What to do Before Your Flight
The best thing you can do to ease the stress of flying alone for the first time is to be prepared. Luckily, there are plenty of travel apps out there to help you plan and concur all aspects of traveling (packing checklist, itinerary, flight, and hotel booking, to name a few). Be sure to browse some apps and give them a try; they can be lifesavers as you get ready for your travel excursion. Don’t forget to download your in-flight entertainment before your flight!
Book Your Seat Early
Selecting your seat early may be an extra fee on most airlines, but it’s worth it. Especially if you are on a longer flight, you want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. We all anxiously wait to see who’s going to be our seat buddy as we board a flight, and while picking your seat early doesn’t guarantee who you sit by, it’s definitely worth making sure you have an aisle or window seat.
Check-In Online 24 Hours Before Your Flight
Checking in to your flight online is not only easier than waiting to do it at the airport, but it also saves you time as you avoid the long line at the airport kiosk. For some airlines, checking in online allows you to choose your seat, customize your in-flight entertainment, and select your meal. We recommend downloading the app of the airline you are flying with, which will make it easier to have all your flight information and boarding passes in one place. If you'd feel more comfortable, print out your boarding pass in case you have technical difficulties at the airport. Don't forget to check into your flight back home!
Getting to the Airport
As you are planning a trip, arranging for transportation to and from the airport can be stressful. Trying to find family or friends to take you might not always be an option. Using rideshare services isn't always reliable (not to mention expensive!), especially during high traffic times. Alternatively, PreFlight provides 24/7 offsite airport parking with a free shuttle service, and convenient online airport parking reservations perfect for short or long-term stays.
Get to the Airport Early
Getting to the airport early gives you time for travel delays or any other unforeseen event that could happen on your day of departure. The golden rule is to arrive at least two hours before your flight. This will also give you time to go through security with ease. Pack plenty of snacks, and, rather than packing lots of drinks, bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after going through security.
If you are checking a bag and have already checked in online, head straight to your airline and a sign that says, 'baggage drop-off.' Make sure you are aware of your airline's luggage weight guidelines before you get to the airport.
If you are only bringing a carry-on, you can skip this step and head straight to security. Make sure you are aware of what items are allowed in your carry-on. If you are only bringing a carry-on, you can skip this step and head straight to security. Make sure you are aware of what items are allowed in your carry-on.
Going Through Security
Most people will say this is by far the worst part of flying, but it’s necessary for everyone’s safety. Depending on the airport and time of day, going through security can take a couple minutes to about an hour or so. This is why it's essential to get to the airport early if there's an unexpectedly long line.
If you haven't flown in a while and you're flying alone for the first time, this might be stressful for you. People moving quickly…TSA Officer’s yelling instructions while you're scuffling to remove your shoes, belt, laptop, etcetera…it’s important to remain calm and listen to the Officer’s instructions; they are there to help you navigate the TSA checkpoint!
Get to the Gate on Time
At this point, all you have to do is find your gate (designated on your boarding pass) and relax until your group is called to board the plane. Any updates or changes to the flight departure will be announced over the speaker system. If you have some time, feel free to walk around, check out the gift shops, get a bite to eat, or ease the nerves with an airport beer.
On the Plane
As you board the plane, find your row and stow your carry-on luggage in the overhead storage bin before sitting down. You can now sit down, relax, and enjoy your in-flight entertainment. For additional tips on making your flight more enjoyable, check out our blog on airplane etiquette tips for a happier flight!