the new flight. I recommend that you ask the ground hostess. You hand over your suitcase for boarding, which you will have to do at the first stop. Now that you know what to do at the airport, I have to wish you a good trip!
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