Whether you are flying halfway around the world or just to the next state, being informed and knowing these helpful tips will help make your trip go as smooth as a widebody at cruising altitude. So before you take your next flight, be sure to check out our summer travel tips!
There’s an App for That!
Stay up to date on any schedule changes by signing up on your airline’s website to receive automated flight-status notifications on your smartphone or other wireless device. Many airlines also have a mobile app available for download. Usually travelers can even check in on their mobile device up to 24 hours before departure, which will save time at the airport.
Here are links to information on mobile apps and online check-in for most of the passenger airlines in North America:
Pack Like a Pro
Airline policies can vary but passengers are generally allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, camera case or laptop bag onto the flight. Be sure to pack things like medicine, cash, jewelry, passports, visas and other valuables in your carry-on. Review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Carry-On Baggage Tips and theTransportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Prohibited Items List to ensure that your carry-on and checked baggage comply with important safety and security regulations.
Pack charging cords so that they can easily be accessed throughout your trip and take advantage of the charging stations now available at most airport gate areas.
Getting to the Airport
Plan to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before a domestic flight and no less than two hours before an international flight. Allow extra time if you are traveling around the holidays or during the busy summer season. You can get up-to-date information on security wait times on the My TSA mobile app.
Before you leave for the airport, be sure to check the status of your flight on your airline’s website or mobile app. You can also check the conditions at your airport on the FAA’s Flight Delay Information website.
When you arrive at the airport, have your boarding pass and government-issued photo identification ready to present to airport security officials. If you have not already checked in online, you can do so at your airline’s self-service check-in kiosk or at the ticket counter.
Going Through Security
Once you have your boarding pass, head to the security checkpoint. If there is a line, use this time to take off any coats or sweaters and remove your shoes. Be prepared to place metallic objects like keys, coins, pens, watches, cell phones and cameras in the bins for screening. TSA continuously updates its screening procedures as part of a layered security approach so be sure to follow Transportation Security Officers’ instructions at the checkpoint. For detailed information on everything from TSA’s use of Advanced Imaging Technology to “checkpoint friendly” laptop bags on, check out TSA’s Traveler Information webpage.
Ready to Fly!
Use time inside the terminal to locate your gate and pick up any reading material, entertainment, snacks or drinks for the trip. Once you have boarded your flight, fasten your seat belt, make sure your seat back and tray table are in the upright and locked position, then sit back and enjoy your flight!
For a more in-depth virtual passenger experience, visit the A4A Passenger Portal.