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First ever flight for family of 4.............some questions-please help!

(5 Posts)
elephantpoo Fri 12-Oct-12 19:52:01

We are going to Playa de Muro for 7 nights in May 2013-me. DH, DD (10) and DS (7).
We have never flown before.
I am looking at suitcases ATM as there seem to be a few sales on.
I'm thinking of a suitcase each...but what size? Our allowance is 20kg + 5kg hand luggage.
Also, what form can hand luggage take-ie. would a rucksack be sufficient for the DC's? What contents do you carry as hand luggage?
What happens at the airport...step by step?
How long before our flight time should we arrive at the airport?
Thanks so much if you've got this far grin

hermioneweasley Fri 12-Oct-12 20:05:34

Airport is as follows
- arrive (how are you getting there?). Make sure you know which terminal
- use the boards in the departures hall to identify which check in desk for your flight
- go to check in or bag drop (if you have checked in online)
- go through security where you will have to show your boarding cards, take out your clear bag with liquids, scan your bags etc.
- after security there are usually shops and restaurants before you get to your gate. Be at the gate at lead 30 mins before the flight. Sme gates can be quite a walk, depending on size of airport. You will need to show passports and boarding cards again at the gate.

Arrive at airport at least 2 hours before. You might be able to check in online and pick seats beforehand. Dress comfortably and in layers as temps on the plane can dramatically vary. There is a lot of walking at airports for wear comfy shoes. Have at least one carry on bag where you can keep passports and boarding cards accessible easily (not a rucksack). I usually have a rucksack and a small handbag I wear across my body with passport, money etc in. Check out the airport website For information about what is available "airside" (when you are through security).

You will need to put any liquids (includes creams,pastes gels) in a small, clear, resealable plastic bag - ziplock bags are fine. Any of the airline or airport websites will have the specifics. I would recommend buying water for everyone once you are through security as the air on planes is very dry and the water is either expensive or if drinks are included they hand out thimble sized cups. I always need lip balm and handcream too.

Other things for hand baggage - portable DVD player, DS lite (if you have them), snacks, books, magazines, pack of cards - anything you think can entertain DCs for a couple of hours.

I would recommend just taking 2 large suitcases between the 4 of you - it's too much luggage otherwise. Have a 1 euro coin available if you want to use a luggage trolley at the other end.

Have a great time!

hermioneweasley Fri 12-Oct-12 20:09:36

Other things
Take any medication and a change of underwear in hand baggage in case luggage gets lost. Put an extra luggage take with flight details, name and contact number outside and put a piece of paper inside the case with the same details on. Also, when you get to your accommodation remove all the luggage labels from Your bags. Apparently old luggage labels left on bags is the number one cause of lost bags.

DuttonsForButtons Fri 12-Oct-12 20:12:49

When we travel we take either 2 or 3 suitcases between the 4 of us. Either DH and I share and the DC share another one, or DH and I have one each and the DC share.

If we are going somewhere where we are likely to buy a lot of souvenirs, we sometimes take just 2 suitcases and pack an empty holdall to use as our third piece of luggage on the way home.

We prefer to keep luggage to a minimum so that it is easier to and from the airport and at baggage reclaim. We have medium sized, lightweight suitcases. e did buy big ones, but if we filled them they were over the luggage allowance sometimes so its easier to have medium sized ones and then yo don't get caught out with excess baggage fees.

We all take a rucksack for handluggage, I also take a small handbag, most airlines allow this but you'd need to check yours.

When you get to the airport you would go to the terminal you are flying from, your itinerary should tell you which, and head to departures. You would then queue up for the check in for your flight, all the check in desks have big screens above them and you'll be able to spot your airline logo and the destination, so you will know where to queue.

When you check in they will want any booking details you have and your passports, they will give you your boarding cards (don't lose these, keep them with your passports) and they will weigh and label your luggage. They will usually take your luggage from you there, if you have holdalls or backpacks rather than suitcases you may have to take them to a bag drop area yourself. You will keep your hand luggage.

From check in you will head to security. You will have to take your shoes, belts off, empty pockets. Put everything through the scanners, walk through a scanner yourself and then once you have the all clear then you can head into the departure lounge and look round the shops or have something to eat.

Check your boarding card for which gate your plane will be at and keep an eye on the boards in the departures lounge, they will tell you when you need to go to your gate. Once you get to your gate you can wait until they ask you to board, they may ask for say, rows 1 - 35 to board please, you just wait for your section of the plane to be called, your seat numbers will be on your boarding card. When your section is called, go up to the gate and they wil want to see your boarding card (they will keep this) and your passport. Then you can get on the plane.

DuttonsForButtons Fri 12-Oct-12 20:17:15

If you will be taking any medication, especially if a liquid, make sure you have a prescription with you to show at security.

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