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 http://www.airportcodes.org/)
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.