Air Travel

Old Nov 16th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Air Travel

My mother and I (we are both senior citizens) will be flying for the first time since 9-11. Please give us some suggestions. We will be going from Texas to Ohio.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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- Check-in and print your boarding pass online if you are able to.

- Get to the airport early

- Check all your bags

- Read the TSA guidelines for carrying liquids through airport security.

- Make sure you follow the rules.

- If you need assistance down the runway or through the airport ask for it.

- Drink a few cocktails on the flight
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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All of saps' advice is great. A couple of comments:

-- Online check-in is a great thing. Most airlines will allow it 24 hours before departure on each leg, so make sure you have Internet access (and a printer!) in Ohio to do online check-in there too.

-- If you're flying out of large airports, give yourselves two hours to get through security and get settled in at the gate.

-- Checking in all your bags relieves you of having TSA worry over more than your purses, shoes and coats. Having said that, bags do get lost. I would highly recommend having one light bag containing a change of clothes (the bare minimum) for both of you. Each of you should have essential meds in your own purses/carryon bag, with scrips as necessary.

-- The tsa.gov website details current security rules.

-- Given that you are both seniors, I would ask for the VIP cart at the outset. Why not?

-- Buy yourselves a couple of drinks on the flight and toast the fact that it won't be all that bad.

-- And enjoy yourselves!
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Don't drink any coffee in the morning before your flight. On a short flight like yours, you'll be much better off not trying to climb out of your seat to use the bathroom. Coffee can cause some uncomfortable in-flight bloating as well.

Keep your baggage as light as possible. Chances are you'll have to haul it around at least a little bit between Texas and Ohio. You don't want it to be too heavy or awkward to handle.

Like saps said, get to the airport early.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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just in case you pack a lot....don't forget that checked bags have a weight limit of 50 lbs. each. if it goes over, they ask you to reallocate the items in the bags to get it to the weight. this isn't hard to do. I just picked up my friend from the airport last night and she said she had to weigh her carry ons, too! they have to have a combined weight of 40 lbs.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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- I agree, get to the airport early, early, early! It starts your trip out stress free.

- Put any liquids and gels in your check-in baggage. Make sure your handbags and carry-ons do not contain any kind of liquid or gel. No lotion or hand sanitizer. I think this will be easier than messing with the quart size ziploc bag.

- Be prepared to show identification and boarding passes at the security line and be ready to remove your shoes and coats and place them in the plastic buckets provided. Your handbags will also go in a plastic bucket.

-Have a great trip!

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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Thanks everyone. Some good suggestions. I feel better already!!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Grace, one other thing - don't expect anyone to meet you at the gate when you arrive in Ohio. Nobody gets in there without a ticket. You should arrange in advance where to meet whoever is picking you up, maybe outside security or at the baggage claim area.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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The security procedure wtm outlined above is helpful to know about ahead of time... that you'll have to take off your shoes to walk thru the metal detector (so I wear something that slips off and on easily with socks - not sandals barefoot!) and put your pocketbook and outer jacket into the plastic washtub.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Plastic washtub - that's it! Thanks suze, I knew bucket wasn't the right description, but my brain was froze on bucket.

Also, after retrieving your shoes carry them to an area where you can take your time to put them back on without blocking the line. Sorry, if this seems like common sense. I only mention it because my kids seem to forget this every time.

Grace one other thing that may be different since the last time you flew is self check-in. I always fly United, which uses computer kiosks for check-in and baggage check. It is easy if you take your time and read the onscreen directions. There will also be agents available to help you and your mother.

What airline are you using? Maybe someone can let you know what kind of system is used by that airline.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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I don't think it's a matter of common sense necessarily, because it is easy to get flustered.

Good tips like above - after it's all gone thru the x-ray machine, just grabbing your shoes and jacket and stuff in a bundle and going over to a chair (which are always provided on the other side) and sitting down to reassemble yourself in a more relaxed matter... will make it much easier on your nerves and less intimidating when you have a plan
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Be prepared to show your ID and boarding pass a few more times than you used to.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Suze is so right about wearing slip on/off shoes. You'll have to remove your shoes while standing in the security line. It might not be easy for your mother. It's also a good idea to limit wearing jewelry and any other metal that may set off security and slow down the line.
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Old Nov 16th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for all the additional comments. We are flying AirTran. That's good info. about the shoes.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Our trip went well. We used all the good advise you gave us. We got through security and had our quart size zip bags and shoes that were easy to get in and out of. We checked all of our luggage except for the trip home. Had too many things to bring home. Fun trip. First time to fly in 14 years.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Glad to hear that all went well and you had a good time. Thank you for posting a follow-up.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:03 AM
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Good to hear! Thanks for the follow-up.
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