Top tips for first time flyers

Are you a first-time flyer?  Flying for the first time can be daunting and exciting at the same time, to help your flight go as smoothly as possible we have put together a handy guide for all you first-timers.

Know before you go…

  • Make sure all documents are in order at least a month before travel, check the expiry dates on your passports, check visa requirements for the destination you are travelling to and make sure you have digital/paper copies of all other booking confirmations such as parking, car hire and airport hotel.  If you have hired a car don’t forget your driver’s license – it’s also handy to have one as an extra piece of identification.
  • If you chose to check in online some airlines will issue a boarding pass that you can either print out or display on your phone.  You can also choose your seats online to ensure that you and your travelling partners are all sat together then you can simply arrive at check-in and receive your boarding passes with pre-selected seat numbers.
  • Make sure you don’t go over your booked baggage allowance, check your booking to find out how much you can take in kilograms over how many cases.  Once you have packed, weigh your luggage using some hand-held luggage scales or bathroom scales.
  • Make sure you have booked your travel insurance before you leave for your holiday. You might want to print out your policy documents, however, a digital copy within an e-mail will be sufficient.



At the airport… 

  • Most airports will have guides for first time flyers written specifically for their first-time flying customers, which should help you to familiarise yourself with the specific situations you’re likely to encounter while travelling.
  • Arrive at the airport early so you can account for traffic, parking time and longer queues. The more time you have the less stressed you will feel.
  • Before you go through security make sure you have separated your liquids from your hand luggage and put them in a clear plastic bag, listen to the instructions given by security staff to avoid any unnecessary delays – for more information of what you can and can’t take through security click > here


.Images by Gareth Jones

On board…

  • Take the time to watch the flight safety demonstration or video and then make sure you read through the flight safety card during take-off.
  • Take some hard sweets or chewing gum with you to have on the plane during takeoff and landing – sucking or chewing will help to pop your ears during the changes in cabin pressure.
  • It’s normal to feel some bumps while the plane is climbing and descending, so don’t worry – make sure you read our article on aeroplane turbulence to find out more about the facts behind those common bumps and what to expect.
  • When the plane reaches cruising altitude, which is usually the highest it will get, the captain will turn off the seat-belt signs and only then can you get up and stretch your legs or visit the loo.
  • While airborne, make sure you take advantage of what’s on offer.  If you are flying short haul (1-3 hours) most airlines don’t offer personal in-flight entertainment, so make sure you have your tablet or mobile device to keep you entertained.  The extra time is also a great excuse to read a good book or magazine.  You can pre book a meal or purchase hot and cold drinks or snacks from the trolly service.
  • If you are flying long haul (6+ hours) most airlines will provide seatback on-demand in-flight entertainment and in-flight meals are usually part of the onboard service.


If you suffer from a fear of flying and are going to attempt your first flight soon, try the ‘Fly and be Calm’ audio method > here.



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