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First Time Flyers

First Time Flyers

Flying for the first time should be an exhilarating life experience. We have put together a short guide which covers each phase of your journey through the airport until the moment you leave the world behind.

Although all airlines and tour operators are different, this rough guide should help you on your way to becoming a seasoned flyer, whether you have young children spreading their wings for the first time or you are taking an inaugural journey into the skies later in life.


It is important that you are aware of the latest security measures issued by the Department for Transport.

Flight Tickets

Your tickets and/or itinerary will detail all your flight information. This should include:

  • The airports you are flying from and to
  • Your flight number, departure and arrival times
  • Your baggage allowance
  • The check-in time. This is important to look for and varies from airline to airline. It’s important you stick to this time as it gives you enough time to check-in your luggage and make your way to the plane.
  • Please note that you may not be issued with a ticket, you may just get a confirmation number depending on the airline.

Hold Baggage

Hold baggage items are large items for checking-in; these travel in the hold of the aircraft and you won’t see them again until you land at your destination airport. This normally includes items like suitcases and large rucksacks. Be sure to stay under the weight limit as you can be charged if you exceed it. Baggage allowances vary between airlines and classes of travel.

Check with your airline if you are unsure.

Hand Baggage

You are normally allowed to take one item of hand luggage on board the aircraft, not exceeding 56cm x 45cm x 25cm's. Restrictions currently apply to hand baggage at UK airports.

Arriving at the Airport

Your ticket or itinerary should provide details of your departure gate, but it’s best to check our up-to-date information either online or with associated airline operators.

Decide how you’ll get to the airport. If you are arriving by car, take a look at the car parking options and maps.


Once inside the terminal building, you need to check-in. Your check-in desk will have your flight number displayed above it. The check-in agent will print your boarding card and ask you some security questions – please have your tickets and passport ready. At this stage, they will also weigh your luggage and tag it with your flight details.

Waiting for your flight to depart

Once you check-in, display screens will let you know when you can go the departure lounge. To go to departures you will need to show your boarding card and pass through 'Security Control', where your hand luggage will be screened. Tax Free shopping and a range of shopping and food locations are all available for you to relax and unwind before a flight once you pass through Security.

Gate and Boarding

Airport screens will display the gate number for boarding your plane within plenty of time before flight departure. Signs will guide you in the direction of the gate – although some gates are a more extensive walk from the departure lounge, so make sure you leave plenty of time to find the correct gate. When you reach the gate, there will be a lounge area where you can wait in comfort until you’re called for boarding. Airline attendants will call you forward; simply hand over your boarding card and board the plane.

As you walk into the plane a member of the cabin crew will welcome you aboard, check the remaining portion of your boarding card and show you to your seat ready for take-off.


Once you land at your destination airport and leave the plane you will show your passport to security officials and then head to baggage reclaim to pick up the luggage that you checked-in at East Midlands Airport.

Screens in the airport will show your flight number above the carousel that your luggage will be on. After you have collected your luggage you are free to head through customs and out into the arrivals hall where your maiden journey will be complete!

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