First time flyer advice

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by heavyg, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    Well it looks like the entire family (5 of us) will be flying out to Calif in March. This will be the first time for all of us. Any suggestions on what to expect? Both pre-flight and during.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Faerluna

    Faerluna I'm Complicated

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    Depending on the departing airport, you will want to arrive there at minimum 1 hour before your flight. I like to get there about an hour and a half before hand (leaving from Richmond.) because you never know how long the security line will be and I'd rather have the extra time at my gate.

    Flying in general is pretty "follow your nose." They will announce boarding, usually by row groups and you'll line up for them to take your boarding pass, then walk down the breezeway to the plane.

    Find your seat and get settled in as quickly as you can. Get whatever you want to entertain you for the pre-flight time (book, ipod, etc.) out of your bag and keep it on your lap, then stick your bag under the seat in front of you.

    After everyone has boarded, the cabin crew will make all the safety announcements and you'll taxi the the runway and take off.

    After you have reached the cruising altitude, the captain usually comes on the speaker to say hi and talk about flight time and the usual pleasantries.

    They will start in-flight beverage/snack service after you reach cruising altitude. If you want alcoholic bevs, bring cash. A little while later, they will come around and take your trash.

    When you get close to your destination, they will let you know they will be starting the descent and to be seated with your seat belt fastened.

    They advise to keep your seat belt fastened at all times if you are seated in case of unexpected turbulence.

    Then you land, sometimes with a little hop and you're done. Then you have to wait to taxi to the terminal and for them to park the plane and attach the breezeway.


    p.s. Pee before you leave. The bathrooms are really small.

    p.p.s. Bring gum in case your ears have a hard time popping. The altitude change can be really difficult. My dad always takes Mucinex the day before he flies to make sure his head isn't stuffy, because the pressure can be really painful for some.
  3. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    I think I'm stealing this from The Bob Newhart Show, but just pretend it's a very tall bus. ;)
  4. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    Thats good advice since I am a big guy. Thankfully we are flying with our kids so I wont have to purchase a second seat because of it.
  5. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Turbulence happens. Don't sweat it.

    Don't use their sizing chart to determine what is a carry-on. Just get it through security and gate check it for free.
  6. AmarilloCowboyFan

    AmarilloCowboyFan Well-Known Member

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    Do they take cash for booze now? I thought they only took credit or tickets.
  7. Faerluna

    Faerluna I'm Complicated

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    The last time I flew, a year or so ago, they took cash. Might also vary depending on the airline.
  8. Aikmaniac

    Aikmaniac Well-Known Member

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    Flying is the best experience you could ever have (well, almost), in my opinion.

    - Try to be at least an hour early before your flight to allow time for checking bags, screening, finding your gate, etc.

    - Take a pack of chewing gum. It will help with the changes of altitude when your ears are adjusting.

    - Wear pants. Unless you're riding in first class, it's going to be a tight fit seating wise and the last thing I wanted to do is have some big, hairy dude rest his legs against mine.

    -If you (or any of your family members) are scared of heights, I hope you tried to get an aisle seat.

    - There are three phases you will experience: takeoff, turbulence (possibly), and landing. Be prepared for these since you have not experience this.

    ---The takeoff will get your adrenaline pumping when you start being put back in your seat during acceleration. The actual liftoff is very hard to explain. It's sort of like after jumping a ramp with your the bottom fell out. Wow...this is my favorite part of the flight.

    ---More than likely, you will face little to no turbulence, however you need to know what it is when it happens so your family will not be alarmed. The aircraft may fly through areas of disturbed winds or wind pockets. It will feel like your car does when you go over a speedbump a little too fast or the feeling of going over the top of a roller coaster.

    ---The landing is another item that you shoujld be prepared for. Of course, the captain will announce when you are 15 or so miles out and to be in your seat with your seatbelt fastened. Just before you land you will hear the engines get quieter as they are pulling back on the throttle, letting the aircraft settle and descend on its own. Depending on many factors, the actual landing will probably jolt you a tad, but it will be over quickly. You will then feel the brakes and thrust reversers kick in to slow you way down before you taxi to the terminal.

    Hopefully this experience will really turn you on to flying regularly. With gas prices on the rise, flying is not out of the question anymore when travelling.

    Enjoy it!
  9. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    Thank you that was pretty detailed. I am hoping it will go smooth as well.
  10. dback

    dback Member

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    If you are travelling with a child in diapers, bring 3 or 4 more than you expect to use. Nobody sells diapers in airports and you do not want to be stuck without a diaper.

    Kids who walk on their own will be expected to walk through the metal detectors on their own.

    Let your kids look out the windows.

    Southwest only takes tickets and credit cards for (adult) drinks.

    In my opinion, it is always best to find your gate and check flight status first before you do any airport shopping, eating, etc. There are times when your flight may move one or two or more gates over; you will want to be prepared so you are listening for the right announcements.

    I have had this happen only twice in the last decade or so. One time though we didn't pay that close attention and we had to sprint to the next gate which turned out to be down the next corridor.

    Takeoff can be really fun for the kids. With mine, I would act like I was driving a car really fast. Turbulence happens. Engine noises can change drastically. Nothing to worry about.
  11. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    Checking in:
    Do online check in. If you are not taking bags that you plan on checking, this is especially awesome because you can skip the check-in line all-together. You can even download your ticket on your smart-phone so you don't have to carry the paper.

    Aside from your luggage, don't carry any more on your immediate person than you have to. Wear easy to get out of "outerwear" because they make you take it all off and send it through their x-ray scanners. This includes items in your pockets, shoes, belt and jackets. Slip on shoes rock at airports because you will find yourself holding up the line to try and tie your shoes after scanning.

    FYI, laptops must be taken out of bags before going through the x-ray.

    If you are taking a small child or infant, strollers must also be broken down and run through the scanners. If the small child has a hard time sitting still to the point that you are worried about flying with them, melatonin is an herbal substance that will put the little buggers right out.

    Wear socks that you are not embarrassed to show in public. Some people have holes or dirty socks and they seem genuinly embarrassed about it (some don't).

    If you have a smart phone, learn how to use it in airplane mode before getting on the plane. I personally have kindle, movies and games on mine to pass the time, so that thing is gold "in-flight".

    Don't goose the flight attendants.
  12. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I'm a big guy also and I have never had to buy a second seat. I prefer aisle seats but it's a pain in the butt because everyone that walks by bumps in to my shoulder.

    If it's a plane where there are two seats on each side put the kids in the window seats so you and the Mrs. have more room.

    Oh and be sure all electronics are fully charged
  13. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy The Teen

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    Nothing's scarier than looking out the window when you're taking off...
  14. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    Thats like telling somone not to look down. You know im going to have to do that now dont
  15. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Don't cry as the plane starts to take off. :laugh2:
  16. Vtwin

    Vtwin Power and Performance

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    When your ears start to hurt as the cabin pressurizes hold you nose and try and blow out your mouth with with your mouth shut.
  17. heavyg

    heavyg Active Member

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    That could "add" to the experience though ;)
  18. Wimbo

    Wimbo Active Member

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    Flight attendants have become fairly rude. They are not like a waitress who is trying to make sure you are comfortable & well attended to... they expect you to already know what to do. They also have the ability to have you thrown off the plane (before take off, of course) if you create a problem for them. And, rude behavior during flight will result in a police escort waiting for you when you land. You may want to let the flight attendant know that this is the first flight for you and your whole family... it will buy you some extra consideration. I am speaking generally here, of course. There are some wonderful flight attendants out there... they just never seem to be on my flights :eek::
  19. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you have your huggies on. :lmao:
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen it. I was on flight that had to turn around because of a blizzard we were flying into in Reno.

    So the flight went back to Phonix where I was to wait for another flight when someone with the airlines got with me and told me I could go on the next flight to Reno on a charter flight of the Rice Owls basketball team so I took it.

    As we got near Reno the ride started getting rough, the pilot came on and said we had a small window of oppertunity to land so he told us to hang on.

    As the plane started to land I had never seen so many big guys freaking out as I did on that flight. Guy next to me asked how I could be that calm I said when it is your time to go it does not matter where you are. :laugh2:

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