Getting to Your Departure Gate

Basic of Air Travel: Getting to Your Departure Gate

You’ve now spent a couple of hours checking in for your flight, getting to the airport, checking your bags, and getting through security, but you aren’t even close to getting on the plane yet. Now it’s time to get to your departure gate.

Most of the time, your departure gate is printed on your boarding pass. Still, it is a good idea to check the airport monitors to make sure that there hasn’t been a gate change.

Once through security, look for large video screens or televisions monitors (like in the photo above). These monitors list the flight departures, flight status (time of departure or delay), and the departure gate. The list may be sorted for departure time or by the destination city, so take a couple of minutes to figure it out and note your departure gate and time.

airport monitors

If you’ve arrived at the airport really early, you’ve now got some time before you need to be at your gate. Go ahead and stop by some of the shops, or pick up a cup of coffee or something to eat. You may even want to stop off at a bar for a drink.

But no matter what you decide to do, keep an eye on the clock. Boarding usually begins 30 minutes prior to departure, and you’ll want to be in the boarding area around that time.

Don’t play fast and loose with your boarding time — the plane will leave without you!

Next: The boarding process — finally, it’s time to get on the plane.

If you’re reading our series on Basics of Air Travel, here is a quick look at the other steps to air travel mastery.

  1. Checking in From Home
  2. Get to the Airport on Time
  3. Checking & Carrying on Luggage
  4. Getting Through Security – Planning
  5. Airport Security – Rules & Etiquette
  6. Getting to Your Departure Gate
  7. Boarding the Plane & Stowing Your Bags
  8. Turning Off Your Electronic Devices
  9. Safety Demonstration
  10. Beverage Service
  11. Airplane Etiquette
  12. Descent
  13. Landing & Deplaning
  14. Leaving the Airport

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