Airline Tips for Not-so Frequent Flyers
Let’s be honest: unless you travel by plane pretty frequently, you probably don’t know much about the world of air travel. There are a ton of tips and tricks out there for people looking to have a smooth flying experience, and knowing the details of baggage requirements, the airport security process, and airline etiquette can be helpful in making sure your travels are headache free. Here is some of the most important information you need to know in order to avoid having to pay extra fees and other inconveniences during your flight.
Q: How much luggage can I bring on the plane?
A: If you are flying economy class, most airlines will let you check in one luggage for free, which is almost always no more than 50 lbs. However, if you are traveling to certain countries, for example Brazil, you will be able to check in 2 bags that are a maximum of 70 lbs. no matter what the airline policy is. It’s important to check the luggage requirements for any country you may be flying into and out of, even if you will only be there for a short time during a layover. Those flying Business Class are usually allowed to bring 2 suitcases with them, and First Class passengers usually have special deals, which vary depending on the airline and the passenger’s frequent flyer status.
Q: What can I expect with airline food?
A: Ahh, the best part of any flight: the food! Although flying economy typically does not offer the best or most appealing food options, airline meal prices, size, and quality vary greatly from airline to airline, and depend on the length of the flight as well. For example, If you’re traveling first class and your flight is longer, you’ll most likely have the luxury of being served a nice meal on board. These meals typically include a continental breakfast, a meat or pasta based dish for lunch or dinner, and of course, drinks! Keep in mind that if you have any special dietary requirements, you’ll have to notify the airline’s customer center at least 24 hours before your departure so that special arrangements can be made.
Q: Who is allowed to enjoy the comfort of the exit row?
A: Many passengers flying Economy Class opt to sit in the exit row, which is completely understandable as these seats offer more room. Exit row seats may be more comfortable for taller people, though they are subject to additional airline restrictions. Because exit row seats are located near the emergency exit, it is crucial that passengers sitting there are able to read and speak the language of the airline’s home country in order to under the instructions given in case of an emergency situation. Passengers must be able to exit the aircraft quickly and safely, so it’s important that exit row occupants are able-bodied, over a certain age, and able to lift certain weight requirements as well so that they can open the exit door if needed.
Q: What if I’m flying with an infant?
A: Almost all airlines will let you check in one luggage for the baby, as well as one stroller and one car seat. If your stroller is a smaller, foldable one, then the cabin crew will most likely let you carry it on board. Larger ones will usually get a luggage label and will be taken to the gate where the crew will decide whether or not it can be carried on board. If the flight is full, it will be taken down to the luggage area, and you will get it back at the arrival gate once your plane has landed.
Q: What are the best airlines?
A: The consumer aviation website Skytrax publishes the list of best airlines every year, so if you have been saving up every last dime to be able to travel in luxury, we recommend picking an airline from this list! Last year’s winner was Emirates, based on the opinions of more than 19 million passengers, but you can’t go wrong with Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines either, which placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. To those flying economy, Emirates offers live TV with real time news and sports programs during the flight, as well as on-board Wi-Fi and an in-seat satellite phone that lets you make phone calls, text, and send emails on your flight. Those who can afford a First Class flight with this airline can enjoy the luxury of their own suit and an onboard shower spa! If that weren’t enough, Emirates also offers its passengers a complementary chauffeur service that drives them straight to the airport.
Q: What if I’m late?
A: Boarding usually begins 30 minutes before departure, but if you’re one of those people who are always running late, have no fear! If you arrive a bit late, it’s much more likely that flight attendants will wait for you to board if you have your luggage checked in. There is a simple reason behind this: If they want to kick you off the flight, they would have to go through the hassle of finding your luggage first, whereas they can easily take passengers with only a carry-on bag off the list. Of course, try to arrive early! It saves a lot of stress and the frustration of airport staff and security.
We hope this list of tips and tricks for first-time flyers or those who just don’t travel too often was helpful! Always check with your airline to be sure you know exactly what to expect in terms of luggage requirements and airport etiquette. Save travels!