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Idiots guide to catching a flight watch

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    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Edit: Flying from Aberdeen to Heathrow (Terminal 5), returning a few days later. Flying with BA.

    OK, some of these questions may be really silly, but here goes:

    Departing
    • I've heard you need to arrive early. How soon before your flight departure time should you arrive at the airport?
    • When arriving at the airport, where do you go/what do you do?
    • Is there shops/bar/smoking area/other facilities while you wait?
    • What do you do with your baggage? How much can you have? Would a laptop be safe from damage?
    Try to get there at least two hours before, sometimes you get lucky and you finish checking in and everything in 10 minutes... other times i've lined up for a good 2 ~ 3 hours just for check in....
    There is usually a smoking room, there are bars and shops in most airports... i usually just go to the gate and sit there and listen to music and wait...
    Take your laptop with you on board, trust me on that one.... if you have it all in one small suitcase then it should be fine to take to the cabin, if it's more than a certain weight (6 kilos i think... don't quote me on that tho) then you have to check it in.

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Flying
    • Turbulence... is that something on the films, or something that actually happens? Is it bad?
    • Ear-popping? :confused:
    • Are flights often delayed? I have this perception that they are more often delayed than they are on time. That may be just because you only hear about the delayed ones.
    Sorry to break it to you, but there is usually a little bit of turbulence... usually it's not much... i've been flying regularly for the past ten years and the only time i hit a turbulence worth remembering was on a flight from Paris to Mexico... so i mean the odds are in your favour...
    Take some gum with you it should stop your ears from popping that much, the jaw movement helps equalize the pressure, if you scuba dive it is exactly the same "pain" (if it can even be called that... it's more like "slight discomfort")
    Flights are not usually delayed, lol you do have that perception because of the movies, but if everything is fine then you should leave dead on time..

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Arriving
    • How long before you get your bags?
    • Can you get from the plane to the taxi in a fairly short space of time?


    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer these
    About the bags, again it depends, usually it shouldn't take more than 10 ~ 15 minutes (and since you are flying domestic then it shouldn't take long at all).
    If everything works smoothly from when you leave the plane till you get a taxi shouldn't be more than 20 minutes.... most of the time depends on how long it takes to get your bags and a taxi (don't worry there are always plenty around)

    hope it was of good use, and have a safe trip
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    (Original post by nadnerb)
    So what happens when he gets stuck in traffic on the way there, being the first time flying he's unsure which desk to go to, finds the desk and there's a huge queue, checks in, goes to security and there's another huge queue, then gets searched as he forgot to take off his metal belt, then needs the toilet, then realises the boarding gate is on the other side of the airport and when he makes it boarding has closed and the flight leaves on time.

    Obviously I'm not saying any of that will happen, but only allowing 1hr for your first ever flight and expecting it to be delayed would be cutting it mighty fine should anything go wrong! Which in my experience is quite likely.
    -its aberdeen - they dont have cars up there :p:
    -hes no an idiot - im pretty sure he can see the big BA signs that they have
    -theres never going to be a huge queue on an internal BA flight because they are usually smaller planes and there are multiple desks
    -like i said, aberdeen airport isnt huge so i dont think that anything else would be a problem
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    Hey - thanks for everyone's reply. Sure I'll manage fine with all this info
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    For the ears, I find pinching my nose and trying to blow hard through my nose works great.

    Flights are usually roughly on time, I've had a couple that have been over an hour early, never been delayed for more than an hour either. Luggage has been lost occasionally, it happens.
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    Most of the points have already been answered, so I'll just add a few comments on to key ones.

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Is there shops/bar/smoking area/other facilities while you wait?
    You cannot smoke once you've been through security/passport control (UK law for no smoking inside, and the CAA don't permit smoking outside airports once you're airside). Bearing in mind that this can take a while at some airports, plan your smoking breaks well!

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    What do you do with your baggage? How much can you have? Would a laptop be safe from damage?
    DO NOT put a laptop in your checked-in luggage. Checked-in (hold) luggage can get abused and items do sometimes get pinched from them, particularly nice expensive things like laptops. Take your laptop in your carry-on luggage.

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Turbulence... is that something on the films, or something that actually happens? Is it bad?
    Yes it does happen. Very rarely is it bad. At worst it'll feel like you're on a rollercoaster If you do encounter turbulence (on such a short flight it's probably unlikely since you're not really flying over "turbulence-prone" areas), it'll probably just be a little bit of rocking from side-to-side and up/down. Don't worry about turbulence, the planes are built to cope with a lot more than you'll experience on your flight, and the pilots & computers know what they're doing!!

    Best advice is to keep your seatbelt on throughout the flight, even when the seatbelt sign is turned off. Planes can sometimes encounter unexpected turbulence (most types are detectable on the weather radar, so the crew often try and avoid it), and it's better to be strapped into your seat than be bouncing around the cabin!

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Ear-popping? :confused:
    The cabin of the aircraft is pressurised to around 8,000ft altitude while the plane cruises at around 30,000ft (sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but it is a short flight). However on takeoff your ears will take quite a while for the pressure to equalise from sea-level when you boarded to plane to 8,000ft. This can be painful and is more uncomfortable when the plane descends and re-pressurises to sea level.

    The best way round this is to swallow as you feel the pressure/aching building across your ear drums. Or keep chewing gum/sucking a sweet. Once the plane's levelled off they'll stop aching until you start the descent. It's not too bad as long as you swallow/chew to help equalise the pressure (don't ask me how that works, I'm an aero engineering student, not a medical student :p: ). Pinching your nose and trying to blow out through it also helps if swallowing/chewing isn't sufficient.

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    Are flights often delayed? I have this perception that they are more often delayed than they are on time. That may be just because you only hear about the delayed ones.
    Same as any kind of public transport really. Delays happen for random reasons, some days there's good days, others there's bad days

    (Original post by SillyFencer)
    How long before you get your bags?
    Totally depends on the airport!! By the time you've walked to the baggage carouselle your bags may well be there, sometimes you'll have a bit of a wait.


    Finally, enjoy your flight If you have any other questions about flying or if you're a nervous flyer, feel free to PM me.
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    (Original post by thomasp)
    Most of the points have already been answered, so I'll just add a few comments on to key ones.



    You cannot smoke once you've been through security/passport control (UK law for no smoking inside, and the CAA don't permit smoking outside airports once you're airside). Bearing in mind that this can take a while at some airports, plan your smoking breaks well!



    DO NOT put a laptop in your checked-in luggage. Checked-in (hold) luggage can get abused and items do sometimes get pinched from them, particularly nice expensive things like laptops. Take your laptop in your carry-on luggage.



    Yes it does happen. Very rarely is it bad. At worst it'll feel like you're on a rollercoaster If you do encounter turbulence (on such a short flight it's probably unlikely since you're not really flying over "turbulence-prone" areas), it'll probably just be a little bit of rocking from side-to-side and up/down. Don't worry about turbulence, the planes are built to cope with a lot more than you'll experience on your flight, and the pilots & computers know what they're doing!!

    Best advice is to keep your seatbelt on throughout the flight, even when the seatbelt sign is turned off. Planes can sometimes encounter unexpected turbulence (most types are detectable on the weather radar, so the crew often try and avoid it), and it's better to be strapped into your seat than be bouncing around the cabin!



    The cabin of the aircraft is pressurised to around 8,000ft altitude while the plane cruises at around 30,000ft (sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but it is a short flight). However on takeoff your ears will take quite a while for the pressure to equalise from sea-level when you boarded to plane to 8,000ft. This can be painful and is more uncomfortable when the plane descends and re-pressurises to sea level.

    The best way round this is to swallow as you feel the pressure/aching building across your ear drums. Or keep chewing gum/sucking a sweet. Once the plane's levelled off they'll stop aching until you start the descent. It's not too bad as long as you swallow/chew to help equalise the pressure (don't ask me how that works, I'm an aero engineering student, not a medical student :p: ). Pinching your nose and trying to blow out through it also helps if swallowing/chewing isn't sufficient.



    Same as any kind of public transport really. Delays happen for random reasons, some days there's good days, others there's bad days



    Totally depends on the airport!! By the time you've walked to the baggage carouselle your bags may well be there, sometimes you'll have a bit of a wait.


    Finally, enjoy your flight If you have any other questions about flying or if you're a nervous flyer, feel free to PM me.
    Cheers
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    Hey, just to thank everyone for their help and advice. My flights went without a hitch both ways - mostly because I knew what to expect from this thread. I will say that the majority of people were overly keen with the time I needed to arrive at the airport. In Heathrow it took less than 5 mins to check in and from heading to security it probably took 15 mins through security and through to my gate. Still, on the return flight I had little choice but to go straight to the airport 4 hours too early. The staff tried to get me on an earlier flight but couldn't.
 
 
 
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