Thursday, February 17, 2011

5 Tips for First Time Flyers

The wanderlust winds have blown me to LA. This is an unexpected trip to help my niece find herself in life. My niece dreams of becoming  an actress so she enrolled herself in acting school. Her mother who is ill had her call me with help for her ticket to Los Angeles, CA. My niece had never flown on an airplane so I looked at this as an opportunity to give back. I believe in encouraging others to travel. This is my chance to teach someone personally how to travel.

I flew to Richmond, VA to meet her for her first flight. I called her on the phone several times giving her instructions on what to say to the ticket agent, how to check-in her luggage, what to pack in her backpack, what to pack in her checked luggage, and how to go through security.

These are the five tips that I gave my niece on how to prepare to fly her first flight.

1. What to say to the ticket agent: "I am checking in for a flight to Chicago at 2:10 pm." Then show your identification. (State where you are going and the time the flight leaves, and a flight number is possible)

2. How to check-in her luggage: "I am checking two bags to LA."  I told her the airport code for Los Angeles which is "LAX". I instructed her to look at the bag tags to make sure she sees "LAX" on her bags. (To lookup a city's airport code check out

3.What to pack in her backpack: I advised her to carry an change of clothes. I also told her that she could not carry liquids through security. (TSA: How to Get Through the Line Faster)

4. What to pack in her checked luggage: I suggested that she pack her toothpaste, deodorant and other large toiletries items in her checked luggage. If she had travel size toiletries item those should be in a plastic bag. (TSA: 3-1-1 on Air Travel)

5. How to go through security: I instructed my niece to take off her coat, shoes and backpack to put in bins. The movie "Up in The Air" shows George Clooney in the security is a funny scene. It is a how to go through the security line lesson for first time flyers.

I land Richmond airport to find no niece at the gate. Then I see her in the security line finishing off a bottle of water which she is not allowed to bring to security. She said I forgot to tell her that she couldn't bring bottled water through security. Oh well, I tried to think of everything.