General Question

boogiefever's avatar

Tips for first time fliers?

Asked by boogiefever (5points) June 24th, 2009

My family will be taking its first flight to South Carolina from Texas and I have no clue how to get the best deal. I want to be an informed consumer and you all seemed very knowledgeable-I’m a first timer :)

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8 Answers

delmundo87's avatar and are where I’ve found my best deals. You simply tell them your departure, destination, and arrival and they will list all available flights over several airlines.

Darwin's avatar

Since you are in Texas, you might also check with Southwest. They often run sales, and I believe you can set up to be notified by email when there is a sale to a particular destination. I know Southwest never used to participate in any of the joint reservation systems in the old days when there were travel agents, so their flights may not show up on aggregator sites such as Orbitz.

If you do go by Southwest, be aware that they rarely serve food we were on a flight from Texas to Baltimore where they served an inedible box lunch, so I have to say in my experience that they never serve food, even if they think they are. It is perfectly okay to bring your own sandwiches.

Also, whatever airline you fly, be aware that you will be healthier and feel better if you stick to drinking only water on the plane. Folks tend to get dehydrated during flights and alcohol just makes it worse.

sanari's avatar

Make sure you chew gum on the flight – helps with the changing pressure in your ears [which can be painful].

lefteh's avatar

Look over the TSA’s traveling tips to ensure a quick and efficient security experience.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Some days of the week and times of the day are cheaper than others. Also, lots of airlines have lower rates for making your reservations online. has some good rates.

Fred931's avatar

If you buy a snowglobe under 3 oz volume, don’t get the one with the glittery stuff in the water. You’ll waste 30 minutes of the TSA people trying to figure out what it is, then opening your suitcase to find out you bought a glittery snowglobe. Just saying.

marinelife's avatar

Mid-week is cheaper for departures than weekends. As Darwin said, check Southwest spearately as they have sales a lot.

Don’t make jokes or waves when going through security. It may be a shock if you have not flown before.

Be prepared to remove your shoes (slip-ons make life easier), belt, pocket change, etc. Avoid underwire bras.

Nowadays, allow 1 1/2— 2 hours depending on the airport and departure time. Call the airport or look on their Web site for their specific recommendations.

Have your photo ID ready when you check in. Have your boarding pass out and in your hand when you go through security.

I strongly recommend taking some type of immune system booster before you fly and again after you get off. I use EmergenC.

If you are subject to any other kind of motion sickness (car sick, sick on rides, etc.), you may get airsick. Take Bonine or the equivalent 1/2 hour before boarding.

Airplane air is very dry. Stay hydrated, but only drink bottled water. There have been hygiene issues with the onboard water. You need to get your water after you go through security. They take any bottles.

Plan to take food as food service on planes has either gone away or dwindled to the inedible. If money or healthy eating is an issue, get or make the food before you get to the airport.

Keep your seatbelt fastened unless you are walking somewhere. Turbulence can hit suddenly.

Have a pleasant and safe flight.

JLeslie's avatar

You can go to your airports website to see what airlines go in and out of your city. Southwest is great out of Dallas, but if you are in Houston I think that is Continentals hub? So if you want a non-stop you are more likely to get one with an airline that hubs in your city OR in the city you rae flying to.

Get to the airpost at least an hour and a half ahead since you are a first time flyer.

If you want to carry on liquids and gels must be in a ziploc bag…one bag per person and the liquids must be in containers less than or egual to 3oz. So, you can fit 3 or 4 in a large sandwich bag, and that is about it. This includes liquid make-up, suntan lotion, etc. If that won’t work you can just put it all in a checked bag.

Security will most likely have you take off your shoes, so if you HATE the idea of having barefeet on the floor, wear socks. Some airports have paper slippers but not all of them.

Once you board the plane buckle your seat belt and keep the seat in an upright position, and the window shade must be kept open.

Once everyone is seated they will pull back from the gate, travel to the queue to take off, sometimes you can be lined up for a long time. Once the plane pulls back from the gate you will not be aloud to use the bathroom, so make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom. Literally if one of your kids is desperate they will NOT let her/him get up.

Once you are in the air flight attendents will prepare to serve drinks and they sell some snacks. You can bring your own food and drink on board, although drinks must be bought gateside of security (because remember you can only get that ziploc bag through with liquids). Eventually, once you reach cruising altitude they will let you get up from your seat. You can close your window shade if you want to block the sun and rest, and you can recline your seat. About 20 minutes before landing they will put on the seat belt sign again and again you cannot get up, so if you or anyone else has to “go,” try to go before the sign pops on. Typically they actually will let you go right as the sign goes on, unless there is turbulence, but there is more likely to be unpredictable turbulence while decending. You will be expected to prepare for landing, which means all seats upright, all window shades up, and all seat belts buckled.

None of that is to scare you, I fly all of the time no mishaps, rarely any turbulence. Just so you can anticipate things.

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