"Your Best # 1 Airport Shuttle for airport Service and Designated Driver enthusiastic Local Business Owner"
Best Abbotsford and Vancouver BC Airport Taxi and Airport service Shuttle for ground Transportation Service and Chauffeur Service
Affordable Safe Transport/Taxi is a punctual and reliable Taxi airport shuttle ground transportation airport service that you can depend on for your important commute to catch a flight, or to have peace of mind that you are being picked up on time.
We have a network of local taxi owners drivers equipped with vehicle for airport service located between Vancouver and Chilliwack to pick you up for your airport service ride, we recommend an early booking to make sure you don’t get unlucky on schedule,
Our network of drivers have been carefully recruited and trained to provide a friendly courteous experience for your airport service. We encourage our drivers to send you a confirmation of an estimated time of arrival by cell phone text so you don’t wait by the door for your ride.
We pay more than Uber, and client often pay less than Uber for a win win situation giving the ride a sense of happiness from both the driver and the customer. Visit the link for the Status of your flights arrival and departures;
Call us for your Free Quote on long transfers from Vancouver and Abbotsford Airports to Whistler and Kelowna. You can access our fares here. Unlike Uber and Lyft our quotes are exact, not approximately from low to high and always high.
We have Licensed and insured 10/15/25 and 48 passengers van and buses available, 21 passengers Charter bus for tours and group designated driver transportation after company parties.
We have 2 Limousines, a 9 passengers and a 12 seaters Limousine, we have 6 passengers + driver Toyota mini van, 4 passengers Audi A6, 4 passengers Volkswagen Passat. Call for special quote.
Thank you for considering Affordable Taxi for your airport service needs with airport shuttle
We provide airport service ground transportation to Abbotsford airport. Verify your flight status @ YXX by clicking on green button link. We also have buses to contract farm workers to and from the farms.
Vancouver Airport Ground Transportation
Vancouver Airport (YVR) is served by bus, taxis and limousine services. Free shuttles provide services to the long-term car park, local hotels and other locations around the airport.
Scheduled bus services are available to major hotel destinations in Downtown Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Vancouver Island and Washington State. The South Terminal Shuttle connects passengers between the South Terminal and the Domestic and International Terminals.
Limojet Gold Express and Paramount Limousines operates from the Vancouver Airport (YVR) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Limousines are conveniently located immediately outside the Domestic and the International arrivals area.
The Vancouver Airport (YVR) is accessible by taxi 24-hours a day. All taxis serving the airport are government-controlled and must meet airport standards. The cab companies operating at the Vancouver Airport (YVR)include:
Black Top Cab
Delta Sunshine Taxi
Guildford Cab 1993 Ltd.
North Shore Taxi
Royal City Taxi
White Rock / South Surrey Taxi
There is little debate about the source of major trends in airport ground transportation today. The introduction of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and their impact on airport revenues, airport congestion, competing ground transportation service operations – taxis and shared ride, and the consumer, have been dramatic.
TNC operators like Uber and Lyft are known by various names across the country. On the West coast, where they began, they are referred to as TNCs, while in other parts of North America the services are referred to as e-hailing, ridesharing, or ride-hailing (New York City) private vehicles for hire (PVH).
Their impact on airports is best shown by results at California airports where TNCs have operated for some time. One airport that has monitored their impact closely has been SFO.
As shown below, in only a few short years, TNCs are now the largest mover of commercial passengers off their curbs and gaining greater market share each year. This mode shift has been swift and dramatic.
Alternatively, as shown above, private taxi and shared ride operations have seen significant decreases in ridership. On the other hand, TNCs pay an access fee at SFO and most other airports that results in a new and significant revenue source for airports.
A major concern for airport management is that revenue losses from traditional airport ground transportation operators, parking, and car rental revenues year over year outweigh the revenue gains from the TNCs. SFO officials estimate that overall revenues from these traditional sources of airport revenues will be less in 2018 than in 2017.
Fortunately, SFO, like most of our largest airports, has experienced significant airline traffic growth in recent years so the increased revenues from TNC, due to this growth in operations, more than offset the revenue losses from parking, car rentals, and other groundside operations. On the other hand, increased air traffic brings more airline passengers to the airport curbs.
The growth of TNCs has also impacted airports physically as well as financially. The significantly more personal cars (Uber and Lyft) dropping off and picking up passengers on the limited airport passenger curb has resulted in major traffic congestion and traffic management issues for North American airports.
Other major airports have been experiencing much the same results — TNCs are a major source of new revenue, but airport customers are using airport parking and car rentals less as a result of their growth and airports are spending more on curbside traffic congestion management.
This revenue decline is important for airports because parking and car rental revenues are a major source of excess revenues to support airport development bonds. It is felt that this projected revenue “gap” from estimated revenue growth could negatively impact an airport’s future development capabilities.
Recognizing this airport groundside trend, current revenue losses due to TNC technology has airport officials and consultants pondering future revenue sources as car-sharing, and autonomous vehicles, when they become a reality.
While AVs are decades away, car-sharing, especially at airports, is a trend that further decreases parking and car rental revenues.
Senior airport consultants are suggesting that the future will mean repurposing car rental lots and newly built remote car rental facilities, and developing other sources of revenue. As a result, more and more airports are being urged to consider charging private vehicles for airport curb access.
Traditional Operators: Traditional airport taxi and shared ride operators have also been negatively impacted by the loss of passengers to TNCs. For airports with open taxi lots, where any licensed taxi can get into the airport taxi holding lot, this TNC trend has been most evident.
Long wait times for taxi drivers were common, but the growth of TNCs has made these waits significantly longer. Waits of three, four, and even five hours have become common and taxi holding lots have overflowed.
eDispatch is the airport operated software taxi dispatch program connected to taxi drivers via smart phones which provides a taxicab driver the ability to drive his/her vehicle out of the airport taxicab queue and return when needed.
The driver remains in a virtual queue and receives a text when they may go back to the airport.
The system went live in July, and over 80 percent of MSP taxi drivers signed up for the service. Taxi drivers are very pleased with the service since it makes their day much more productive with the significantly shorter wait times at the airport.
eDispatch allows drivers the opportunity to avoid waiting in a long taxi queue at the airport and provides drivers with the ability to earn income during what would have been simply idle time.
For the airport it allows them to significantly reduce taxi overflow lots and even main taxi holding areas.
Such systems offer the airport user a less stressed taxi driver, while the airport has reduced holding lot costs. It’s a rare win-win-win, for the customer, the taxi driver, and the airport.
Shared ride airport operators such as SuperShuttle, GO Airport Shuttle, and similar others are not standing idly by as revenues from shared-ride to and from the airport decline due to low cost competition from TNCs.
Shared-ride companies are investing in more cellphone and app technologies that make their services more customer friendly and easier to use.
For example, SuperShuttle is moving to smaller capacity (5 seats) vehicles for better, faster, and more direct customer service featuring fewer stops. Their new app is also providing the customer with easier payment and information systems – similar to TNCs.
Both ridesharing companies have recognized that the quick growth of TNCs has also changed customer expectations about their airport ground transportation.
The obvious trend is for lower fares and more personalized transportation in the form of smaller vehicles, SUVs, and ease of use.
In responding to their need to move as much curb-side traffic in higher occupancy vehicles, some airports have given additional flexibility to traditional shared ride companies in order for them to remain competitive.
The industry has seen a path to improve customer service, move people out of the airport quickly and stay relevant in airport ground transportation through airport assistance.
Summary: As a result of the swift and dramatic trend of TNC use at airports, the ultimate winner is the airport consumer. The user now has more options for airport parking and car rentals, taxis, and other traditional airport ground transportation operators.
The subsidized nature of TNCs (Uber and Lyft are running huge deficits) resulting in attractive lower fare alternatives, has forced airports to review their long-run development plans for parking and car rental revenues, and traditional ground operators now need to up their game with new and better customer services through apps as well as offering smaller vehicles and more immediate services.
This trend has also shifted customer expectations for airport ground transportation. Customers now expect swift and cost-effective airport ground transportation.
Yes, this trend in airport ground transportation has been traumatic for some, but both airports and ground operators are reacting and taking positive steps to adjust to this changing and challenging environment.
TIPS FOR FIRST TIME FLYERS
written by Dom Herrera
Alternative Travel Tips
If you’re flying for the first time or haven’t flown in a while because of the pandemic, you might be excited, a little nervous or a combination of the two. But honestly, being a passenger on a plane is no stress. All you have to do is gather the right documents, turn up on time and sit back and relax.
Having said that, we understand that — as with anything that you do for the first time — you might have some questions. That’s why, at Alternative Airlines, we’re giving you 19 travel tips for first time flyers that will fully prepare you for the flight ahead and leave no surprises for when you take-off for the first time. It’s also tips for those who simply have forgotten how flying felt pre-COVID.
Update: The world has changed since this blog was first written. On top of the questions surrounding flying for the fist time, many travellers are now asking what to expect during the coronavirus pandemic. Check out our blog on whether it’s safe to fly during the pandemic for all the answers!
1) Learn the airport procedures
The first step that any first-time flyer should take is to learn the airport procedures before taking their flight. Watch our handy video that will take you through each step.
COVID update: Since COVID-19, some of these airport procedures may have changed slightly. For example, before or at check-in, on some airlines or on flights to certain countries, you may be required to provide special documentation in order to board the flight. This can include: a negative COVID test, a health declaration or a passenger locator form. Before your flight, it’s important to check the rules of the airline that you’re flying on, as well as the travel restrictions of the country you’re flying to before.
Additionally, in many airports, it’s required that you wear a face-mask when you’re inside the airport and for the duration of your flight.
2) Check-in online
Many airlines offer online check-in for their flights. This allows you to check-in for your flight and print off your boarding pass from home through the airline’s website or mobile app.**
If you’ve checked in online, you can skip the check-in queues and go straight to security, which is a massive time-saver.
However, it’s worth noting that not all airlines will allow you to check-in online. And, if you need special assistance, you’ll have to check-in at the airport.
** If you’ve bought your flight with Alternative Airlines, we give you a direct link to the airline’s check-in page, which can be found on your e-ticket.
3) Arrive in good time
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to go through airport procedures. This is especially important if you have to check-in at the airport or drop checked baggage.
Airports are unpredictable. You can never know for sure how busy it will be or how long it might take to get through security. And, if it’s your first time visiting an airport, you might want to spend some time looking around it, do some shopping or grab something to eat.
Tip: If you’re checking-in at the airport or have baggage to check, you don’t want to arrive too early! Check-in counters will usually open 2–4 hours before your flight, depending on the airline and the destinations that you’re flying between. If you arrive before check-in opens, you’ll be stuck waiting around landside with not a great deal to do other than to wait. So, make sure to look up when the check-in counter will open for your flight.
COVID update: While it’s still important to arrive in plenty of time as to not miss the check-in deadline, due to COVID-19, it’s not advisable to arrive for your flight too early and hang around the airport.
4) Learn the different types of baggage and the rules
Checked baggage, carry-on baggage, personal item. What’s the difference? If you haven’t flown before, you should take some time learning about the different types of baggage and which items you’re allowed to bring. A great place to start is our guide on the difference between carry-on baggage and personal items. But we’ll also give you a breakdown here too:
- Checked baggage — checked baggage or hold baggage is an item of baggage that is stored in the hold of the aircraft and can’t be accessed during the flight. The weight and size allowance for checked baggage is bigger than the allowance for carry-on baggage and personal items and there are generally fewer restrictions as to what you can put in a checked bag. Checked baggage has to be weighed and dropped off at the airline’s check-in desk at the airport. Some airlines will give complimentary checked baggage included within the price of your flight ticket, whereas others (usually low-cost airlines) will give you the opportunity to purchase checked baggage at the airport or prior to the flight, with the latter being the much cheaper option.**
- Carry-on baggage — carry-on baggage or hand baggage is an item of baggage that is kept on-person during the flight and is stored in the cabin of the aircraft, where the passengers sit. The carry-on baggage size and weight allowance is usually less than the checked baggage allowance (half the size or more) but bigger than the personal item allowance. Carry-on baggage has to be taken through security and there are a number of items that can’t be stored in your carry-on baggage and taken with you on the plane.*** For example, liquids over 100ml and items that can be used as a bludgeon are prohibited from carry-on baggage. Carry-on baggage is almost always included within the price of the ticket and costs no extra, although there are exceptions on some low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair.
- Personal item — a personal item is a small item of baggage, such as a handbag, laptop or small rucksack. Like carry-on baggage, a personal item is kept on-person during the flight and has the same security regulations in regards to which items can be stored in the bag. The size and weight allowance for a personal item is much smaller than the allowance for checked and carry-on baggage, only allowing you to hold a few items. Not every airline will allow you to carry a personal item. Instead, you’ll be asked to place the items from your personal item in your carry-on bag.
The weight and size allowance for each type of baggage will differ from airline to airline, so you’ll have to check with the airline that you’re flying on to find this information out.
Tip: If you purchase any liquids from duty-free and have a connecting flight, you’ll have to consider whether you’ll be allowed to carry it on to your second flight. There are different rules depending on where in the world you’re flying from. Find out more our duty-free rules page.
** Here’s how you can add baggage to your reservation at the time of booking with Alternative Airlines, as well as the list of airlines we offer baggage for.
*** Take a look at our overview on which items you can and can’t take in checked and carry-on baggage.
5) Weigh your baggage at home
Break out the scales and weigh your baggage at home to avoid a nasty fee at the airport. If your baggage is over the permitted weight allowance given by the airline, you’ll be charged an excess baggage fee which can sometimes amount to more than the cost of checking the bag in the first place!
6) Make your baggage easily identifiable
Wrap a coloured ribbon or belt around your baggage. At baggage reclaim, instead of having to pull piece after piece of baggage from the conveyor belt to check if it’s yours, you’ll be able to quickly and easily identify your baggage and will save a load of time and hassle.
7) Keep checking your itinerary and flight status
Keep checking your itinerary and make sure that all the details of your flight are as you expect. Some cities, such as New York City, have multiple airports and you’ll want to make sure that your travel plans are in-line with that airport.
It’s equally important to continually check the status of your flight in the week leading up to it in case of any schedule changes — these occur more frequently than you might expect. This can usually be done on the airline’s website.
Tip: If you’re worried about your flight being delayed, take a look at our flight delay advice.
COVID update: This is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic. Because travel restrictions are constantly changing, airlines might be forced the cancel flights with little warning. You should keep checking the status of your flight up until the day of the flight.
8) Remember all travel documents & passport
Not all travel documents are essential, but if you leave behind your passport, ID card or a required visa, you will be refused boarding or not let into the country that you’re travelling to. If you’re checking in at the airport, make sure you have your flight PNR number** ready to give to the check-in agent. If you’re checking-in online, make sure you have your boarding pass printed out or saved on your mobile.
Regularly check for your travel documents before and during your trip as to make sure you haven’t misplaced them or left them behind anywhere.
** Your PNR number is a unique code that allows the airline to access information about your flight and the reservation that you’ve made. You can usually find your PNR number within your booking or booking confirmation. At Alternative Airlines, you can find your PNR number at the top your e-ticket, titled ‘Airline Reference’.
COVID update: As mentioned earlier, due to COVID, you may be required to provide special documentation for your flight. This can include: a negative COVID test, a health declaration, a passenger locator form or any other documentation that is requested.
9) Buy travel insurance
Buying travel insurance is very important, especially for longer trips. Not only does it provide cover if the airline that you’re flying on goes bust but it also covers other travel disruptions, as well as emergency medical expenses, lost or stolen baggage and personal liability.
Each insurance company offers a different type of cover and you can add and remove the bits that you need to give you peace of mind.
At Alternative Airlines, we offer our own flight insurance, which covers for you a range of different reasons.
10) Dress comfortably
Dress in clothes that are unrestrictive and make you feel comfortable. Sitting on a plane for hours in clothes that give you discomfort can be a nightmare, especially on long-haul flights.
If you’re meeting someone that you’d like to impress when you land, you can take a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage and get changed at the airport when you land.
11) Consider pre-selecting a seat
Pre-selecting a seat will ensure that you get exactly the seat that you want on the aircraft.
If you’re someone that might need to use the toilet often, choose a seat next to the aisle. If you’re someone that wants to catch some sleep and doesn’t want to be bothered during your flight, choose a seat by the window.
Pre-selecting a seat is also a great way to guarantee that you’ll be seated next to the person(s) that you’re travelling with. The airline will often try and sit you together by default but depending on the availability, you might be seperated.
12) Bring some in-flight accessories
In-flight accessories can really make the difference. Bring a travel pillow, sleep mask, blanket, ear-plugs or whatever you need to stay comfortable.
13) Bring your own entertainment
Create a music playlist on your phone, take a book to read or bring a device to watch your favourite TV shows and films on. It’s especially important to bring your own entertainment on medium-haul flights (between 3–6 hours), as these flights are long enough for you to get bored on and usually don’t have an in-flight entertainment system.
Tip: Although the list of airlines that offer Wi-Fi is growing, Wi-Fi is still not available on many airlines or won’t have the capability to stream music, TV shows or films. As a result, we suggest downloading any music, TV shows or films to your electronic device before your flight as to avoid disappointment.
COVID update: many airlines have disabled their own in-flight entertainment on flights as part of their COVID-19 safety measures.
14) Consider the climate of where you’re flying to
Wearing a jacket and jeans might seem a good idea when leaving a colder country, but you’ll quickly regret it when the destination you arrive in is in 35ºC heat. And it’s the same vice versa. That’s why it’s best to bring some removable layers or even pack a change of clothes in your carry-on baggage, especially as you might feel colder on the plane than you will at your destination.
15) Bring your own food
Some people get on with airline food better than others. And the truth is, you won’t know if you like it until you’ve tried it. If you’re flying for the first time, we suggest bringing some back-up food so that you’re covered if you discover that it’s not your thing and you have to go hungry for the whole flight.
This also applies if you’d like a special meal type. Many airlines provide the option to pre-order a special meal, but some won’t have every meal type. So, you might need to bring your own if there’s a lack of choice.
COVID update: many airlines have stopped serving food and drink during the flight to limit contact.
16) Stay hydrated
High altitude and low cabin humidity might cause headaches and dizziness if you’re not used to it. The best way to combat this is by drinking lots of water and staying hydrated.
You should also be careful with alcohol. We’re not saying to avoid it completely — if you’re on holiday and a flight attendant comes down offering a free cold alcoholic beverage, we won’t stop you! But it’s worth noting that alcohol will make you more dehydrated.
17) See your doctor if you’re anxious
If you’re nervous about flying, consult your doctor prior to your flight. They’ll be able to give you advice and might prescribe you with medication to help you with anxiety.
If you’re taking any other medication, it’s important to note that there are restrictions regarding what you can and can’t take. Take a read of our guide on flying with medication to gain a better understanding.
18) Exchange currency beforehand or online
If you’re flying with money and exchanging your cash into another currency, don’t use the currency exchange companies at the airport as they usually give terrible exchange rates.
Instead, exchange your money with a reputable currency exchange service before the day that you fly. The only time it might be a good idea to use the currency exchange companies at the airport is if the company you use allows you to pre-order your currency online and pick it up at the airport. When you pre-order online, these companies usually offer a better exchange rate which is more in-line with what other companies outside of the airport are offering.
19) Don’t panic over the security procedures
Before the flight takes off, the cabin crew will take you through some procedures that you need to know. This includes some of the cabin rules, how to fasten your seatbelt as well as some information on what to do in case of an emergency. But, don’t be alarmed! This is a standard procedure that every airline undertakes for every flight and is put in place to reassure you.
Arriving at the airport
When you arrive at the airport in front of your terminal, exit the car or shuttle quickly, so your driver can move on and get out of the way. If you want to give someone a hug goodbye, do so with haste. Stopping a car along the curb in front of an airport terminal will definitely attract the attention of security. So do yourself and your driver a favor and keep the good-byes to a minimum. And be sure to grab your cell phone you left on your seat, before the driver takes off!
Checking in at the airport
If you are checking on bags for your flight, head to the self-help kiosks to print out your bag tags before proceeding to the ticket counter. It’s better than holding up the line for those with legitimate concerns they need to work out with an agent. Plus, you’ll get to security sooner if you just drop off your bags with the tags already in place.
Airport etiquette going through security
Admittedly, you may not have thought of this as a time requiring etiquette. After all, you might feel like the victim as you wait in a long line and move along at a snail’s pace.
But believe me, anything you can do to speed up the process and not hold others up is justification for using proper etiquette.
- Do not pack items in your carry-on or personal item that will not pass through security. You hold everyone up (and could even get yourself detained) if you do.
- Every airline website AND the TSA website make it very clear what you cannot take with you onto a plane in your carry-ons, such as liquids over 3 oz, large quantities of powder, weapons of any kind — even small pocket knives and scissors, some items with litium batteries, and anything flammable.
- Put the items you will have to take out of your bag in easy-to-access pockets, such as your laptop and your liquids bag. Be sure you have emptied your water bottle before arriving at security.
- Remove everything from your clothing pockets – even paper receipts, cash, or a tube of chapstick. You will have to go through the scanner again and you might be patted down. You might be keeping you and those behind you from getting to your gates promptly.
- Remember to remove your shoes and belts with large metal buckles — and place them in a bin. If you are wearing a jacket/coat or scarf, remove those as well.
- Have your ID and your boarding pass in hand so you are ready to present it to the TSA agent. If your boarding pass is saved to your electronic device, please have it pulled up on your screen, ready to show. If you save your boarding pass as a screenshot, you will not need data or wifi to access it.
- And one more thing. If someone comes running up to security begging you to let them cut in front because they’re trying to catch a flight, it really is kind to let them. I’ve been that person a few times, for no fault of my own (delayed planes, customs, etc), and I was sure grateful for the compassion of others!
Walk through the airport as if you’re a car on the freeway
When walking to your gate, don’t stop in the middle of the hallway. Running to catch a flight is a real thing, and you’re likely to cause a pedestrian collision. If you’re moving slower, stay to the right — just like in vehicle traffic.
Likewise, if you’re walking on one of those conveyer belt walkways, pay attention to the signs that say: “Standing on the right, walking on the left”. The same goes for using an escalator.
If you need to cross from one side of a hallway to the other, take a look-see first to be sure you’re not about to cut someone off. Or worse yet, have one of those people-moving golf carts run you over!
Airport etiquette concerning other people’s luggage
This actually goes beyond etiquette. These rules are in place to keep order and protect everyone:
Never set your bag down and walk away from it. Besides the obvious possibility of having it stolen, it will be called to the attention of airport police, who will treat it as a possible bomb. There will definitely be negative consequences for that!
Don’t ask a stranger to watch your bag, either. That puts someone in the awkward position of wanting to help you, but not knowing if you can be trusted. It’s just plain not okay to ask this of anyone.
You ABSOLUTELY do not ask a stranger to carry anything for you in their luggage. There are services you can and MUST use to ship items to another location, even if it IS more expensive!
What about eating in the airport?
Can you eat while you wait for your plane to board? Of course. But please do be considerate. I once came to the airport with a breakfast box, packed by my hotel. I didn’t know what was in the box — I figured it was probably a pastry and fruit juice.
It turns out the specialty of the hotel was smoked salmon. When I opened the box, there was a rather strong odor of fish, and I got some odd looks from those sitting near me! My breakfast was delicious, but I should not have exposed my fellow travelers to the smell.
Likewise, do not be messy or noisy with your eating. Use your manners and clean up after yourself, just as you would in your mother’s kitchen!
Can you nap during long layovers?
Most airports have been equipped with seating that discourages napping. Chairs with arm rests between each seat make it impossible to lay across several seats. There’s a reason for this.
Using seating for napping takes up spaces others could use to sit down, plus no one wants to be subjected to your snores. Many airport lounges have rooms that can be used for napping, and some airports actually have napping pods you can rent by the hour.
My husband and I once tried to sleep overnight in the Athens airport. Not a good idea. There was no place to store our luggage, so we had to protect it by draping our bodies across it. We found an out-of-the-way corner and tried to sleep on the floor. But it’s not like they turn off the lights for you.
Really, it was just a very frustrating experience. We should have paid to stay at the hotel airport across the street. I think airport etiquette would suggest you wait until you board your flight before trying to get some sleep.
What are acceptable forms of entertainment during layovers?
Many airports have TV lounges, art galleries, playgrounds for children, restaurants and gift shops, and even day trips you can take for short tours of a nearby city. Some have libraries, meditation rooms, yoga rooms, or churches. For more about unique airport activities, read this post: Amazing Airport Amenities.
You can also bring cards or other games to play, books to read, or electronic devices for entertainment. If you are struggling with bored children during a long layover, I have many suggestions (and free game printables) at How to Entertain Children on a Long Layover.
What does airport etiquette dictate about boarding your flight?
Pay attention to announcements made about the flight you are waiting for. Occasionally, there are delays or even gate changes. It is up to you to learn where your departing gate is.
Follow the instructions of the gate agent and allow those with priority boarding to get in line first. Usually, that is military personnel, families with children, and those needing assistance. First class passengers might have their own line.
Have your boarding pass ready at the gate, so you don’t make everyone wait for you.
Put your carry-on in the overhead bin as quickly as you can and take your seat so others can get by you to reach their seats. You should not ask for seat changes unless you are seated in an emergency exit row and don’t want to be. Other seat changes should be discussed with the gate agent BEFORE boarding time.
Picking up baggage from the baggage claim
If you have baggage to pick up at the baggage claim, there are only a few tips. First, be sure you know what your own bag looks like, so you don’t pick up someone else’s. If you have a black suitcase (the most common color), consider tying a bright colored ribbon on the handle to set it apart from others.
And second, don’t stand so close to the baggage carousel that you keep others from seeing or getting to their bags. Stand back a few feet until you see your bag, and then step forward to grab it and move quickly out of the way.
Any other rules of airport etiquette?
It used to be that people dressed up to fly. Women wore dresses or skirts, and men wore suits or business wear. Gone are those days, but that doesn’t mean you should show up in your pajamas, your sweaty workout clothes, or skanky immodest clothing. The idea is to be comfortable while not making anyone else UN-comfortable!
That’s pretty much it. It just never hurts to be aware of and follow rules of etiquette, especially at the airport. Traveling is an adventure that we can all share in. Let’s help make it a better experience for ourselves and everyone around us.
Approximately 18% of Americans have never flown on a commercial aircraft. If you’re about to take off for your first time flying, there’s no need to be stressed about the airport process or the in-flight experience. Travel Maestro will take you through exactly what you need to know before, during and after the flight.
Within 24 hours of flight time, you can check in online to get seat assignments and receive a boarding pass which is required to pass through security and board the plane. You can print your boarding pass or save it to your mobile device.
Alternatively, you can check in and get a paper boarding pass at the airport ticket counter or self-service kiosk.
Travel Maestro tip: Check in online as early as possible to ensure your best seating options and boarding priority, even if you plan to get your boarding pass at the airport.
If you have luggage to check, you’ll do that at the ticket counter also. Label your bags both inside and out, and remove any previous airline stickers or tags.
Know what items are prohibited from checked and carry-on luggage, never carry items for other people and don’t leave your bags unattended.
TM tip: Make sure you’re aware of the airline’s weight and size allowances to avoid exorbitant overage fees.
government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport).
TM tip: Take a screen shot of your boarding pass when you check-in online. It’s much quicker to open a photo on your mobile device than to wait for Wi-Fi to reload and you won’t hold up the security line.
Next, you’ll go through the security screening process where you and your carry-on items will be scanned using Advanced Imaging Technology to detect potential threat objects.
You’ll place your carry-on, along with shoes, belt, outer jacket and pocket contents in bins for scanning. Liquids in your carry-on must meet the 3-1-1 rule and laptops must be removed from their bags.
Travelers step into an open scanner for a brief image scan and exit the other side to pick up their scanned personal items from the conveyor.
TM tip: Be sure to allow plenty of time to clear security.
For most domestic flights you should arrive at the airport a minimum of 90 minutes before flight time, 120 for international flights, although exceptions exist at some airports.
Once you’ve cleared security, recheck the flight boards to confirm your departure gate and time. Feel free to shop, have a snack or just people watch, but be sure to be at your departure gate a minimum of 30 minutes before flight time, as boarding begins then and the doors are closed about 10 minutes before takeoff.
When your boarding group is called (as noted on your boarding pass), the gate agent will scan your boarding pass and you proceed to the jetway that leads to the plane.
A flight attendant will welcome you onboard and direct you to your seat. Row numbers are located at eye level, with the A seats being the window on your right (as you walk toward the rear of the plane).
Often the aisle seat is labeled C, so if that side has only two seats, there is no B seat.
TM tip: You’ll rarely find a seat letter I, presumably so it isn’t confused with the number 1, and some airlines don’t use row number 13, apparently out of superstition.
Carry-ons can be stowed in the compartment above the seats or under the seat in front of you. If the aircraft doesn’t have enough space, the airline will gate-check your carry-on.
That means they will take it at the door of the plane and you pick it up at the same place upon arrival. Gate checked items are not retrieved at baggage claim.
TM tip: Keep glasses, reading material and electronics accessible. You may not be able to get to your overhead bags easily during flight.
Longer flights usually offer meal service and flights under a couple hours usually offer drink and snack service.
Some airlines charge for meals, snacks, and alcohol.
TM tip: It’s fine to take your own food onboard, but please don’t subject your fellow travelers to heavy odors like garlic, curry or onions.
Many aircraft have entertainment systems with TV shows, movies, and music available on longer flights. You may have to pay for headsets, depending on the airline.
Wi-Fi is available on most domestic routes; however, packages can be expensive and speed is typically slow. Improvements in in-flight Wi-Fi are expected in the near future. All flights are non-smoking, including the use of vapor and e-cigarettes.
If you have a connecting flight to another destination, airline personnel will likely be available as you deplane to direct you to your next gate. If not, check the flight boards in the airport to confirm the gate and time.
Your luggage will probably be checked through to your final destination, so you just need to go to your gate and wait for your flight, but be sure to verify that when you check your bags.
TM tip: Don’t forget to reclaim any gate checked items at the door of the plane before you enter the airport!
When you reach your final destination, follow the airport signs to the baggage claim area. Find the baggage carousel labeled with your flight number and collect your bags.
TM tip: Many bags look alike! Always check the luggage tag to be certain it’s your bag before you leave the airport. You might also attach a unique tag, strap or sticker to help you identify.
If you are traveling internationally, you’ll need to clear immigration (before baggage claim) and customs (after baggage claim) to leave the airport. Keep your passport accessible.
TM tip: Random baggage inspections are standard procedure at any customs desk.
Congratulations, you’ve just completed your first time flying! If you’re ready to explore the rest of the world, contact Covington Travel and we’ll help you.