(Closed) First time flying – tips please!

posted 5 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
1497 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Just a few tips!

I use bookingbuddy.com to compare flight prices. Also, I heard Tuesday is the best day for fare prices.

The airplane can get really cold, so you should bring a light jacket or sweater. Also comfortable, roomy shoes (feet can swell). Be sure to wear socks! You’ll need to take your shoes off at security and the floors can be pretty gross. And be sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through security.

I also bring along a sleep mask and earplugs for some peace and quiet!

 

Post # 4
Hostess
8579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I flew for the first time in my life last year.

I didn’t do anything fancy for buying the tickets.. just found the roundtrip ones I needed, and purchased so no advice there.

I was more concerned about going through security as easily as possible, these tips helped me –

– Wear comfortable, slip on shoes. You’ll need to take them off.

– Avoid wearing excessive jewelry, belts, or anything else with metal. Will also need to take these off.

– Keep anything valuable in your carry-on. [Jewelry, ID, phones, ect]. I would also suggest putting in an extra change of clothes too, just in case they lose your checked bags.

– Bring something to do. A crossword puzzle, a mp3 player.. or even a book. It’s a LONG boring ride. You’ll need it.

– Bring some gum, it’ll help your ears pop when you depart & land.

– Check the TSA website. It’ll give you all kinds of information on what you can or can’t bring in your carryon. You can pack just about anything in your checked baggage.

As for packing.. I don’t know how much you plan to bring with, but some airlines charge for each bag you have checked [many used to include 1 free, but not anymore]. It cost us around $80 per bag checked, but ours were extremely heavy. Pack lightweight clothing. Roll shirts to fit more in.

Post # 5
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee

Just a random tip, look up the baggage fees for your airline. I worked for American, and people came in sometimes with ENORMOUS bags. For American, your first checked bag is $25 (per person) and a 2nd checked bag (ex. 2 people have more than 2 bags) is $35. If your bag weighs over 50 lbs, it’s an extra $100 charge. If your bag weighs over 70 lbs, it’s an extra $200 charge. If it weighs more than 100, we won’t take it. We had a couple come in once witht he biggest suitcase I’ve ever seen that weighed nearly 100 lbs. It cost them $225 to check it, as opposed to just packing 2 suitcases just under 50 lbs (49 is totally ok lol) which would have cost $50.

 

EVERY airline is different, so when you book, be sure to look up the bag check fees so you don’t find yourself in a bind! (this couple really just thought it would be cheaper to check one super super heavy bag than 2 lighter bags)

 

 

Also, as someone who travels a lot……don’t stress! Traveling by plane is not that hard. Just allow yourself some extra time, so you don’t worry that you won’t make it. Double check the monitors to make sure your gate hasn’t changed. Be at your departure gate 45 minutes prior to takeoff, just to play it safe……most airlines start boarding 30 minutes prior to departure and CLOSE THE DOORS at like 10 minutes prior to departure. So don’t roll up to the airport 15 minutes before your flight and think you’ll make it- even at a small airport lol. 

 

Don’t worry too much! It will be fun!

Post # 6
Member
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Ask around about the airports you’re flying through. Some are known to have higher rates of late takeoffs/landings (Salt Lake City comes to mind, they don’t have enough runway space). You’ll want to know that as you look at flight schedules and determine how much time you want on your layovers.

If neither of you have flown before, I’d recommend giving yourself a little more time on layovers-I would say at least an hour and a half. Don’t try to swing it in 45 minutes if you’re not accustomed to booking it across an airport you’re not familiar with! Often you’ll fly in to a gate that is miles away from the gate you’re flying out of, so make sure you get to your next gate before you do anything else (like eat, pee, etc). On that note, always check the monitors to make sure your gate has not changed, both before you head over there and on your way. They do change, sometimes, but you still have to get there in time or you will miss your flight.

A shorter layover is very convenient, but you’re also not giving yourself any time for late flights- if your first flight is late, you now are stuck having to change all of your other flights to accomodate it. Not fun, especially for someone who has never had to do it before. 

Don’t go into an airport with change in your pockets, and don’t wear a belt unless you have to. Wear a basic shirt and pants combo with easy slip on and off shoes and a light jacket that you can take on and off with ease. Nothing is more annoying to the travelers behind you in security than a person with 50 layers and a bunch of metal they don’t take off holding up the whole line!! Seriously, it fills me with rage.

There is usually a fee for your checked bag- it will always be cheaper to pay it online when you check in for your flight, rather than at the gate. So, do it ahead of time! Fees are usually in the $20-$25 range for domestic travel, not sure what is runs internationally, now. Weigh your bags before you go, any bag over 50 lbs will triple the cost to check. Trust me, 50 lbs is plenty, anyway. 

Pack a change of clothes, underwear, pajamas, and any essentials in your carry on bag. Think, worst case scenario, will you be okay if your bag gets lost the entire time you’re gone? Do not pack jewelry, electronics in your suitcase. They will get stolen. Don’t put a lock on your suitcase either, they’ll break it and thoroughly search your bag (because, why would you have a lock unless you are hiding something?) 

Oh, when you’re going through the naked scanners, don’t have anything in your pockets- not chapstick, nothing. They’ll pat you down.

Sorry if this is disjointed, I keep thinking of things 🙂 I’ve been on >70 flights in the last 5 years, let me know if you have any questions! 

Post # 7
Hostess
8579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Dialysate:  About the locks.. there are TSA approved locks.. they have keys to open them, so they don’t have to break them.

Post # 8
Member
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I agree with previous posters about scoping out the TSA website.  They are very specific about what is okay to take on the airplane.

PS – Congratulations!  I hope you guys have a fantastic honeymoon 🙂

Post # 9
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

The best place for advice on packing is the TSA website, particularly for toiletries.

 

Fly any prescription medication in their original Rx bottles.  Any essential carry an Rx with you in the desitnation’s language, and give yourself time to get it–Walgreen’s said they could print out my Rx in Japanese, but they didn’t actually have the fonts installed in their software.

 

Take a bottle of water with you on the plane.  The cabin gets dry.  For really long flights, plan on walking the aisles every few hours.

 

Try to sit within three rows of an exit, but not near the restrooms.

 

Don’t forget to shut off electronics when they say to.  And on that–call your cell carrier and ask if you can purchase short-term international coverage if you’re going abroad.  I was stranded in Ireland in 2006 after they grounded US-bound flights, and added coverage for $4.50.

 

Most airplane seats are made for 5’3″ people who weigh no more than 110 pounds. I pack an inflatable neck roll in my carryon.

 

Post # 10
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ooh, have fun!  Not sure if anyone’s said this, but I ALWAYS take snacks when I fly.  You can have unforeseen layovers, etc, so I always pack a few granola bars, M&M’s etc. in my carryon.  Just don’t pack a bottle of soda or water – you can’t take it through security.  Though, you can buy a beverage once you’re in the gate area and take it on the plane (generally – once when flying from Mexico to the US they wouldn’t let me take it on the plane).

Post # 11
Member
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Gum gum gum….and a blanket or book. Something  to keep busy but u may be so anxious and exited so u will be fine.

Post # 12
Member
3101 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

@krex:  fill your carry on with all your essentials- contact lens stuff, glasses, toiletries,  medications, at least one change of clothes. That way if your bags are lost (usually only for a night if it happens) you need your essentials. 

Bring some Dramamine in case you don’t feel well. 

Bring snacks you like (airlines overcharge for this stuff). 

If you think you’ll have anxiety, get Xanax or something similar from your doctor. 

Post # 13
Member
5192 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

@krex:  Expedia and Kayak are good travel booking sites. You can compare prices. Ways to save $? Don’t over pack. Many airlines these days charge extra (sometimes $50 or more!) for baggage over a certain weight. If you’re staying somewhere that has a washer and dryer available for you to use take advantage of it. Same thing goes for toiletries. Depending on where you’re traveling to it’s more convenient to but those items in small sizes in a drugstore at your actual destination than to bring them with you from home. always carry medications in their original prescription bottles. Wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes that are easy to take off and put on again. You will likely need to remove them for inspection at the airport. Remove jewelry and empty your pockets beforehand so you don’t hold up the line at security, or make the metal detectors go off. You can’t bring liquids more than I think 2 oz. on the plane with you. Go to the bathroom as many times as possible before boarding! Bring a snack, gum, something to read. I can’t give you advice on how to tolerate the takeoff/ landing. I’m a weirdo and actually like the feeling. Don’t get scared of the loud “clunk” when the plane takes off. That’s just the wheels retracting. Same clunking noise when the plane lands, it’s the wheels coming out again. The captain will keep you informed overhead throughout the flight. He’ll tell you the altitude, weather, travel time, if there will be any turbulence or delays. Note that you are flying ABOVE the clouds so you s won’t be encountering any tornados or what not while you are Up there. Once you are at peak altitude all you will see is beautiful blue skies.

Post # 14
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Roll all your clothing, it takes up less space in your bag.  Chew gum so your ears dont pop in the high altitudes. I always bring a extra set of clothing ( light, no jeans)  in my carryon, just in case my luggage is MIA, as well as all meds, etc.  Dont forget your passport and travel insurance! 🙂 Congrats and have a wonderful honeymoon! 

Post # 15
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Make sure you leave plenty of time before your flight so you’re not rushing.  Also, since it’s your first flight AND your honeymoon, I would find the most covnenient flights rather than worry about the cheapest.  It’s often worth the extra money.   Where are you going??

Post # 16
Member
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Here’s a great packing site: http://www.onebag.com/list.html. I have my own packing list by bag (check-on and carry-on) in excel that I can modify depending on where I’m going. For many trips, I can usually get away with just a carry-on bag and a backpack, but I’m sometimes packing for multiple trips to various climates in one trip. Definitely don’t check anything of value. Get to the gate really early and ask for the emergency exit row seats. You won’t always get them, but it’s worth asking. There is twice as much leg room there. I also second what others have said about dressing simply with no belts or anything in your pockets and easy on-off shoes. When traveling overseas I usually wear a long skirt rather than pants. The bathrooms in airplanes are nasty and it’s easier to lift up a skirt than pull down pants while trying to keep the bottoms off the floor. That’s harder to do in the U.S. because I always opt out of the ridiculous security theater (you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get to the airport). When  you opt out, you have to go through a sexual assault-type of pat down, and that’s much easier wearing pants. I also second the idea of bringing snacks–I usually bring some good trail mix with dried fruit and nuts. I also usually stop somewhere on the way to the airport to get a meal to bring with me (breakfast if it’s a morning flight, lunch in the afternoon, etc.). It’s much healthier and often cheaper than buying the processed stuff they sell in the airport and on the plane. You can also bring an empty water bottle or canteen and fill it up in the fountain once you’re through security. Depending on the airline, if you sign up for their credit card and pay for the flight with that credit card you get free checked bags. As long as you pay off the balance immediately, the interest rates don’t matter. With United, I also get priority security and boarding with the credit card. Virgin America is by far the best domestic airline to take, although there are limited routes. I avoid US Air and American like the plague.

 

Important note: do NOT remove your jewelry for security. It’s not necessary and there have been tons of thefts when jewelry makes it through the screening before you do. In one case in Philadelphia, a friend had her family heirloom engagement ring stolen when it got through while she got held up. It was completely unnecessary to take the ring off to begin with, and the security people were worthless and told her that there were no cameras there to look at.

 

 

 

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