Flying for the first time can be a daunting experience, thankfully we are here to help make your experience as a first time flyer as pleasant and enjoyable as possible through a short guide which will provide peace of mind during a fledging journey into the skies.
A range of professionally run fear of flying courses, hosted by some of the world's most well-known airlines, provides hints and tips on what you'll need upon arriving at the airport and checking in.
Although all airlines and tour operators are different, this rough guide should make you feel comfortable on any trip towards any destination, with airline and terminal staff taking off from Stansted Airport explicitly aware that not everyone is a seasoned flyer.
Please see below for a general run down of the key aspects of air travel which are important to keep in mind on an initial flight, and prepare for the exciting adventures awaiting your newly founds means of globetrotting!
Security It is important that you are aware of the latest security measures issued by the Department for Transport.
Flight Tickets Your tickets and/or itinerary will detail all your flight information. This should include:
- The airports you are flying between
- Your flight number, departure and arrival times
- Your baggage allowance
- The check-in time. This varies from airline to airline, and it's important you stick to this time as it gives you enough time to check-in your luggage and make your way to the plane.
- Please note that you may not be issued with a ticket - you may just get a confirmation number depending on the airline.
Hold Baggage Hold baggage are large items for checking-in which don't meet the requirements of hand luggage; these travel in the hold of the aircraft, so you won’t see them again until you land at your destination.
This regularly includes items like suitcases and rucksacks too big to carry on board. Be sure to stay under the weight limit as you can be charged if you exceed it, so ensure you have a means of weighing your luggage before departing for the airport. Baggage allowances vary between airlines and classes of travel so check with your airline prior to departure.
Hand Baggage You are normally allowed to take one item of hand luggage on board the aircraft, not exceeding 56cm x 45cm x 25cms. Restrictions currently apply to hand baggage at UK airports. Find out more
Arriving at the Airport The arrivals areas for domestic and international passengers are on the ground floor of the terminal at Stansted Airport.
If you are arriving by car, take a look at the car parking options and maps.
Check-In The first port of call upon arrival at the terminal is to check-in at the relevant check-in desks displaying your flight number. The check-in agent will print your boarding card and ask you some security questions – please have your tickets and passport ready. At this stage, they’ll also weigh your luggage and tag it with your flight details.
You can also check-in by using one of the self-service kiosks. This is quick and easy to do, avoiding lengthy queues so as to free up more time for exploring the retail and food outlets found at the airport.
Waiting for your flight to depart Once you check-in, display screens will let you know when you can go the departure lounge. To go to departures you will need to show your boarding card and pass through Security Control where your hand luggage will be screened. Tax Free shopping, and a range of bars and restaurants are all available once you pass through Security Control.
Gate and Boarding Screens throughout the airport will display the gate number at which you need to board your plane. Signs will show you how to get there – but as some gates can involve a walk from the lounge, please allow plenty of time. When you reach the gate, there will be a lounge area where you can wait in comfort until you’re called for boarding. Airline attendants will call you forward; simply hand over your boarding card and board the plane.
As you walk into the plane a member of the cabin crew will welcome you aboard, check the remaining portion of your boarding card and show you to your seat ready for take-off.
Arrivals Once you land at your destination airport and leave the plane you will show your passport to security officials and then head to baggage reclaim to pick up the luggage that was previously checked in at Stansted Airport. Screens in the airport will show your flight number above the carousel that your luggage will be on. After you have collected your luggage you will head through customs and out into the arrivals hall.