I’m like 30,000 feet in the air right now using my notes on my iPhone to write this blog post.
This is my first time flying alone and I have paid close attention to things I never had to before because I would let my boyfriend or someone else deal with things.
So first of all, I hate airports and love them. How and why you may ask? Well hate them because they are filled with people in a rush possibly angry or frustrated, babies crying, kids running around, and bad yet expensive AF food & drinks.
I love them because they are an exciting thing, like you’re going to get on this giant plane that’s going to take you up thousands of feet in the air thousands of miles across the country all while you sit on your phone, read, or nap. It baffles my mind, I get nervous just thinking about it as I write this on this plane. Let’s move on though.
Ah, so like I mentioned earlier I never really paid attention to things like checking in and doing that shit at the Kiosk we all stand around. I typically waited aside doodling on my phone while my bf handled it and just told me where to go. So this is what I’ve learned so far.
PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS!
I was told the basic initial things I’d have to do going at this alone but here’s are some other things people forget to mention.
1. When getting dropped off or Uber, just make sure you’re on the “departures” side and not “Arrivals” and find the airline you’re flying with. There would be signs out front with each airline so just find yours and enter through those doors.
2. Find the appropriate Kiosk that matches your airlines, for example, I walked in the first time and wasn’t told about this so I’m kind of lingering an Alaska airline kiosk when my flight is southwest, that wouldn’t have worked out. I then found the Southwest area and kiosk and did the following: Entered my confirmation number so it can find my info, accepted their terms or whatever, clicked that I had one suitcase and I needed to check it in and get boarding pass. It will print out your boarding pass along with your sticker thingy that goes on your suitcase. Keep your boarding pass and ID out for the next step.
3. So you got your boarding pass (hooray) and sticker thing on your bag/suitcase. Look upfront for a section that says “Bag Drop” that’s where you want to be. You go up, put your bag up on the scale, show your ID and boarding pass and that’s it! Easy.
4. Security Checkpoint. There will be signs showing you where security checkpoint is. You want to do the standard one not the PSA pre-check out one. I don’t even know what or how that works but trust me, if you’re not told you are by someone, you most likely are just standard. Sometimes you have to take off your shoes, sometimes you don’t, point is, wear shoes that can be put on and off quickly. This part is just going to suck, you got people everyone, some taking longer than others. You’ll make it through.
5. YAY you’ve made it through, now how the hell do you know where to go? Look at your boarding pass, this will have all your information. It will state on there the gate you’re in. There are signs as soon as you get passed security where the Gates are located so it’s not hard to miss. You should probably get coffee and use the restroom before you settle down at your gate though.
6. You’re at your gate and about to board, again keep your boarding pass out again but this time you won’t need ID. Also, just an FYI and something I learned today is if your flight gets delayed, your gate number may change. I was originally in gate 41 and each time my flight got delayed, the gate changed. So, listen carefully and just overall pay attention.
7. If you have assigned seating then you’re fine. On the plane it has the letters and number on top so it’s pretty easy. If you have open seating, then it’s a free for all. If you’re letter C 45 you will most likely get a shitty seat. They go in alphabetical order so by the time they call out your group C 1-50 the whole plane is practically seated. I’ve gotten lucky-ish and got a middle seat but in the front. I look going in between the smallest women I can find, that way I’m not squished. Still sucks though. I’m actually on a flight back home now and luckily the plane wasn’t full so I got a window seat with no one next to me!! Dreams do come true.
8. Baggage Claim is annoying. Sometimes the screens aren’t updated so your flight might not be up yet so you’re just kind of lingering around. But typically, it shows your flight number and that’s how you’ll know your stuff is coming through.
Like I said in 7, I am flying right now. I’m still scared but I think this was a learning experience for all of us. It’s a bit scary and there is nothing to do but breathe, relax, and hope for the best. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control time, you can’t do anything but focus on yourself and that will ultimately make this experience easier.
As always, thank you for reading, this flight is getting a bit bumpy. Pray for me.
(If you’re reading this, I’ve made it home safe and sound, obvi).