First time flyer
Travel Guides & Tips

Flying For the First Time? Here’s A Must-Read Guide for First Time Flyers

Those who have already boarded a plane know exactly what they should and shouldn’t do when travelling by air. But what if such experience is your first time? It makes you wonder about a lot of things, for example, how to book your flight ticket, how to do check-in, how to sort out your luggage, and so on. As this is going to be your first time, you’d need a complete and practical guide on airline travel. Here are important details on the process of air travelling – all in one place. Read the summary below.

What do you need before you leave?

Packing Up
Ensure that you comply with the airline’s baggage allowance. (Source: Shutterstock)

A smart travel plan is what you need to ensure a smooth travel journey. Your plan should include ways of helping you get through your first flight. Do some research before you start your journey. It helps you get better ideas about your journey, from leaving your home to the minute you step into the airport, and all the way to the flight cabin. Pay attention to some of these important things before your departure:

1. Book your flight easily via Traveloka App

The last thing you want is to have your boarding pass slipping out of your pocket before your departure. What a nightmare! Don’t let it happen. With Traveloka App, all you need is an e-ticket to gain your boarding pass. Simply show the e-ticket on your smartphone to the flight attendant in charge when it’s finally time for check-in, or use the PNR code on the e-ticket to perform a web check-in. Isn’t it easy? So download the app for your own convenience. As a Traveloka App user, you can also enjoy exciting promos!

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, in either Android or iOS version, you can start booking your flight ticket with these steps:

  • Create your account using an active email or mobile number.
  • Go to Search page and select “Flight”.
  • Fill out your departure and arrival destination as well as date of departure.
  • Choose your preferred flight and departure time.
  • Check all your details before you proceed to payment.
  • Select your most preferred payment method and complete your booking within a given timeline.
  • Wait for an e-ticket to be sent to your Traveloka App and email, and via SMS.

2. Check baggage rules and requirements

All airlines have their own baggage allowance policies, and to prevent you from having an overweight luggage, we advise you to double-check the maximum baggage capacity of the airline you wish to fly with.

The truth is there is another practical way to know more about airlines baggage allowance. On the search results page, select one of the flights you desire. Under “Details” on the right corner, you will be able to click on it and read the flight details. You will be able to view information on pricing, flight number, flight destination, and free baggage allowance.

3. Find out the exact location of your departure terminal

The name of your departure terminal is stated on your e-ticket. If you are flying to a small town where there is only one terminal, you have nothing to worry about, unless you’re travelling to a destination that has got more than one terminal.

For example, there are two airport terminals in Kuala Lumpur – the KLIA and KLIA2. Changi Airport in Singapore has three terminals. The Soekarno-Hatta International Terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia has got 3 terminals. Every one of these terminals are divided into sub-terminals, based on flight type, such as Terminal 1A, 1B, 1C (domestic flights), 2D, 2E (international flights), 2F (domestic flights for Garuda Indonesia), and 3G (domestic and international flights for AirAsia, and a couple of routes owned by Lion Air).

4. Change money to your destination country’s currency

Don’t forget to have your money changed to the currency of the country you’re visiting. Avoid having it changed at the airport as the rates are typically much higher than anywhere else. Do it only if you really have to. It’s always advisable to look around for the best rates before you leave. Most travellers don’t change all the money they have before leaving. That’s because in case they’re making a big purchase during their trip, they’d use their credit cards instead. It is the safest and often the cheapest way to make a large purchase.

It’s finally your departure day. What to do now?

Boarding the plane
Upon boarding, switch off your mobile phone in order to not interfere with the airline navigation system. (Source: Shutterstock)

Now that everything moves smoothly, you’re ready to go! Just sit tight and relax.

4. Be at the airport early

Anything can happen; from having troubles to get to the airport, doing late check-in, or the worst scenario such as missing your flight. You can avoid any of these troubles by simply arriving at the airport 1 – 2 hours prior to your departure time. 

5. Get your e-ticket and identity card ready for check-in

Upon check-in, you will be asked to show your ticket and identity card. At the counter check-in, your e-ticket is sufficient for you to receive your boarding pass. Just show your e-ticket using your Traveloka App without the need to print it. Keep your mobile phone and identity card in a place that’s easiest to reach. If you are doing web check-in using the airline website (48 hours before flight), the e-ticket is where you can find your PNR code that is required for web-check in.

6. Do not bring illegal and prohibited items

Before boarding the plane, you must be aware of the things that you can and cannot bring with you. Anything that is prohibited shouldn’t even be in your bag, or you will be stopped to remove them by force, or worse, charged with a heavy penalty. Any bag that is not put into cargo should be checked and declared. There are, however, certain types of items that are not allowed inside your luggage bag and inside the airline cabin.

7. Register baggage upon check-in for a smooth journey

Don’t bring all your things into the cabin. That’s because there is a maximum capacity for cabin bag (usually 7kg, but check the airline website to be sure). Take your valuables with you on the plane such as your mobile phone, wallet, jewellery, and so on, preferably in just one bag. But what happens if your luggage bag exceeds the baggage capacity allowance? If that happens, you can choose to upgrade your baggage capacity by paying a fee.

8. Don’t go to the wrong departure gate

If you get to the wrong departure gate, you might miss your flight, especially if you rushed there last-minutely. Upon check-in, you will be given a piece of boarding pass – that’s your ticket for boarding the plane. Your boarding pass includes details of your flight number, seat number, gate number, and so on. Make sure you wait close to the departure gate.

9. Once boarded, follow all airline rules

As you settle comfortably in your seat, you’ll be asked to switch off your mobile phone in order to not interfere with the airline navigation system, and to put on your safety belt as instructed and shown by the airline cabin crew. We all have a thing against rules, but do follow instructions for your own safety purposes.

What should you do upon arrival?

Waiting for baggage
Wait at the right belt where you will retrieve your luggage. (Source: Shutterstock)

You finally touch down after a smooth flight. What’s next?

10. Don’t switch on your mobile phone just yet

It’s not surprising to see other passengers switching on their phones even before they exit the plane. Don’t do it. Doing this will only interfere the communication between the pilot and the air traffic controller. Wait until you finally enter the arrival hall.

11. Wait patiently for your luggage to arrive

Whatever you put into the airline cargo upon check-in has to come out eventually. Don’t forget to collect your luggage! Before entering the baggage claim queue, match your flight number or the city of departure written on the screen of every belt to ensure that you’re waiting at the right spot.

Check the luggage number given to you upon check-in, a sticker containing numbers, typically stuck on your boarding pass. Don’t forget to count the number of suitcases or other luggage you have. This is to ensure that you have no bags left behind.

Well that’s how the process is like. We hope that this guide will help you in small ways to get through your first experience of travelling by plane. Most importantly, always keep calm and don’t be shy to ask questions or get help from airport staff should you need help or assistance. Have a great journey!

Have you ever experienced any silly or memorable moments on your first flight? We’ve all been there and done that. Share with us in the comments!