Airport are one of my favorite places, but they’re also one of the most stressful places sometimes. Having so many people in a confined space, all with somewhere to go at a certain time can be tricky. But, for the most part, the airport is a place of connection, adventure and excitement. Most of the people there are looking forward to going on a trip, or being reunited with long-distance loved ones. Because of this there’s an undeniable feeling in the airport air that travel lovers can appreciate. It’s the feeling of possibilities and the start of something exciting.
Of course, there’s plenty of drama at the airport, too. Most regular travelers can verify and back up this point. The majority of us have heard a disaster or two unfolding at the check-in desk. And, because I always learn lessons from experience or hearing other’s experience, I thought I’d share some of the most common check-in issues to be prepared for.
It’s a rookie mistake, but a common one. Most airlines insist on passengers arriving at least two hours before boarding. That way, there’s plenty of time to check in, get settled, and find your gate. Two hours is overkill to me for a regular domestic flight, but we still arrive just over and hour before. Most people don’t know that some airlines will give away your ticket if you haven’t checked in by a certain time. This is almost always when the flight is less than an hour away and you haven’t checked in, but you don’t want it to happen. Remember boarding will begin 30 minutes before the flight, and at that point they sometimes start to give away seats to standby, etc. We’ve been in the situation before where we arrived 50 minutes before our flight only to be told our seats were given up because we hadn’t checked in. So just remember if you’re late, you might not fly. Be sure to get there early or check in on your phone if running late!
We all check that we have our passports when we’re hopping on a flight, but less of us check the contents of our passports. We don’t think about it, because the main thing is that we have them. It’s not unheard of for passengers to miss flights because of expired passports. That small date may seem inconsequential, but your passport becomes invalid if it isn’t in date. You should always check your passport date well in advance. If you do discover this at the last minute, there are companies who offer 24-hour passport renewal to help you. If you don’t check until you’re on your way to the airport… your trip might be over before it begins :)
Lost boarding passes
Given that boarding passes are so crucial to boarding a plane, you’d think we would keep hold of them. But, many a flier, including me, has lost their boarding pass. Luckily now you can get pass on your phone, but I like to keep all the paper travel documents safe in a folder so there are no issues with boarding.
Traveling by plane can have its hassles…but keep your head up and remember you’re going somewhere fun! (And, remember how much it costs to charter a plane ;) then the hassles won’t seem so bad.