At 23 years old, you’d have thought I’d have been on a plane by now but I’ve only just recently taken to the skies in that big metal bird. I wasn’t supposed to be flying anywhere until October, but my dearly beloved treated me to a weekend in Belfast to see Walking On Cars, which I’ll have a whole other post on later in the week. (I’ll also do a post on booking flights / holiday and what I found useful when booking our break for later in the year)
3 days before I even got to the airport, I inundated the poor folk at flybe with the most ridiculously basic questions they’ve probably ever received. But they were ever so helpful, they reassured me and sent me all the relevant information I needed.
Check in – We were only travelling from a small airport but since I’d never been before we arrived to check in about 2.5 hours before scheduled take off. We used the check in screens when we went out which was really easy you can check in by searching for your Name, booking reference or payment card then you just had to scan your passports for the tickets to be printed.
Security – As we only had hand luggage, it didn’t take as long. You need to make sure all your liquids are in travel size bottles and see through. Mascara does count as a liquid I’m afraid, but they did allow me on with a normal mascara, I did have a slight panic they’d not let me on with it, as it’s not in a see through tube. Make sure that you place everything you have that’s metal in a separate basket to go through the scanners – so jewellery, watches belts. You then walk through the scanner yourself, don’t panic if it does start beeping, it may just be down to the zipper on your jeans. Chris got stopped over a bottle of water the idiot!
Boarding – There’s plenty of information screens around the airports to tell you which terminal and gate you need to go to for boarding. The staff at the gate desk will give an announcement when boarding is open. Have your passport and boarding ready to be checked and scanned. Then go where they guide you to board the plane.
Safety Briefing – for me this was the most nerve-wracking bit, I spent the whole briefing thinking, I pray I don’t have to use this and how would I get myself into the safety positions being as I’m really not that flexible. They do have a printed card in the information pack, so if you do miss or aren’t sure of anything it is written down with an image to support it.
Jetting off – I actually didn’t experience any ear popping as I thought I would, as we were only on a 40 minute flight I put my seatbelt on and then didn’t undo it until we’d landed. The incline bit did feel weird, it was like a never ending rollercoaster incline. I didn’t dare move I thought it would make the plane off-balance and make it take a dive. We had quite a smooth take off and the skies were relatively clear. I thought the clouds were really pretty though, they looked like big piles of snow.
Checking out as we landed at an international airport they had a different exit process to the one we came back home to. From what I remember you had to go through different queues one queue was for EU citizens and one for international citizens. I became a bit unnerved as the person who checked my passport showed no emotion what so ever. She didn’t really say it was okay to go through, she kind of blinked and gave a slight nod. Noone came running after me so they must have felt I was okay to be allowed in.
Hopefully that’s been of some help to those who are yet to take to the sky.
Where did you first visit by plane? Have you never been on a plane?
until next time…