Frequent flyers know the ins and outs when it comes to airline regulations. If you are about to embark on a trip soon and have never flown before, or perhaps it has been a few years since your last vacation, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed at the airport. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your voyage:
1. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance. You should give yourself plenty of time before departure, especially if you are an inexperienced traveler. Appropriate arrival times vary by day and by airline carrier. The general rule is to be at the airport 2 hours before your scheduled take off.
2. Know what size bag you are allowed to bring. For most domestic flights, you are allowed to bring a carry on that is between 45-55 linear inches. Each airline company will have their own dimension and weight restrictions for both carry on and checked luggage. This can be typically found on your plane ticket or their websites. Check out Irv’s NEW Carry On Bag Finder to help you find a carry on bag that fits the restrictions of a specific airline.
3. Pack accordingly. There is nothing that will slow you down more at airport checkpoints than having a messy carry on. Make sure everything in your bag is neatly arranged so that TSA personnel can quickly check through the contents. Try Athalon Accessories Packing Cubes to help keep your things organized.
4. Do not wrap gifts. TSA will unwrap them for inspection.
5. Know the rules for liquids. When packing chemicals in a carry on, you must follow the 3-1-1 Rule: liquids must be in confined to 3.4 oz bottles or less in a 1-quart sized zipped plastic bag and you are only allowed 1 bag.
6. Bring snacks. Bringing your own snacks is a great alternative to overpriced plane food and it will probably taste better. Although you can’t bring liquids that exceed 3.4 oz, you can bring an empty water bottle. Bring along a Perfect Bottles Collapsible Eco-friendly Water Bottle and fill it once you are past the checkpoint.
7. Invest in a TSA approved lock. Sometimes the TSA may need to inspect your checked bag when you are not available. If you do not have a TSA approved lock, your lock may be cut off.
8. Bring all your valuables in your carry on. Since airport personnel can access your checked luggage, you should keep everything worth value on you. Be very conscious of where your wallet is at all times, especially if you are in unfamiliar territory.
9. Wear comfortable shoes. You will need to remove your shoes to have them x-rayed. Wear clean socks.
10. Know about special and prohibited items. Sporting items will generally have to be kept with checked baggage. Musical instruments, on the other hand, can usually be carried on board. Check with your airlines and the TSA if you have any questions about particular items you wish to bring.
Your experience at the airport is what you make of it. If this is your first time flying, this is likely because you are about to embark on a special journey to a place you’ve long been waiting to visit. Be safe, relax as much as possible, and have a wonderful experience!