Tips For Flying Solo
Flight can be nerve-racking for new solo flyers. But with these simple tips, your first solo flight should go off without a hitch!
This article offers advice for pre-departure planning, security check-in preparation, immigration procedures and layover selection in case unexpected travel mishaps arise.
Flying solo can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. That’s why it is essential to arrive two hours prior to your flight’s departure in order to check-in, go through security, and locate your gate.
Downloading the airline app to stay informed on your flight will also provide helpful updates, allowing you to plan accordingly. It is wise to allow extra time if it’s your first time flying to make sure everything runs smoothly and to avoid feeling rushed during travel.
At an airport that’s usually divided up according to airline, it’s also essential that you double-check which terminal you should be in. Large screens should indicate where you should be; if unsure, speak to a member of staff at the airport who should point you in the right direction.
Linda Holmes’ best-selling novel EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER was an unforgettable tale about independence and returning home. Now Linda brings that same charmed small-town setting and relatable characters into FLYING SOLO in this tale about flying solo – featuring an engaging heroine you will cheer for from page one! Enjoy an entertaining look into all aspects of flying solo!
Upgrade Your Trip
An upgrade can come through many channels – having elite status or using points are great methods of doing this; but asking can also increase your chances. While this might seem counter-intuitive at first, if your request is polite and direct you might just find that it actually works!
Dressing well when flying alone is of even more significance, according to Money Magpie. Attire can play an instrumental role in how gate agents perceive passengers when considering upgrades; this is especially relevant during peak travel periods such as holidays and weekends.
Traveling solo increases your odds of receiving an upgrade seat. According to Julie McCoy from Fun in Fairfax VA, airlines find it much simpler to upgrade a lone traveler as opposed to having to move multiple passengers around at once.
It can also help to select non-smoking or window seats when booking your flight, since these have the best chances of snagging an upgrade. Pack light when trying for upgrades; airlines find it much simpler to bump someone without luggage than someone with heavy carry-on. More space makes upgrading easier!
Take Control of Your Luggage
Before leaving home, always double-check with your airline what items they will allow on board – this can save time at the airport! There may also be restrictions on items like chargers or electrical items – it would be easy to forget these at home! When travelling long-haul it might also help if you put an AirTags tracker in your checked bag for easy retrieval upon arrival at destination airport carousels.
Once your tickets have been printed* and your boarding pass delivered, head for your gate. Boarding typically starts 45 minutes prior to departure and you should see a screen with your flight number displayed – follow it to find your seat and wait!
Once the plane has touched down, disembarking can take time for all passengers. Be patient until it is time to rise up and collect your luggage; once off the plane follow signs for baggage claim. When collecting your bag tag attach it securely around its handle so that when your journey has concluded, reuniting it can happen more smoothly at carousel!
Even if this is your first solo flight, be sure to prepare by writing down all of the important information needed for the trip – such as packing lists and how to navigate customs – beforehand. Doing this will allow for quicker immigration clearance or baggage carousel retrieval. Consider adding tracking devices like air tags so that if anything should go missing on the carousel you know exactly where it can be found again.
Flying solo can be an invaluable confidence-builder. You’ll gain experience managing an aircraft on your own without an instructor to rescue in an emergency, and while mistakes will still likely happen during solo flights, these will teach you how to effectively manage risks and make smart decisions as pilot in command.
Linda Holmes is best-known as the author of NPR’s popular culture column EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER and continues her legacy in FLYING SOLO with another small-town setting and memorable characters, this time focusing on choice and independence. Holmes excels at crafting memorable people and an endearing heroine whom readers will root for from page one – her natural cadence of dialogue perfectly captures every inside joke or playful spat between family, friends and lovers.