By Christian Jay B. Quilo
Photos: N.S. Villflor
UNLIKE traveling by land or sea, air travel has a more stringent set of guidelines, and failure to meet said guidelines could mean denial to board your flight — which is every traveler’s nightmare. So that doesn’t happen, here’s a list of things that you might find useful in prepping for your next flight:
Most budget airlines offer heavily discounted fares (yay, seat sale). The small downside is this does not include check-in baggage. However, each passenger is allowed a small handbag or laptop bag with measurements of 35 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm or can fit under the seat in front of you; AND a carry-on luggage with dimensions of not more than 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm, a maximum weight of 7 kg and must fit in the overhead compartments.
In connection with carry-on guidelines: LAGs (liquids, aerosols and gels) must be in containers not more than 100 mL in capacity and must be stored in a 20 cm x 20 cm sized Ziploc or clear resealable bag.
If you’re the traditional type of person who likes to check-in the old fashioned way, make sure you allot enough time to do so as lines at the check-in counters can get pretty long. Remember: check-in counters open two hours before — and close 45 minutes before — estimated time of departure.
This feature is a heaven-sent because you can skip the line at the check-in counters and go straight to your boarding gate. You can check-in online as early as seven days before departure.
Based on personal experience, some airport staff require a physical boarding pass — which kind of defeats the purpose of the app, but that’s beside the point. There are self-service machines now where you can check-in (if you haven’t done yet online) or just print your boarding pass by simply entering your reference number.
Unfortunately, drinks aren’t allowed until you’re at the boarding gates. But fret not, you can bring an empty water tumbler with you so you can refill it with water at a fountain or dispenser in the boarding gates. A collapsible one is best as it doesn’t consume a lot of space.
For security purposes, you will be asked to remove objects with metals like belts, rings, bracelets and other pieces of bling when going through x-ray, so save yourself the trouble and keep them in your bag first and wear them out after clearing x-ray.
Don’t wear anything you’ll be uncomfortable with during x-ray or your actual flight, especially if it’s long haul. Shoes also have to come off for security in some airports, so avoid ones with complicated lacing and opt for pairs you can easily slip on and off instead.
When traveling internationally, keep in mind that most countries have a six-month policy — which means your passport should still be valid for at least six more months within your travel period.
You still need to pay the terminal fee and travel tax at the airport so make sure to have enough cash for these. (Note: Some airlines have an option during the booking process, where you can pay travel tax ahead.)
Airports are notorious for food and beverage tenants with absurdly inflated prices but we can’t do anything about that. If you’re on a tight budget, what you can do is pack snacks — just make sure they are dry and don’t have any sauce or liquid. This way, you won’t go hungry and save money.