Tips for first time flyers: Student Edition

The world today is a global village and studying overseas is becoming more and more appealing to high school graduates. And why not? Earning your degree while traveling to new places sounds brilliant. Many students who plan to study overseas will not only leave their country of birth for the first time, but also fly in an aeroplane for the very first time.

So here are a few practical tips to ensure that your maiden flight goes well.
  1. The first step in the flying process is to book your flight. You can make a booking online or at the ticket counter at the airport. Before the flight, you are also required to “check in” which you can do at the airport or online 24 hours prior to the flight. Some airlines allow you to choose your seat during the online check-in. If you decide to check in at the airport remember that airports can be scary if you are not sure where to go. Airline ground staff are always very helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask.Be at the airport at least two hours before your flight. Go to the check-in counter of the airline you are flying with. This is where the airline will take your luggage from you and you will be left with only your hand luggage and a boarding pass. Keep the boarding pass and your ID or passport within easy reach.Promptly proceed to security, and finally to your gate. The gate number will be printed on your boarding pass.
  2. When you have boarded, the flight attendant will direct you to your seat. The seat number is on the remaining stub of your boarding pass.
  3. Keep your seatbelt on until the seatbelt lights, located above you, are switched off.
  4. Lavatories are generally at the back of the plane, you can use these throughout the flight except when the seatbelt lights are on. Smoking in the lavatories are prohibited at all times. Flushing an airplane toilet for the first time can give you a bit of a fright as it is quite loud. So be prepared.
  5. Sharing an aircon vent with your fellow passenger might prompt you to ask for a blanket, which is generally available on long distance flights. It is best to always take something warm with you. You can adjust the flow of air above your head by turning the nozzle.
  6. I know it is tempting, but don’t try to keep your bag on your lap or by your feet. Flight attendants will ask you to move it. Board early to make sure that there is a space for your carry-on bag in the compartment above your head.
  7. If you feel nauseas look for the paper bag which is located with the magazines in acompartment on the back of the seat in front of you.
  8. When you need to speak to a flight attendant press the call button above your head.
  9. Flights can be very long and cramped. If you have long legs, request an exit row seat. Just keep in mind that you must be willing and able to assist in case of an emergency.
  10. Seats recline in most rows by pressing a button on your armrest. Be considerate of the passenger behind you.
  11. Keep cash in easy reach should you wish to buy drinks or snacks. Drinks served with meals are generally free.
  12. If the flight is not too full you are in most cases allowed to find a seat in an open area.
  13. Don’t panic if the flight becomes bumpy it is only a bit of turbulence, watch for the seat belts sign to know when it is safe to move around.
Enjoy your flight and good luck with your studies.