Surviving the Airport
What do you get when you bring student groups to the airport?
Just kidding … Well, kind of. Air travel can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially when you’re trying to get a group of students through security and to the gate.
Don’t stress. These tips will help you get everyone onto the plane without a hitch.
Baggage can be a real drag if your students don’t follow the rules of the air.
If your students are bringing carry-on items, make sure they know what’s allowed through security. TSA provides a list of prohibited items and airlines all have different size requirements for bags. Even if your students are checking bags, they’ll still need to know the rules for their backpacks and other personal items.
Also review these rules before the flight home: You never know what students purchase as souvenirs!
Walk students through the screening process.
In one of your meetings before the trip, walk students through the airport screening process. It may help to do a simulation—especially if students are nervous. Make sure they know the items that will need to be removed from their bags and placed in bins.
Use your chaperones.
It’s easier to move through airports in smaller groups. Use your chaperones to help organize students into pods, and have them stick together. That way, the whole group isn’t held up if a student is detained.
If you’re traveling internationally, consider collecting student passports a few weeks before departing for the airport. That way, no one leaves it on the counter at home. Have chaperones hand them out once they’re at the airport and ready to go.
Large groups benefit from professional assistance at the airport. Some tour operators have airport coordinators who have boarding passes prepared for groups upon arrival. If you’re handling airport checking on your own, speak to a ticketing agent once you arrive at the airport. Depending on the airline and time of day, the agent will either issue all of the tickets for your group or may ask each person come to the counter individually. In that event, have chaperone pods go together.
Do a double-check.
Students and chaperones should check if everyone has all their belongings after leaving the security screening area. At the gate, double-check students all have their boarding passes.
Courtesy of SYTA.