Check in desk is one of the
busiest areas of the airport. Many times they have winding lines
that are roped off so that people stay orderly. There is
usually a sign that tells you where the line starts because people get a
little upset when anyone 'cuts in'. [Sounds like school, doesn't
that you should check in about two hours before your flight will leave.
This is because new security checks take longer to do.
When you reach the check-in area, take a minute
to locate your airline. Each big airline has its own desk. You
definitely don't want to wait
in line for the wrong airline. Sometimes you get lucky and
there is no line, but we didn't see many of those while we visited the
airport. A good idea is to bring a book [or an electronic game] so that you can fill up some
of the boring times.
While you are waiting in the check in line, your
plane might be having the food from the last flight unloaded and the food put on
for your flight [depending upon how early you are]. They load fuel and drinking water.
People go into the plane to clean it and make sure everything works.
In between flights, pilots go through a checklist to make sure that the
plane is safe and ready to fly again. They do these checks after
each flight but they also take the plane out of service sometimes so that
they can check it out even better. The crew might be going over its
list of passengers to see if anyone needs special attention. They
are looking for handicapped people and children traveling
Pilots check the plane
inside and out before they take it into the air.
When you finally get to the head of
the line, you will be asked for your ticket. You might have regular
tickets or E-tickets. Regular tickets are easier to use for
kids. E-tickets use a separate machine that prints out your
ticket. Either way, you bring your ticket to the Check In desk to
get your boarding pass.
Luggage goes to luggage trucks this way.
ticket process is done, the clerk will give you a boarding pass and
take your larger luggage. If you have a small backpack or a
small carry on [less than 70 pounds], they will let you take it with
you on the plane. If you have
a larger suitcase, they put it in a different part of the
you were supposed to take is full so you have to wait for another
plane. It has been the experience of our team that airlines do get
you where you are going, so don't worry if you are 'bumped'
from a flight. You will get there soon!
You might have
time to eat and visit the gift shop while waiting for your plane to board.
You usually have a choice between the General
Waiting area and the Restricted
If you have lots of time before your flight leaves, you
might want to stay in the General Waiting Area. If you are traveling
alone, the people who brought you to the airport can stay with you there. When you go to the Restricted Waiting Area, only people with
tickets can pass through Security
to get there. No ticket = no entry into the Restricted Area. If you don't have a lot of time before your flight, you
might want to go directly to the Restricted Area to wait.