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Advice for First-Time Flyers


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#21 Maglev

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:06 PM

Since they're flying first class, they get some kind of priority security, but I don't see on the AA website if it's specifically Pre Check.  When my wife and I flew first on Delta in December, we went through Pre Check.  They  can go to the TSA website to see what is okay to take.

 

I don't think I'll get them lounge passes--I think it would be safer if they just wait at the gate.

 

Thanks for all the great tips! 


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#22 jis

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:17 PM

When IAD shuts down its Pre-Check (and Clear) Checkpoint around 9 or 10pm, after that Pre-Check or not everyone goes through the non Pre-Check rigmarole at the only open Checkpoint. Been there and done that a couple of times on my last flight of the day back from IAD to MCO. But at that time it really is no big deal, because there is hardly any line anyway. Just the inconvenience of the shoe thing and the pull all electronics out thing and the scanner instead of magnetometer thing.


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#23 seat38a

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 01:11 AM

Since they're flying first class, they get some kind of priority security, but I don't see on the AA website if it's specifically Pre Check.  When my wife and I flew first on Delta in December, we went through Pre Check.  They  can go to the TSA website to see what is okay to take.

 

I don't think I'll get them lounge passes--I think it would be safer if they just wait at the gate.

 

Thanks for all the great tips! 

If the choice is between everyone lane, priority lane or TSAPre. The order of choice is:

 

1. TSAPre

2. Priority Lane

3. Everyone Lane

 

Not sure if your friends will get the random TSAPre since this is their first time flying. If they do not, then the next best is the Priority/Premier Lane which gives you a shorter line to the ID check but still have to take your shoes(Unless they are 75+) off and pull your electronics out.


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#24 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:25 AM

Since they're flying first class, they get some kind of priority security, but I don't see on the AA website if it's specifically Pre Check.  When my wife and I flew first on Delta in December, we went through Pre Check.  They  can go to the TSA website to see what is okay to take.
 
I don't think I'll get them lounge passes--I think it would be safer if they just wait at the gate.
 
Thanks for all the great tips! 

It should say on their boarding pass if they have pre-check. I was surprised a few years ago when AA gave me pre-check. Now I check my boarding pass for it whenever I fly.
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#25 cpotisch

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:27 AM

I've gotten random Pre-Check plenty of times, but I think minors get it more often than adults. It's certainly possible that they end up with Pre Check, and that would be a blessing for some first time flyers, but it really doesn't seem too likely to me.
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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#26 jis

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:52 AM

Be aware though, that recently, TSA has drastically cut down granting random access to TSA-Pre upon hearing complaints from members of the TSA-Pre program who shelled out money to get the facility.


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#27 trainman74

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:32 PM

Not even a colored card to take with you through security so you don't have to take your shoes off? That's what I've gotten in the past when the Pre-Check line has been unavailable/closed (but I don't think I've been to your home airport).

 
Did they offer it or did you have to ask for it?  There's still an after hours airline staff "lane" that I might try next time just to see what they do.


Yeah, I've been proactively offered that after scanning my boarding pass (noticeable because it makes a different-sounding beep when you're Pre-Check eligible), at both Burbank and another airport that I can't remember -- the secondary checkpoint at Pittsburgh, it might have been.
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#28 tp49

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:39 AM

If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE.  It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.  



#29 railiner

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 06:13 AM

If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE.  It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.  

How well does that work?   I would think to get any real benefit, you would have to be seated near the sunny side window, and tape the panel over the window...


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#30 cpotisch

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:18 AM

Any decent/modern computer or phone should be able to make it through a cross country flight without recharging. You might have trouble with an older device, which might be less efficient and/or have a worn out battery, in which case I might recommend a battery pack. However solar powered chargers are usually pretty expensive and don't provide much power, so IMO they are pretty limited in usefulness and value.


Edited by cpotisch, 15 June 2018 - 10:23 AM.

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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#31 jis

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:30 AM

There is no charging need for a six hour flight that a Mophie battery together with the internal battery of a modern solid state memory device, won't adequately take care of. Indeed mine takes care of even 16 hour flights adequately. I seldom plug into any charging port on planes. They are just fallback things just in case.


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#32 tp49

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 02:35 PM

 

If the plane doesn't have at seat power and the flight is during the day, they may want to invest in a solar powered power bank/charger so they don't have to ration the device based IFE.  It's helped me out on Southwest a few times.  

How well does that work?   I would think to get any real benefit, you would have to be seated near the sunny side window, and tape the panel over the window...

 

Works fine, I almost always have a window seat and as long as there's daylight on the tray table it does what I need it to do.  Got the charger last year off of Groupon for about $25 and it also has a built-in power bank.

-----------

The device I use in flight happens to be an older iPad which won't stay fully charged for the duration of a transcon, let alone some of the 16-hour flights I take.  Additionally, it's not always feasible to fully charge the device prior to the flight (meetings run late, outlets at a premium in the airport, etc.) 



#33 cpotisch

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 02:52 PM

I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.


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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
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#34 jis

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:11 PM

I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better :D


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#35 cpotisch

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:13 PM

 

I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better :D

 

I prefer noise canceling headphones as well. If you have them is another story.  :P


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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#36 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:22 PM

 

I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better

 

The engines don't bother me much, unless I'm right behind the trailing edge of a B772 or in the last few rows of an MD8X, but portable game systems and crying babies bother me plenty.  Never found a set of noise canceling headphones that could block those types of sounds.  After reading that the new A350 has a much quieter HVAC system I'm hesitant to choose one for a long haul trip.  Seems like the loss of calm white noise might only sound good until it falls victim to the law of unintended consequences.


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#37 cpotisch

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:30 PM

 

 

I second the advice to bring gum for dealing with the air pressure change. Also ear plugs, since the engines can be annoying for some people.

I actually prefer noise canceling headphones. Even without music they serve well to shut the noise out almost completely, and with music they are even better

 

The engines don't bother me much, unless I'm right behind the trailing edge of a B772 or in the last few rows of an MD8X, but portable game systems and crying babies bother me plenty.  Never found a set of noise canceling headphones that could block those types of sounds.  After reading that the new A350 has a much quieter HVAC system I'm hesitant to choose one for a long haul trip.  Seems like the loss of calm white noise might only sound good until it falls victim to the law of unintended consequences.

 

I personally don't care much about engines either, but I've heard people go on angry tangents about the "terrible noise" of the engines in something as quiet as an A321. Ambient noise usually makes up much more of the problem, but most train travelers are used to that. Either way, earplugs are good to have.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#38 railiner

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 10:46 PM

I don't find the engine noise bothersome at all...I find the slipstream noise more annoying at full cruising speed.  Makes it hard for me to hear conversations.  Maybe its an individual thing based on ones hearing acuity?


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#39 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 01:00 AM

I personally don't care much about engines either, but I've heard people go on angry tangents about the "terrible noise" of the engines in something as quiet as an A321. Ambient noise usually makes up much more of the problem, but most train travelers are used to that. Either way, earplugs are good to have.

 
That is quite odd. In my experience (A300 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A388) Airbus aircraft are surprisingly quiet.  If anything their engines seem to spook infrequent passengers into believing there might not be enough thrust to achieve and maintain positive lift.

 

I don't find the engine noise bothersome at all...I find the slipstream noise more annoying at full cruising speed. Makes it hard for me to hear conversations. Maybe its an individual thing based on ones hearing acuity?

 
Other than when I'm seated/standing near an emergency exit door on a widebody aircraft I rarely notice the sound of external air friction over the combined ambient noise of other sources.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 19 June 2018 - 09:58 AM.

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#40 railiner

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 10:38 AM

I don't know what 'WRT' stands for...

Anyway, you hear the slipstream noise on all aircraft.  At first, the engine sound on takeoff is dominant, but as the speed increases to full cruising speed, the slipstream noise pretty much covers it up, unless you are in the rear, next to a fuselage mounted engine on an MD80, perhaps.

Some people like its "white noise" effect, as it also covers up other sounds like babies crying to some degree.   Here is a sound recording of that sound, albeit, only at full speed...it doesn't show the difference from takeoff...  

I find it difficult to hear the flight attendants, when they come around taking food and beverage orders.   Normally, my hearing is very good, on the ground.

 

I actually like that "white noise" from the HVAC on Amfleet and Superliner's....for the same reason.  Helps me sleep.  It is only when it suddenly stops, that I awaken... :)


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