Top Tips For First Time Flyers

January 2, 2020

Did you know that in the United States, over one billion passengers fly every year? With new innovations in the air travel industry, buying a ticket is more affordable than it’s been in the past. This had led to many people being able to buy a plane ticket for the first time. If you’ve never flown before, but are curious about what the experience is like, check out these quick tips to help make your visit to the airport a breeze.

Be Prepared

Being prepared means more than just showing up to your gate on time. Before you even arrive at the airport, you should know your flight schedule, gate number, and you should be checked in for your flight. Checking in before you arrive at the airport can save you time because you will not need to talk to a desk attendant unless you need to check a bag. A checked bag is any piece of luggage that is too large to fit in the overhead compartment of your flight. If you are unsure if your bag will fit overhead, check your airline’s bag policy online. They will have specific measurements and weight limits for your bags listed on their site.

What to Expect with Security

After you have checked your bags, you will need to go through security. If you have your airline’s app, your ticket information will available to you electronically. If you do not have the app, you will need to visit your airline’s kiosk to have it printed. As you wait in line to have your ticket checked, make sure you have your ID or passport out and ready to show the transportation security administration (TSA) agent. If you are using an electronic version of your ticket, the TSA agent will have you place your phone over a scanner to check your ticket. Make sure your phone brightness is turned all the way up, as a dark screen can be hard to read.

After checking your ID and ticket, you will need to have your bags checked. As you wait in line, start removing your electronic devices from your bag. These items will need to go through the bag scanner outside of your bag because they will affect the analysis of your luggage. Your shoes will need to be taken off before you walk through a metal detector, so you may prefer to wear socks to the airport. If you have any questions throughout this process, TSA agents will be nearby and ready to help.

Airport Flight Schedule

Similar to other airports, the Springfield Airport runs on a tight flight schedule. It is important to know that TSA staff will not intentionally delay flights for any reason, even if you’re running late. The general rule of thumb is to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your plane departs. Remember that it will take time to park your car and go through security. If you don’t want to arrive that early, consider asking someone you know who has flown before what their experience was like. Different airports will require different amounts of time to walk between gates and go through security. It’s important to note, however, that your flight’s gate will likely close 10 to 15 minutes before the plane departs as the flight crew will need to prepare the cabin for takeoff. So when in doubt, plan for extra time so you do not miss your flight.

What to Do if You Miss a Flight

It is very common to miss a flight when traveling, so the first thing to do is remain calm. If you have a layover and miss your connecting flight, a flight representative will be able to help you at the gate. They will most likely put you on the next available flight, and you shouldn’t have to wait more than four hours for your new connection. To avoid missing your first flight, make sure you check a flight tracker on your phone or airport flight monitoring system. This will give you up to date information on your flight schedule, including any flight delays or cancelations. If you arrive at the airport too late, checking in beforehand can give you some leniency. However, each airline has its own policies, so you will need to check with a flight representative.

When you want to fly in comfort, rely on the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport today.