Have a safe and pleasant flight!
Safe and pleasant flight - that is what you wish for you when you travel for the first time by plane.
What to do before travelling by plane and what to expect on the board?
You might be anxious before your first flight, as you do not really know what to expect, and there can be confusing and stressful situations both before and during your travel. But if you prepare in advance and don’t panic, the experience will most probably be pleasant. It can be a useful tactics if you ask others about their experience concerning travelling by air.
Below, you can read some useful hints about what you should do before your flight, and in the next section I will list some of the features that you may experience aboard.
Before the flight:
- Gather your travel documents, and allocate a safe place for them in one of your packages you take aboard. This way you will know where to search for them if you need them. Such documents are the following: passport, itinerary, airline ticket, hotel confirmation, credit cards, driver’s licence. Check in advance when your passport and driver’s licence will expire.
- Make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency or if your documents are lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home (with a relative or friend) and carry the other one with you, but store it separately from the original one.
- Plan how you will get to the airport and how you will get to your accommodation at your destination. (Look up phone numbers of taxi companies, possibilities of hiring a car, timetables and routes of means of public transportation.)
- Check if some kind of vaccination is required in the country you travel. If you need any, have them in time.
- Passengers usually receive some food on airplanes. If you have special dietary needs – such as being a vegetarian – call the airline in advance.
- Pack in a smart way, which means you should:
- carry a minimum number of valuables and conceal them in a safe place within your luggage.
- use covered baggage tags. This way your identity and nationality won’t be easily observed by others.
- avoid packing IDs, tickets and other vital documents in backpacks or other locations you won’t be able to see at all times.
- have with you any medication you usually take (and make copies of their prescriptions in case they have to be replaced during your trip).
- See to the regulations of your airline concerning prohibited items aboard and the number and weight limit of your baggage. Items that are likely to pose a risk to safety and security or can be used to cause harm are carefully restricted or banned altogether. Without attempting to be comprehensive a few common rules are the following:
- The maximum allowed amount of liquid in your hand baggage is 100 ml (except for baby food and liquid medicine, in the case of which you can take the amount needed for your trip).
- You are allowed to carry capsules, epipens (with a doctor’s note), asthma inhalers, small personal thermometers in both your hand baggage and checked baggage. To be allowed to carry larger medical devices you have to contact the airline first.
- Electrical and personal items are permitted in either of your baggage. But loose batteries are not permitted in checked baggage.
- Sharp, bladed or blunt instruments, which are capable of being used to cause serious injury are not permitted in cabin baggage.
- Most flammable, explosive, and chemical substances are completely prohibited from any flight.
What to expect on the board:
- In the beginning of every flight the stewards will give you a brief safety demonstration about what to do in the case of emergency. You can always hear about the following topics:
- where are the emergency exits
- how to use the oxygen masks (where you can find it, and to always put on your mask first before helping others)
- when it is obligatory to buckle the seat belts (see below)
- Large passenger planes are very steady after takeoff. Between takeoff and landing you’ll be able to get up from your seat and walk in the aisle without wobbling. But if the seat belt sign flashes during the flight, you should sit back and buckle up as soon as possible.
- If there is turbulence, do not panic; rather look out the window and toward the plane wings, since the vibrations seem stronger inside the cabin than they really are.
- There’s usually a bag inside the pocket of the seat just in front of you to use if you have to vomit and can’t make it to the bathroom. But if you feel nauseous during takeoff or while in the air, tell the steward or stewardess.
- Because of the low cabin pressure your feet may swell. Get up and walk whenever possible and don’t wear tight shoes.
- Your ears might crackle as the plane is climbing high. Chewing gum can help, or if you do not have one, just bolt frequently.
These were only a few hints about travelling by plane, but I hope it helped you prepare for what you should pay attention to and what you can expect. Have a nice flight!