WHEN YOU PLAN YOUR TRAVEL
Every citizen should ideally possess a passport.No one can foresee when he or she will get an opportunity or to be forced to travel abroad at short notice.Further the passport can be used as a valid identity card for any situation,be it in a post office or registration offices.
Obtaining a visa :- Visit to most countries will require a visiting visa.Some embassies levy fees and some don't.For the traveller it is useful to contact a travel agent well ahead of the scheduled visit and procure visa early.Several trips abroad have been cancelled due to non-avaliability of visa at the right time!
Booking Tickets :- International flight bookings can be made well ahead of the date and hence it is a good practice to book the tickets after planning the dates much ahead of the journey.
Fares :- There are significant differences in fare structure in different airlines depending on the peak season/off season and during week ends.Concessional fares work out on the duration of visit abroad.
Transit Stays :- Several airlines provide complementary hotel accomodation facilities during transit in between flights.The travel agent can detail the avaliable facilities.
Foreign Exchange :- With the present liberalised policy of Indian government,it is fairly simple to obtain foreign exchange at market rates.
Luggage :- Each airliner or each travel route has designated baggage rules.Eventhough 20/30 kg per adult is the usual accepted limit,some routes and some airlines limit it as one number of baggage or two numbers.Mark your name clearly on every bag for carry identification during collection of baggage.
Purchasing Tickets:-Obtain tickets well ahead of the journey.
Travel Documents :- All travel documents including Passport,Visa,Currency,Tickets,important letters from visiting country and all such important documents should be kept in a wallet and should be avaliable with the traveller always.Loss or misplacement can create distressing experiences.
AT THE AIRPORT
Count the baggages and look after them. Never leave baggages unattended. They may be removed by security personnel.
Don't accept covers/bags from unidentified persons, whatever be the pleading. The bags may contain drugs or contraband items. You may land up in untold misery if prosecuted. In certain countries drug drafficting entails death penalty.
Check in :- You may check in your major baggage at least 3 hours before any International flight and get your boarding pass and confirm your seat numbers. You may have the choice of window seat/ aisle seat/ middle seat, front/middle or rear of air craft, near the exit etc. depending on avaliability.An Early bird is always benefitted.
Tags :- Get the tag for hand baggage write your name and designation and flight No. on the tag. This may be helpful in identification in case you misplace them.
Metals and explosives :- Hand baggage should not contain any metallic weapons or explosive devices.Consult security staff before checking in baggage
X-ray screening of luggage :- All airports have X-ray screening of baggages.The checked bags will be sealed before checking in. Confirm the safety of photographic films etc. if you possess any.
Go and sit in the departure launge waiting for the announcement to board the aircraft.
IN THE PLANE
When flight is announced,keep the boarding card ready and join the queue for getting into the aircraft.Observe the announcement carefully as invalids,those having small children and those for specific destination may be called first.Don't squeeze through your way upto the gate and be snubbed by the fight staff that you were not called !
Air safety precautions like avaliability of oxygen mask,use of life jacket and emergency exit from the aircraft will be demonstrated live or on the television screen.Observe them carefully.
After the air craft has reached the required altitude, the seat belt sign will go off. However it is advisable to have the seat belt on while seated. This will protect you from being thrown off the seat in an eventuality.
In Long flights, be mentally prepared for the long time gap. Some sleep off.Some do a good amount of reading.Some enjoy the music available through the earphone in different channels (in larger air craft). A film may be shown in long haul flight. Look for programmes in flight magazine.
Rest well . Eat and drink as much as you can .
Food and drinks will be provided in the seat.Opt for vegetarian or non vegetarian dish when offered. Hot drinks may be offered free or on payment.In-flight duty free shopping is available in many International flights generally.In-flight shopping is usually cheaper than air port duty free shopping.Air lines journal may give details of in-flight shopping.
Looking out of the air craft at day time when the sky is clear. It may be interesting for passengers sitting at the window seat.Pilots sometimes announce some interesting views when the plane files over important locations.
Prepare for landing keeping seats upright and fastening seat belt ,when announced.
Fill up the dis-embarkation card and customs clearance cards that will be handed over to you by the crew, consult crew for any clarification.
Get up from seat only after air craft has come to a complete halt. A sudden brake may take you off balance.
AFTER ALIGHTING FROM AIRCRAFT
Follow the directions given in the terminal buildings and reach upto immigration counter. Keep your passport, the specific visa and dis-embarkation card ready and present to the officials.
After the entry permit is sealed on the passport, proceed to customs.
Some airports have a walk through green channel. Others will need the customs card to be signed by the officials.
The customs regulations at the point of entry will be usually given to the passengers before dis-embarkation. Read the regulations carefully. If there is any doubt, consult the customs officials on duty or proceed through the red channel .
Once you are out of the customs, your journey is finished. You will reach the placards or people waiting to receive you. If you are on your own, look for the banks/exchange bureaus and taxis / cabs/ buses/ trains for reaching your destination.