What I wish non-frequent flyers knew

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Dec 26, 2014
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#1
Prepare for going through security: You know you need a boarding pass and an ID, have them someplace that is quickly and easily reached. Once your ID has been checked you can slip it into a carryon/purse/wallet. You know you must remove your shoes, so wear ones that are easy on/off. You can switch to the stylish shoes once you are through security. You know you must empty your pockets- keep your wallet, cell phone, keys, coins, etc in a man-purse, backpack/briefcase, purse or carryon. Do this BEFORE getting in the security line. You can remove them once you are through security and put them back into your pockets. Do not wait until you are at the bin table to empty your pockets (especially one item at a time!) Do NOT carry a Swiss Army knife, soda, water or other liquids through security. (other than your 311 liquids and the exceptions for items such as breast milk) You are allowed to carry an empty water bottle through, but if you do carry an empty water bottle through do not hide it deep inside a carryon, put it out where it is quickly and easily seen to be empty.

Get to the security line in time to make it to your gate prior to boarding. Look on the web for the average time through security for your airport at the time of day you will be travelling. Allow for getting stuck behind 2 or more people that did not know the rules and end up holding up the line as they try to deal with items in pockets, full water bottles, hard to take off shoes, etc. If you get to the gate too early, go for walks around and around the terminal – you will be sitting on a plane long enough use the extra time to get some easy exercise.

Check in as soon as you can, do it online and before you get to the airport. If you have to check a bag, make sure you are at the airport with enough time to wait in a long baggage check line PLUS a long security line so that you have enough time to be at the gate in the time frame the airline requires. Understand that the boarding doors close approximately 10 minutes before departure, so even if you make it to the gate before the stated departure time once the boarding door is closed you have missed that flight. I determine the time of arrival at an airport based on the boarding time; this helps to ensure I am at the gate when needed. (Of course I have missed a flight even though I was at the gate well on time, I was too involved in a book and totally missed boarding – did not even hear them announcing my name over the PA system)
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#2
Prepare for going through security: You know you need a boarding pass and an ID, have them someplace that is quickly and easily reached. Once your ID has been checked you can slip it into a carryon/purse/wallet. You know you must remove your shoes, so wear ones that are easy on/off. You can switch to the stylish shoes once you are through security. You know you must empty your pockets- keep your wallet, cell phone, keys, coins, etc in a man-purse, backpack/briefcase, purse or carryon. Do this BEFORE getting in the security line. You can remove them once you are through security and put them back into your pockets. Do not wait until you are at the bin table to empty your pockets (especially one item at a time!) Do NOT carry a Swiss Army knife, soda, water or other liquids through security. (other than your 311 liquids and the exceptions for items such as breast milk) You are allowed to carry an empty water bottle through, but if you do carry an empty water bottle through do not hide it deep inside a carryon, put it out where it is quickly and easily seen to be empty.

Get to the security line in time to make it to your gate prior to boarding. Look on the web for the average time through security for your airport at the time of day you will be travelling. Allow for getting stuck behind 2 or more people that did not know the rules and end up holding up the line as they try to deal with items in pockets, full water bottles, hard to take off shoes, etc. If you get to the gate too early, go for walks around and around the terminal – you will be sitting on a plane long enough use the extra time to get some easy exercise.

Check in as soon as you can, do it online and before you get to the airport. If you have to check a bag, make sure you are at the airport with enough time to wait in a long baggage check line PLUS a long security line so that you have enough time to be at the gate in the time frame the airline requires. Understand that the boarding doors close approximately 10 minutes before departure, so even if you make it to the gate before the stated departure time once the boarding door is closed you have missed that flight. I determine the time of arrival at an airport based on the boarding time; this helps to ensure I am at the gate when needed. (Of course I have missed a flight even though I was at the gate well on time, I was too involved in a book and totally missed boarding – did not even hear them announcing my name over the PA system)
I'm with you on the TSA issue. I have gotten stuck behind people both at check in (where they seem very confused as to what to do when their suitcases are over weight and at TSA checkpoint (you chose pull on riding boots to wear flying?). Even after getting pre-check to avoid a lot of it, I somehow manage to get behind someone who doesn't understand the process and starts taking off their shoes and such, but they don't empty their pockets. We have a routine and can get through security fairly quickly (with the exception of waiting to use the whole body scanner). I've seen airports use an experienced traveler line and have one for the less experienced, but when they see the size of the line, they go to the experienced traveler lane anyway.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,119
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#3
So, I have a question...
Is it really rude to go around someone who is struggling to get their stuff out of their pockets into the bins, shoes and jackets off, etc? The conveyor belt is empty in front of them and they are just really not organized.
Should one just stand there behind them patiently?
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,469
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#4
So, I have a question...
Is it really rude to go around someone who is struggling to get their stuff out of their pockets into the bins, shoes and jackets off, etc? The conveyor belt is empty in front of them and they are just really not organized.
Should one just stand there behind them patiently?
Great question.....I have always wondered the same. It seems so inefficient to wait but we know people can get upset with others "jumping the line."

I feel it is okay to proceed toward the empty conveyor belt but only if you are prepared. Either by having a bin already filled with shoes, toiletries, etc. or prepared to place those items immediately in a bin. It is usually those that aren't prepared that hold up the lines at security so if others are ready, it allows the process to continue without much of a pause. Now, if the TSA employee is taking his/her time viewing the screen then no matter how long someone is taking to empty their pockets, your items won't go through the scanner any faster!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,729
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
So, I have a question...
Is it really rude to go around someone who is struggling to get their stuff out of their pockets into the bins, shoes and jackets off, etc? The conveyor belt is empty in front of them and they are just really not organized.
Should one just stand there behind them patiently?
I just say "do you mind if I go ahead of you". They usually don't mind.

Just to add to this thread - if you are flying domestically, plan on getting to the airport at least 2 hours before your flight for domestic and 3 hours for international. If you use those guidelines it is very rare to not make your boarding time.
 
#6
well, boots while flying? Texas airports have boot jacks . . .so its no problem.

"Have you done this before?" OMG - I'm pre-check and Global Entry - it happens on both ends when the people wander down the GE corridor to the machines and then get all confused- if you have not done this before - don't get in a line . . .

the best time to fly is on the Monday or Friday when you pretty much only get the 'professionals' . . . . the worst time is summer and the week before holidays when you get 2x a year families in the former and then the seniors going to visit the grandkids the latter time - seniors get confused so easily. I suppose I'll be there one day - but doesn't the system pretty much operate the same way it was the last time you did it?
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#7
When we were coming back from Oaxaca, the flight left at 9, so I had the taxi scheduled for 5:45. I was baffled by the number of other wedding guests who said they weren't going to leave their hotels until 7:30 or even 8!?! We got to the airport, checked our bags and breezed through security. The idiots who thought it was okay to leave at 7:30 ended up waiting in security for an hour and a half. Aeromexico kindly held the plane, but they shouldn't have.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,666
8,975
113
San Francisco
#8
So, I have a question...
Is it really rude to go around someone who is struggling to get their stuff out of their pockets into the bins, shoes and jackets off, etc? The conveyor belt is empty in front of them and they are just really not organized.
Should one just stand there behind them patiently?
Wait patiently while they fumble? Absolutely not. If you go around them, tho, be durn sure you're READY and scampering through the scanner immediately!! If someone is standing there obviously disorganized and gets upset with you for excusing yourself as you walk past, why would you care?
 
Likes: Patina
Oct 14, 2015
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#9
Prepare for going through security: You know you need a boarding pass and an ID, have them someplace that is quickly and easily reached. Once your ID has been checked you can slip it into a carryon/purse/wallet. You know you must remove your shoes, so wear ones that are easy on/off. You can switch to the stylish shoes once you are through security. You know you must empty your pockets- keep your wallet, cell phone, keys, coins, etc in a man-purse, backpack/briefcase, purse or carryon. Do this BEFORE getting in the security line. You can remove them once you are through security and put them back into your pockets. Do not wait until you are at the bin table to empty your pockets (especially one item at a time!) Do NOT carry a Swiss Army knife, soda, water or other liquids through security. (other than your 311 liquids and the exceptions for items such as breast milk) You are allowed to carry an empty water bottle through, but if you do carry an empty water bottle through do not hide it deep inside a carryon, put it out where it is quickly and easily seen to be empty.

Get to the security line in time to make it to your gate prior to boarding. Look on the web for the average time through security for your airport at the time of day you will be travelling. Allow for getting stuck behind 2 or more people that did not know the rules and end up holding up the line as they try to deal with items in pockets, full water bottles, hard to take off shoes, etc. If you get to the gate too early, go for walks around and around the terminal – you will be sitting on a plane long enough use the extra time to get some easy exercise.

Check in as soon as you can, do it online and before you get to the airport. If you have to check a bag, make sure you are at the airport with enough time to wait in a long baggage check line PLUS a long security line so that you have enough time to be at the gate in the time frame the airline requires. Understand that the boarding doors close approximately 10 minutes before departure, so even if you make it to the gate before the stated departure time once the boarding door is closed you have missed that flight. I determine the time of arrival at an airport based on the boarding time; this helps to ensure I am at the gate when needed. (Of course I have missed a flight even though I was at the gate well on time, I was too involved in a book and totally missed boarding – did not even hear them announcing my name over the PA system)
should qualify this ......

in Australia, you don't need a boarding pass or ID, if you want to see someone off or meet someone at the gate if flying domestically. Think that's a silly U.S. TSA concept. Somehow, it supposed to make you feel safer. Don't know why.

In Australia, to board a domestic flight you need a boarding pass, but it doesn't have to be your boarding pass. The only thing they might pick up on, is, if your male & boarding pass is for a female. You do have to go through security to get to aircraft, which is probably slightly better security than in USA, but that wouldn't be hard.
 
Nov 21, 2014
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#10
For non-frequent flyers, 2 hours for any flight is fine, agreed. I dont understand the need for 3 hours for International. USA has no 'exit formalities' when leaving on an international flight so the only difference a traveler should have leaving for London vs. Los Angeles is that they'll have to show a passport at check-in, which should add 30-60 seconds.

Though I suppose if you were flying on a long-haul international flight on a foreign airline, check in may be longer than normal with lots of families and people checking lots of bags (for example, Delta out of JFK is no problem. But Cathay Pacific or Air China or Emirates may usually have long lines since everyone at the respective check in is a long haul traveler with lots of bags and lots of questions.

As a frequent traveler with priority bag check and TSA precheck, 2 hours is about an hour too early. Granted I love cutting it close (and always have a backup plan) but if i'm not checking bags i'm arriving 45 minutes before my flight and usually having time to pick up coffee before boarding. Then again, as a frequent flier you know your airports (ie, security at LGA takes 2 minutes but 20 at JFK).

I just say "do you mind if I go ahead of you". They usually don't mind.

Just to add to this thread - if you are flying domestically, plan on getting to the airport at least 2 hours before your flight for domestic and 3 hours for international. If you use those guidelines it is very rare to not make your boarding time.
 
Likes: Warren
Nov 21, 2014
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#12
ha!!

dont get me wrong, when were checking bags, have special requests, need early boarding, are traveling during rush hour, are traveling with children, etc.. i'm all for getting to the airport 90min-2hours early. Otherwise i'd much rather spend the extra hour sleeping/working/hanging at home.

 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#13
When we were coming back from Oaxaca, the flight left at 9, so I had the taxi scheduled for 5:45. I was baffled by the number of other wedding guests who said they weren't going to leave their hotels until 7:30 or even 8!?! We got to the airport, checked our bags and breezed through security. The idiots who thought it was okay to leave at 7:30 ended up waiting in security for an hour and a half. Aeromexico kindly held the plane, but they shouldn't have.
I've never figured out why people will spend thousands on a plane ticket then want to wait until the very last second to go to the airport. Id rather get there early and relax or grab a bite vs. trying to scramble.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#14
For non-frequent flyers, 2 hours for any flight is fine, agreed. I dont understand the need for 3 hours for International. USA has no 'exit formalities' when leaving on an international flight so the only difference a traveler should have leaving for London vs. Los Angeles is that they'll have to show a passport at check-in, which should add 30-60 seconds.

Though I suppose if you were flying on a long-haul international flight on a foreign airline, check in may be longer than normal with lots of families and people checking lots of bags (for example, Delta out of JFK is no problem. But Cathay Pacific or Air China or Emirates may usually have long lines since everyone at the respective check in is a long haul traveler with lots of bags and lots of questions.

As a frequent traveler with priority bag check and TSA precheck, 2 hours is about an hour too early. Granted I love cutting it close (and always have a backup plan) but if i'm not checking bags i'm arriving 45 minutes before my flight and usually having time to pick up coffee before boarding. Then again, as a frequent flier you know your airports (ie, security at LGA takes 2 minutes but 20 at JFK).
Sometimes 2 hours is not enough. We have numerous stories of people arriving within 1 hour 45 minutes and they fail to make the plane for various reasons. At my local airport, unless something major were going on, you can easily park, check in with luggage, and go through security in about 30 minutes. Do I ever suggest this? No. One time I was at an airport 4 hours early in Europe and it was barely enough time to get through the super long lines and get to the gate. It all depends.
 
Feb 27, 2016
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#15
well, boots while flying? Texas airports have boot jacks . . .so its no problem.

"Have you done this before?" OMG - I'm pre-check and Global Entry - it happens on both ends when the people wander down the GE corridor to the machines and then get all confused- if you have not done this before - don't get in a line . . .

the best time to fly is on the Monday or Friday when you pretty much only get the 'professionals' . . . . the worst time is summer and the week before holidays when you get 2x a year families in the former and then the seniors going to visit the grandkids the latter time - seniors get confused so easily. I suppose I'll be there one day - but doesn't the system pretty much operate the same way it was the last time you did it?
well, boots while flying? Texas airports have boot jacks . . .so its no problem.

"Have you done this before?" OMG - I'm pre-check and Global Entry - it happens on both ends when the people wander down the GE corridor to the machines and then get all confused- if you have not done this before - don't get in a line . . .

the best time to fly is on the Monday or Friday when you pretty much only get the 'professionals' . . . . the worst time is summer and the week before holidays when you get 2x a year families in the former and then the seniors going to visit the grandkids the latter time - seniors get confused so easily. I suppose I'll be there one day - but doesn't the system pretty much operate the same way it was the last time you did it?
well, boots while flying? Texas airports have boot jacks . . .so its no problem.

"Have you done this before?" OMG - I'm pre-check and Global Entry - it happens on both ends when the people wander down the GE corridor to the machines and then get all confused- if you have not done this before - don't get in a line . . .

the best time to fly is on the Monday or Friday when you pretty much only get the 'professionals' . . . . the worst time is summer and the week before holidays when you get 2x a year families in the former and then the seniors going to visit the grandkids the latter time - seniors get confused so easily. I suppose I'll be there one day - but doesn't the system pretty much operate the same way it was the last time you did it?
So we seniors get confused easily? Sounds like prejudice to me. We fly and cruise often and see many problems, but the worst are the blowhards who think they know everything and they come in all ages. I'm sure you think there are no seniors on this forum because obviously we aren't smart enough to understand what smart people like you have to say.
 
Last edited:

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
2,018
3,433
113
#16
So we seniors get confused easily? Sounds like prejudice to me. We fly and cruise often and see many problems, but the worst are the blowhards who think they know everything and they come in all ages. I'm sure you think there are no seniors on this forum because obviously we aren't smart enough to understand what smart people like you have to say.
Okay, the funny thing about this post is you repeat quoted Joe three times and then stated seniors don't get confused easily. o_O I'm sorry, and it happens to the best of us, but that's funny.

Seriously, I've known seniors who thought it was 1937 and others that were sharp as a tack. Generally speaking, young and confused are called stupid, whole seniors are just confused, so if there is any ageism in speaking about people are who confused it seems like the young get the worst of it.

But I do agree with you Joes comment was a bit out of line. Plenty of seniors are on the forum and the Internet, to include my 81 year old great aunt who probably knows more about Facebook than I do.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,191
1,039
113
#17
ha!!

dont get me wrong, when were checking bags, have special requests, need early boarding, are traveling during rush hour, are traveling with children, etc.. i'm all for getting to the airport 90min-2hours early. Otherwise i'd much rather spend the extra hour sleeping/working/hanging at home.
Actually I said "Why so early" because I usually try to be there 30 mins before the gate closes :) However I don't recommend that. Do as I say not as I do!
 
Likes: Warren
Feb 27, 2016
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#19
Okay, the funny thing about this post is you repeat quoted Joe three times and then stated seniors don't get confused easily. o_O I'm sorry, and it happens to the best of us, but that's funny.

Seriously, I've known seniors who thought it was 1937 and others that were sharp as a tack. Generally speaking, young and confused are called stupid, whole seniors are just confused, so if there is any ageism in speaking about people are who confused it seems like the young get the worst of it.

But I do agree with you Joes comment was a bit out of line. Plenty of seniors are on the forum and the Internet, to include my 81 year old great aunt who probably knows more about Facebook than I do.
I changed my comment 3 times because I thought better about the way it was worded, I did not know that it went straight to him, which was my mistake. I will try not to change a comment again. This was my first responce on this forum. I usually agree with what is said or at least understand the person has a right to their own opinion. In this case I feel he was belittling a group of people which is not right.