Your first flight to a foreign country!
Have you ever been on a plane before? If yes, I give you one minute to re-read the title and quit this article.
As we all know, moving to another country for the first time can be a little bit hard, especially if you are from a developing country. This article is a response to the many requests I received from some friends and people who’ve been following me for a while; Thanks for appreciating my words!
A. Flight process
So you have an upcoming flight and you want some information about how it goes; The first step is choosing the flight company and it’s for your own good to choose a great one because some companies manage their flights like they are managing a weekly market.
1. Booking the flight
So here you must book a ticket with whatever flight company and choose your options, what I liked the most is that you get to choose your seat; Some companies don't offer seats with a window view for free so if you want to enjoy the view from above; You may consider paying for it and it’s very cheap (mine was 20€). You also get to choose if you want a meal (food suck by the way) as well the most important thing is the luggage, you have to respect a specific weight otherwise you’ll end up paying for it, commonly you have between 8kgs~10kgs for the backpack and 22kgs ~25kgs for a big suitcase.
2. Airport procedure
You should consider being at the airport 3h before the flight time, and that's because the administrative checks may long for hours depending on how many people are in the airport; As a joke, my 1st flight was during the beginning of covid-19 so I found the airport empty that I finished all the checks in 10 minutes so I had plenty of time to discover all types of wine in a Muslim country's airport.
2.1 Check-in at the Box/Ticket office
Procedures differ from an airport to another so you may have fewer/extra checks. Hence, there's a probability that you may get asked to put your luggage in the checking machine when you first enter the airport; Afterwards, you'll have to find a window (aka: box office or ticket office/window) that belongs to the flight company you chose, so there they'll ask you to provide them with your passport and proof of the reservation (it doesn't matter if you print or not, you can show them the file on your phone), they'll make sure that your information is correct and how many Kgs you have on your reservation ticket so they can check its weight on the scale (the only thing you are allowed to keep with you, is a backpack of 10kg maximum), and of course if you are carrying more than what you're allowed to, you're going to pay extra money; But if everything is well balanced they'll give you back your passport with a boarding pass.
The boarding pass (below is the famous picture that everyone takes at the airport, the paper inside of the passport is the boarding pass) contains a set of information including the gate you'll have to follow in order to access the plane
Now, look up and you'll find signs with the name of gates, so you'll have to follow the one that you have on the boarding pass and at a certain moment, you'll have to scan the QR code on the boarding pass scanner to continue your way.
2.2 Security check
So you're on the way to the security checkpoint, depending on your luck you may find a long line or not! Here they'll ask you to put your backpack on the scanner panel and if it has a computer you'll need to get it out of the backpack and put it separately, also they may ask you to remove your jacket or shoes …etc to scan them as well and if everything goes fine you take your stuff and continue your way by following the signs leading to your gate.
Again, depending on how lucky you are, you may find a long line! So here, you must present your travel documents that include your passport and your ID, the officer makes everything is in order, puts a departure stamp on a page of your passport, and gives it back to you.
At this point, you have nothing to do but finding your gate and then you can sit and wait until they open the gate, again you'll have to present your passport along with your boarding pass and you're ready to get into the plane; Afterwards, you look for your seat (number of the seat is at the top where you put the bags) and prepare your camera to take awesome pictures.
So you arrived at your destination, again you'll have to follow the signs leading to immigration and you present your travel documents, for the second time the officer checks if everything is in order, puts an arrival stamp on a page of your passport, and gives it back to you.
Subsequently, there are no other administrative steps so you follow signs leading to the luggage zone, you find the right place by looking for a sign with the name of the country where you came from. Usually, it’s an area where there is a belt that is spinning luggage, so you wait until you see your suitcase, you grab it, and you leave the airport to your next destination.
C. Covid-19 new rules
After the covid-19 pandemic, some countries have set new rules in order to leave the country, so for example: if you're not a resident in the destination country you may need a special authorization paper in order to leave the country, also they may ask for a proof of vaccination instead of a PCR test (These are requirements if you're leaving Morocco); On top of this, you'll also have to check the travel requirements to the destination country.
Otherwise, if you're a resident in the destination country, you'll have to check the rules of travel on the country's government website, because some countries don't require doing a PCR in the departure country but instead, they require filling a tracking form on a specific website and when you arrive at your destination they send you a code that you can provide in a covid-19 testing center so you do your test for free.