So you have a flight coming up in a few days or even a few months and there are important things that you must remember before you leave to go to the airport. These things are critial for your flight and you cannot afford to not know them, else you risk compromising your flight.
Here are 4 things you must know before going to the airport.
1. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight
Many airline will tell you to check in will start 2 – 3 hours before flight departure, unfortunately some airports don’t tell you that. That’s why we’re here!
What you don’t know is, there are some airlines where the ticket check-in counter closes off one hour or so before the scheduled flight.
So say for example your flight is at 4pm, and you reach the ticket counter at 3pm to check your bags in, they might tell you that you’re too late and the system is already closed and there is nothing you can do.
If you don’t have bags to check in, this won’t affect you… unless… there’s a huge line at the security checkpoint which causes you to be late to your flight, or worst…miss your flight.
You SHOULD NOT underestimate the time it takes to be processed through the airport to catch your flight.
Be mindful you will have to be screened at the security check point and go through border control. This process can be interminable, especially when there is a long queue of other travelers who have to go through the same procedures.
Depending on the airline or terminal area, this process can take up to half hour to an hours, even 2 hours or more if the airport is busy.
Several persons have complained that border agents are the reason for their missed flights. We almost missed our flight for this very reason!
So we implore you to reach the airport at least 2 hours before your flight to facilitate this entire process. Here are some additional tips to help you avoid missing your flight.
2. No Liquids
If you plan on carrying liquid or beverage, do not carry it it your hand luggage/carry-on luggage. Its important to put it in your checked luggage.
Water or any form of liquid over three ounce is not permitted beyond the screening checkpoint.
The permitted amount you can carry is 3.4 ounces of liquid per container in a 1-quart bag, with one bag per passenger.
If you insist on carrying bottled water, then it is recommended you freeze the water completely. If the bottle is half melted, you’ll be asked to discard it.
Alternatively, it is possible to possess a completely empty bottle and once you’re done with the screening, you’ll be allowed to fill it up.
3. You’re not guaranteed entry to the designated country even when you arrive
It’s important to know that, even if you are a citizen of a country that has a visa free waiver, for example, The4 United States of America, and you have purchase a plane ticket, booked hotel accommodations and made countless plans, you may be prevented from entering the country.
And this is the primary reason why many countries state this in the fine print of their application process and documentation ‘when applying for a visa, possessing the requisite visa doesn’t assure entry into the country’.
Subsequent to your arrival, you will be subjected to a micro interview by the port authority, who may ask a few questions such as reason for visit and planned accommodation.
The decision to permit entry is entirely up to the discretion of the custom officer who for whatever reason may state that you’re not suitable and won’t be allowed to enter the country, turn you back and put you on a flight back home.
Indeed, this is terrifying to know, it is inconceivable after obtaining a visa and investing all your savings into a vacation, one misstep could land you back home without remediation.
However, there is good news!
This is unlikely for you IF you’re not on a watch list or you have not committed any previous infraction inside the country you’re going to.
Just be calm and answer the questions politely with confidence, ensure that you have all your documents for entering the country, know the address you’ll be staying, and you have enough cash for your stay.
4. Some food items are prohibited And can be confiscated
We told you that previously that drinks and liquids above a certain volume is prohibited to be allowed in your carry-on/hand luggage and must be placed inside your checked luggage.
It is equally important to mention that there are many countries that prohibits carrying several food items such as fruits, meat, vegetables etc.
Upon arrival, once you are found with the prohibited food, it will be instantly confiscated and discarded with or without notice or consent.
Furthermore, you can also be fined depending on the kind of food or nature of the situation.
To avoid these issues, prior to arrival to that destination, we recommend reading immigration policies regarding visitors entering the specific country and Customs and Food Restriction policies.
Do you have a story to tell about going to the airport and your experience? Let us know about it in the comments below.