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First Time Flyers

First Time Flyers

First Time Flyer Header - Boy Watching Plane

To help make your experience as a first time flyer as pleasant and enjoyable as possible we've brought together a short guide to introduce you to your first experience of the skies.

From professionally managed fear of flying courses, hosted by some of the world's most well-known airlines, to hints and tips on what you'll need when arriving at the airport and checking in, there's plenty to help make your first journey in the skies a pleasant and memorable one.

There’s a first time for everything – and because not everyone’s a frequent flyer, we’ve assembled a short guide for first time flyers. Although all airlines and tour operators are different, this rough guide should help you on your way. So put your seat back and tray table in the upright position and prepare for take-off…


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

Security Rules

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.

Find out more

Arriving at the Airport

There are three terminals at Manchester Airport. Your ticket or itinerary should provide details of your departure terminal, but it’s best to check our up-to-date information.

Find out which terminal you’ll be flying from. Once you know your terminal, 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.

You can also check-in by using one of the self-service kiosks. This is quick and easy to do.

Find out more

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 cafes bars and restaurants are all available for you relax and unwind before a flight once you pass through Security Control.

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 Manchester 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 journey is complete!