Ensure that every traveller has his/her passport easily accessible - best to keep it in a pocket with no other contents except the boarding card (see below).
Your journey from entering the departures hall to security depends on your status - three possibilities are described below, with all coming together again at point 4.
Whichever applies to you, I suggest that a supervising adult goes first, another last, with any remaining spaced equally through the group. If you have girls in your party, then it is best if a female teacher goes through security first. If a girl has to be "patted down" - a not infrequent occurrence - it is best for a female teacher to be present.
In every case, liquids (including sprays, creams, gels and pastes) are permitted through security only in small quantities. Each product max 100ml. Total maximum 1 litre. Must be in a clear plastic bag no larger than 20cm x 20 cm. Max 1 such plastic bag per person. Bag must be sealed, but not tied or knotted. Of course, if you have checked baggage, liquids may be there with no checks or limits.
You also need to be sure that any electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops are sufficiently charged to be able to be switched on.
1. You have checked-in on-line, have your boarding cards, and have no luggage to go in the hold of the aircraft.
As you enter the departures hall, locate your airline / flight on the screens, just to ensure that there is no extended delay forecast.
Go to point 4 below
2. You have checked-in on-line, have your boarding cards, and have luggage to go in the hold of the aircraft.
As you enter the departures hall, locate your airline / flight on the screens and go to their counters. Go to the bag drop counter with your passport / boarding card and wait while bag is labelled.
Go to point 4 below.
3. You have not checked-in on-line.
As you enter the departures hall, locate your airline / flight on the screens and go to the counter indicated. Each traveller should present passport and place any hold luggage on the belt. The luggage will be labelled and a boarding card issued. Place this safely with the passport.
Go to point 4.
To enter security, you will need to show your boarding card. Put it back with passport. You will join a queue for security and will be called forward to an indicated channel. Here all outerwear (coats, jackets and the like) should be placed in the tray provided, together with mobile phones, coins, anything metallic, and in some airports, belts and shoes.
You will be called through a gate which should sense any of the above items which have been "forgotten", but may also respond to heavy shoes or belt buckles. Even if it reacts, there is no need for concern. You will be more closely tested by an operator using a hand-held electronic sensor. It is possible that you will be asked at this point to remove belt and / or shoes and these will go through the X-ray.
Once you and your belongings are reunited, you may walk through to the departure lounge.
5. Departure lounge.
If you have some time before your flight, it is probably best to set-up a central point where at least one staff member will be present and to permit students to look at the shops or have refreshments. Get them back together about 10 minutes before your advised gate time.
Keep an eye on the screens for the exact gate number for your flight and proceed there as soon as you can account for all your party.
The gate, despite its name, is another holding area for you to sit (if you are lucky) or otherwise wait. When called forward, you will need to show your boarding card and passport open to the photograph. And then to the aircraft, where you must show your boarding card as you enter.
© Hugh Jordan 2004 - 2014
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