“Travelling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Batutta.
Travelling can be extremely exciting, especially if you are going on a Holiday or a Short vacation. The anticipation of the trip gradually builds, and your mind ponders on all the aspects of your trip.
One very important element of your trip you need to take note of is your Flight Time. It will always be displayed clearly in your travel itinerary or your E ticket. For domestic flights you should be at the airport at least 1hr before Flight time and for international flights 2.5 – 3hrs before departure. Sometimes people feel like 3hours before the flight translates to a 3hr wait at the airport – No it doesn’t. Remember that after check-in, you still need to clear Immigrations and Customs and that usually takes a significant amount of time so arriving early is always the way to go. No one likes to kick start their travel feeling flustered from a manic rush to the departure gate so it’s always better to arrive at the Airport earlier, than later.
Most International Airlines close their check-in counters two (2) hours before flight time and they usually will not take responsibility for waiving any payment penalties for date changes if passengers miss their flight due to lateness. Also, passengers are not automatically refunded for missing their flight. They can be put on the next available flight or refunded only a portion of the ticket, but this is entirely at the Airline’s discretion and is usually guided by the applicable rules on the ticket purchased.
Here are a few tips that will help ensure you get to the airport on time:
- Be Packed & ready to go the night before. Leaving things till the very last minute have a way of slowing you down and stealing your time. So do it all the day before.
- Pack Light. If you really don’t need it, don’t take it with you. Travelling light always gives you less to worry about
- Leave home on time. Anticipate traffic and road incidents that will double your commute time to the Airport – leave earlier than you normally would.
- Check-in Online. Most international flights allow you check-in 24hours before the flight. Once checked-in, you are sure to save some time even if you get to the Airport a bit late.
Finally, always invest in Travel Insurance. Spend a little bit extra and avoid the stress that comes with missed flights; lost baggage; flight connections and even medical emergencies.
Now that you’re all set for that flight…
By Irene Uti-Egbeogu