Many people love flying, and if you are about to take your first flight, there is every reason to think that you will, too. Air travel is convenient, comfortable and overwhelmingly safe, but it can be a little nerve-wracking when you fly for the first time. Why not sit back, grab a coffee and soak up some of these handy tips for the first time flyer?
Plan your non-flight transport
Believe it or not, getting to the airport on time, or from the airport to your ultimate destination, can often be more stressful than the flight itself. There is little worse than arriving at an airport with just seconds to go until check-in closes. Make sure you have booked reliable transport such as a taxi to the airport at least a few days before you fly, and confirm that arrangement the night before departure.
Similarly, it is a good idea to visit the website for your destination airport and find out what onward transit options are available, and whether you need to book any of them in advance.
Leave plenty of time
You probably realize that air travel runs to strict timetables. The cost of missing flight slots or reorganizing schedules is so prohibitive that airlines simply have to make sure that as much as possible runs to time. As a result, if you try to check-in or board a flight towards the end of the time available, you might find it a rather stressful experience (as will the staff and passengers around you). Leave plenty of time.
Most flights allow at least a two-hour slot for check-in, so if you get to the airport just before check-in opens then you know that you will be right at the head of the queue. Then all you need to do is have your ticket and your documentation to hand and you are pretty much done with the most tedious part of flight admin; you can then head off to the airport shopping area for a browse and a well-deserved snack!
Some people find that they become nervous once on board the aircraft. This is understandable, but air travel is actually one of the safest forms of transport around, and you are probably safer in an airplane than almost anywhere. If you think you are going to have real trouble steadying your nerves at takeoff, talk to your doctor in the weeks before you fly. Some people find that a small alcoholic drink helps to calm them, but never drink too much or you may not be allowed to fly.
Turbulence (a bumping, jolting sensation during flight) and landing are also nervy points for some travelers, but the key fact remains: air travel is incredibly safe.
Flying has its own set of behavioral “rules” and it is a good idea to get tips on etiquette while flying, before you go. It only takes a few minutes, and anything that saves you an argument with fellow passengers about reclining your seat or whether it is acceptable to push to the front of the baggage claim queue has got to be worth doing!