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Need advice for my first flight ever

Need advice for my first flight ever

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Old Feb 15, 19, 1:47 pm
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Need advice for my first flight ever

I'm 42 and I'll be flying for the first time on March 1st. It's a business trip and I'm flying with two other people who are much more experienced than me. I really don't want to make a fool out of myself during the trip because I'm clueless about flying, airlines, and airports. I'm flying from Albuquerque, NM to Orlando Florida with a stop in Dallas.

I'm nervous for first time flying and also embarrased as hell because I'm 42 and I have never flown. I haven't told my two bosses who I'm traveling with that I don't have any flying or traveling experience.

Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Feb 17, 19 at 8:26 am
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Old Feb 15, 19, 4:23 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk! For starters, how familiar are you with the restrictions for liquids onboard aircraft? If you're afraid of looking clueless at the security checkpoint, check out the TSA's guidelines if you're taking toiletries in a carry-on--or, if you're checking a bag, just don't try to bring any drinks through security.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 9:00 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, szes76!

Let me move your question to TravelBuzz for further advice.

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Old Feb 15, 19, 9:43 pm
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Look at photos of airports online.

Not very difficult. Many of the nuances don't matter much. The different phases are:

1. packing (no guns, no liquids in carry on, know the carry on baggage size rules). Remember to bring your driver's license or other suitable ID and your record locator number (usually 6 digits) so you can check in at the automated kiosks.
2. checking in at the kiosk, dropping off checked luggage, if any
3. pass through security on the way to the gates. Copy others, such as taking off shoes, taking metal out of your pockets.
4. waiting at the gate then boarding.

When you change planes, if you stay within the gate areas, you don't have to pass through security (exceptions include if you have to change terminals in some airports but at Dallas Fort Worth, all the terminals are connected by a Skytrain that is within the secured area) If you're flying on Southwest to Dallas Love Field, that airport is a smaller terminal with all the gates in a line.

One way is to copy others unless they are fighting, then don't copy that.

If you are really nervous about being unfamiliar, go to Albuquerque airport this weekend or another day and look around the area before security, such as the kiosks to check in. Play around with the kiosk touch screen. If so, you will arrive at the airport on the travel day and look confident.

Bon voyage!
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Last edited by Toshbaf; Feb 15, 19 at 9:52 pm
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:18 am
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Originally Posted by szes76 View Post
I'm 42 and I'll be flying for the first time on March 1st. It's a business trip and I'm flying with two other people who are much more experienced than me. I really don't want to make a fool out of myself during the trip because I'm clueless about flying, airlines, and airports. I'm flying from Albuquerque, NM to Orlando Florida with a stop in Dallas.

I'm nervous for first time flying and also embarrased as hell because I'm 42 and I have never flown. I haven't told my two bosses who I'm traveling with that I don't have any flying or traveling experience.
Is there some reason you don't want to tell your bosses you've never flown? Not everyone has had the money, chance, time off to fly (despite what most of us on this forum experience). So what if you're an adult - I would be happy to "show the ropes" to a newbie if I was flying with them and often have offered small assistance to people when it was clear they were new to the experience (whether flying or how to operate a particular part of the experience).
Now, if you don't feel comfortable disclosing (after all you are the one who has the best idea how those people would respond) then I''m sure you'll get lots of help here.
Will you be flying economy or a higher class? Things like food (free, none, or to buy) and beverage service vary and also which airline would give you more specific information,
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Old Feb 16, 19, 11:03 am
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If really nervous about it, and don't want to let on that you haven't flown before, buy yourself the cheapest round trip ticket from Albuquerque to wherever, and fly that route. It doesn't matter which airline. Be observant during that flight, listen to the announcements and gain from the experience.

Then when the business trip comes, you will know broadly what to expect. If the trip is on a different airline, it's absolutely fine to say you haven't flown that airline before - even the most experienced flyer hasn't flown every airline - and the others will be delighted to fill you in on the quirks of the airline you are flying. But, the key is that you will be familiar with the general goings-on.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:20 pm
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My advice:

1. Get to the airport in plenty of time for your flight. I find trying to navigate an airport challenging at the best of times, but more so if I'm short of time.

2. Try to avoid checking baggage if you can. Taking more than you need is a rookie mistake and one I will confess to making. I lugged a 44lb suitcase around DFW beck before most suitcases had wheels.

3. Pay particular attention to the liquid rules and other prohibited items when doing security. When it comes time to actually do security, do as everyone else does with coats, shoes, laptops etc.

4. Find out whether you're in coach or not. If you are definitely grab something to eat and drink once you're past security. If you have time for a meal to tide you over until you reach Orlando, then do that.

5. Keep an eye on the monitors for gate changes, boarding announcements and possible delays.

6. Be ready to board so that you can get your carry on in the overhead bins.

7. Pay attention to the safety briefing from the FAs. Your flight will be uneventful but it's always good to know where the exits are, just in case.

8. Air travel is boring. Take a kindle or a book or a tablet to keep yourself amused.

9. Familiarise yourself with the layout of DFW so you have some idea when you land where to go if you need to change terminals.

10. Sign up for the airlines frequent flier programme. You might get a taste for travel and this will help you on your way to cheap air travel in the future.

11. I know I said air travel is boring and some parts of it is but do enjoy yourself.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Will you be flying economy or a higher class? Things like food (free, none, or to buy) and beverage service vary and also which airline would give you more specific information,
Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
Familiarise yourself with the layout of DFW so you have some idea when you land where to go if you need to change terminals.
OP said they're connecting through Dallas but didn't specify which airport, so they could be taking either AA via DFW or Southwest through DAL.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
OP said they're connecting through Dallas but didn't specify which airport, so they could be taking either AA via DFW or Southwest through DAL.
You're right, I keep forgetting Dallas has two airports!
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:58 pm
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Especially if you're traveling with others for business, plan to pack very light and not check a bag. You're allowed small amounts of liquids (check the rules carefully) in a quart sized baggie that you must remove from your suitcase for screening. You'll also need to remove any laptop, iPad, etc. for screening.

Check what travel arrangements have been made for you. Has your corporate travel agent reserved a specific seat (assuming you're not on Southwest)? What can you find out about the hotel and will you be expected to pay for your hotel bill with your own credit card? Will you go directly from the airport to some business meeting/event? If so, you'll need to dress appropriately for it. Conversely, for the return trip, will you be leaving from the hotel or from some business meeting/event? Pay attention to when you'll need to check out of your room and what you should do with your luggage then.

You'll probably be with others in going from airport to hotel and hotel to/from business venue, but check your organization's travel rules carefully, including requirements for reimbursement. (For example, do you need receipts for taxi fares? What are the rules about meal expenses?)

Have you thought about what luggage you will take? You'll want a bag that's carry on size, light weight, wheeled, and something that looks reasonably businesslike (no pink and purple flowers or something that would appeal to a child). Depending on your industry, casual is probably fine.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 3:53 pm
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Make sure not to forget proper identification.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:05 pm
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How long is your trip? If you do decide to check a bag (some kind of tickets charge extra for this) be SURE you don't

1 Put any medicine or anything you need urgently in checked baggage
2 Put money or anything valuable in checked baggage (phone, laptop, etc)

Assume your luggage could get delayed (it probably won't but best to be prepared) so have an extra underwear and/or fresh blouse or top or something for a change of clothes) in case it is
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
If really nervous about it, and don't want to let on that you haven't flown before, buy yourself the cheapest round trip ticket from Albuquerque to wherever, and fly that route. It doesn't matter which airline. Be observant during that flight, listen to the announcements and gain from the experience.

Then when the business trip comes, you will know broadly what to expect. If the trip is on a different airline, it's absolutely fine to say you haven't flown that airline before - even the most experienced flyer hasn't flown every airline - and the others will be delighted to fill you in on the quirks of the airline you are flying. But, the key is that you will be familiar with the general goings-on.
Albuquerque to Dallas Love Field next Saturday 2/23 coming back same day, round trip $554. Not too cheap. It may be too late for a low airfare. Better to just visit the airport.

USA Today's How to: https://traveltips.usatoday.com/step...ide-12490.html
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