Don’t let the (sometimes intimidating) thought of flying with a large student group keep you from spreading your wings to an unforgettable destination.
Preparation is key, so be sure to follow these tips and guidelines for smooth and successful air travel.
Know what students can bring.
While some items should obviously be left at home, it can be daunting trying to figure out if lesser-obvious items are acceptable. Luckily, TSA has an expansive online list of approved and banned items you can reference. Don’t see a particular item on the list? Simply snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Be sure students don’t overpack to avoid any additional luggage fees, and make sure to use something like a small ribbon or tag to easily identify their bag.
Make the flight comfortable.
Encourage students to bring stimulating items to keep them busy, whether it’s some headphones to listen to music, a good book or playing cards. Long flights or delays can be bothersome, but keeping students engaged will keep things on track. Because planes tend to be cooler, remind students they might want to bring a hoodie or small throw blanket.
Place an emphasis on etiquette.
Prepare students long in advance about what to expect in the security line at the airport—especially if there are students who have never flown before. Stress the seriousness of the situation by telling them to never makes jokes about threats or anything that would make TSA delay your trip. Also, remind them that manners matter. Always say “please” and “thank you” just like if they were in any other setting. After all, they are representing their school, town, and sometimes even their state, while traveling.
An Important Note:
Starting October 1, 2020, travelers 18 and older will need to have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable form of identification, as outlined by TSA. How do you know if someone’s ID is compliant? They’re generally marked with a star located in the upper portion of the card. Though travelers younger than 18 don’t need to have this identification, older students and any adult chaperones will, so plan ahead!