What do I need to know about flying for the first time?
I'm 20 years old and flying for the first time (by myself, I mean) from Indianapolis to St. Petersburg, FL. I would love some tips about what I need to do and what I need to know as well as what I'm not allowed to bring, etc... My flight is booked with AirTran and as I understand it, they charge a fee for "checked" baggage... I'm wondering what that is. I only plan on having my large purse with me and one medium sized duffel bag. Is that what they mean when they say "checked" baggage. What about the compartments above the seats? Can I store my bags in there? And again, I definitely am curious about what items aren't allowed. What about personal toiletry items like razors, etc? Are those ok? Sorry if I seem clueless but I really don't want to encounter any trouble because I am such an inexperienced traveler so any tips or hints you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Air Travel - 7 Answers
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that your airplane could crash
no razors, no lotions, no liquids, bring as little as possible with you as carry-on. and yes there are compartments above the seats for your bags. I flew by myself in the summer and it was my second time ever flying. It's actually less scary than you might think. good luck!
Here is the airport rules on Prohibited items: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm http://www.luggageonline.com/about_airlines.cfm
Bring Gum! Your ears are gonna be hurting once you get up high cause of the air pressure! Chewing gum makes it better :] Dont sit next to a fat guy either or he will fall asleep on your shoulder and drewl on you :[ Lol.
"Checked" baggage is any baggage that you don't carry onto the plane yourself. Usually it's anything that's too big to fit under the seat in front of you, or in the compartment above you. So your purse will be "carry-on" (which you WILL carry onto the plane yourself), but your duffle bag almost certainly will need to be checked. You can ask whether you need to check the duffle bag when you are checking into the flight. You would need to chekc in before going through security, if you have any bags you need to check, or if you don't already have a boarding pass. When you check in at the AirTran desk, you can take care of both of those. As far as what you can take through security, basically don't bring anything sharp, or anything but the smallest amounts of liquids or gels. Also make sure that all your liquid and gels are together in a quart-sized zip plastic bag. Most things that you aren't allowed to carry on, can go into your checked bags instead. This page has all the details: http://www.seatguru.com/articles/tsa_prohibited_items.php When you go through security, just watch what other people in front of you are doing. Usually they'll have plastic trays that you put your stuff on, before it goes through the x-ray. Things that need to go into these trays include: your shoes, any coat or jacket, any small carry-on items, and laptop computers (even if you normally put the laptop inside your bag, you need to take it out of the bag before putting it through the x-ray). You should also put any metal items on your person through the x-ray so that you don't "beep" when you walk through the metal detector (it's like a freestanding doorway with no door, beside the x-ray). So if you have keys, coins, etc. you can put those into a little bowl they'll have there, before you walk through the detector. Or you could put those things into a pocket in one of your bags before putting it through the x-ray. Once you are through security, you might want to buy a bottle of water (or bring an empty bottle and fill it from a water fountain after you're through security). It's easy to get dehydrated on planes and you may have to wait a while for them to bring drinks around, so having your own water is good. You may also want to bring earplugs (to block out the noise of the engines - it can bother some people), and gum to chew to help your ears pop when the plane is descending. Also, if you've ever gotten car-sick or motion sickness, take some dramamine or bonine or similar before you fly. Finally, if it'll be a long flight or you think you'll be tired, another good idea is to bring one of those neck pillows. Have a good flight!
By checked baggage they mean the luggage that you are checking at the ticket counter because you don't want the hassle of carrying it through the airport with you. It then goes into the back of the aircraft. Almost all airlines charge some sort of fee, I've found it ranges from $15-30 per bag, you might want to call and ask about AirTran, or check their website. Some airlines charge for a 2nd bag, so try to only have one if you check any. Since we are girls and tend to carry all our stuff when we travel, Such as makeup, gel, hairspray, etc, this is where it gets tricky. The pros and cons of checking vs not checking a bag. If you just have a duffel, you are probably wanting to carry it on with you and put it in the overhead bin, however, you can only have 1 quart size ziplock baggie full of your liquids and they have to be the small travel liquids, you can find them at walmart or target for fairly cheap. All liquids that you put into your baggie have to be 3.4 or so ounces. Razors are fine, you can't have any aerosol cans, such as hair spray or liquid starch at all. They will remove them from checked or carry on bags and throw them away. I work for an airline and see a lot of things get wasted because people dont ask, like you are doing. If you are going to be gone for awhile and have full size shampoo and conditioner, things that are liquid, you need to decide if they are worth checking your bag, or if the 20 you spend checking your bag could have bought new ones when you get to Florida. If you have any more questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the answers so far are good. You CAN take a standard safety razor with you. the TSA website specifically says so. It can be in a bag that you carry onto the plane. The security people will not have any problem with that. Tens of thousands of people fly every day with a safety razor in their carry-on bag. I do. If your duffel bag is larger than about 22" x 14" x 9", then you will have to take it to your airline's ticket counter and give it to the ticket agent, so it gets put into the cargo hold of your plane. The "checked" baggage is the stuff that goes in the plane's cargo area. If your duffel bag is that size or smaller, then it will be OK to carry it with you, and put it into the overhead compartment once you find your seat. But, you can also check it if you don't want to haul it all over the airport with you - your choice. Hair dryers, curling irons, hair straighteners are all permitted in carry-on luggage, if you happen to want to take any of those. Cameras, music players, laptop computers, other electronics can all be carried on (in fact anything that is valuable should always be carried on board). Medications - prescription and over the counter - are all allowed on board. Any liquids, pastes, gels - like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hand lotion, creams, liquid makeup items and so on - must each be in a container that is 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less, and all of those items must be in a single, 1 qt. zip lock, clear plastic bag. If you want to take larger quantities of any liquid, then you must put those into a bag that you will check at the ticket counter. Aerosols are permitted in small quantities, but huge cans of hairspray, for example, would be confiscated from a carry-on bag, and would probably be removed even from checked luggage by an inspector. The TSA web site really has all of the information you need about what can and can't be brought, how to pack for efficient screening, and other travel tips. I highly recommend it. See http://www.tsa.gov