WHAT TO EXPECT AND PREPARE BEFORE YOUR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT AND THE AIRPORT AND IMMIGRATION PROCESSES (FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A FILIPINA MARRIED TO A BRITISH CITIZEN)

WHAT TO PREPARE BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT AND WHAT TO EXPECT WITH REGARDS TO AIRPORT AND IMMIGRATION PROCESSES

BEFORE YOU GO TO THE AIRPORT

  1. Make sure you have checked these important travel documents you:

PRINCIPAL DOCUMENTS:

  • Valid passport (make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months)
  • Valid visa
  • Plane ticket/flight itinerary/e-ticket and/or boarding pass

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS you need to have with you just in case the Immigration Officer would ask you.

  • list of contact information from country of origin and destination country
  • Certificate of Employment (if employed)
  • Company ID (if employed)
  • Leave of absence form
  • Invitation letter (if sponsored)
  • CFO Certificate even if holding a visitor/tourist visa only (if declaring you’re staying with fiance’ or partner to avoid being offloaded)
  1. Prepare a document pouch dedicated just for document safekeeping and organizing.
  2. Add a pen into the document pouch because IT IS NO ONE’S RESPONSIBILITY BUT YOURS TO BRING ONE.
  3. Make sure that you personally pack your luggage. DON’T ACCEPT ‘PADALA’ if you haven’t seen what’s in the package. Better safe than sorry.
  4. Make sure that your luggage is within the allowed check in and hand carry allowance set by your airline.
  5. Make sure you know the dos and don’ts of packing for both checked in and hand carry luggage, e.g. liquids, sharp objects, etc.
  6. Make sure also of the date, time and airport terminal of your flight departure.
  7. Bring with you cash for emergency purposes and for travel tax payment (if applicable).
  8. If possible, avail of the online check in service of your airline to avoid long check in queues.

DURING CHECK-IN, IMMIGRATION PROCESSING AND BOARDING

  • Take your luggage with you and get into the entrance gate of the terminal.
  • Present your passport and plane ticket/e-ticket or boarding pass to the guard stationed at the entrance.
  • Have your entire luggage, tote/shoulder bag go through the scanner/x-ray machine.
  • Pass through the metal detecting area/door by the scanner/x-ray machine.
  • Collect your luggage after the scan.
  • Look for the Travel Tax desk. Present your passport, plane ticket/e-ticket to the desk in-charge. Pay for the travel tax fee. Collect passport, plane ticket/e-ticket and your O.R.
  • Check flight/check-in monitors if the airline check-in desks are already open for your flight.
    • If not yet, try to find a seat somewhere. Good luck! 😛
    • If check-in counters are already open, join the queue. If you’ve checked in online, find the right queue for it. If you haven’t, you still have the option of checking in online using your phone by connecting to the airport’s free wifi while joining the regular queue. Once you’ve successfully checked in online, go directly to the checked in online queue for faster check in processing.
  • Present to the airline check in staff your passport, plane ticket/e-ticket and the online check in code/confirmation.
  • Have your check in luggage processed.
  • Collect your passport, plane ticket/e-ticket and boarding pass/es after the staff has finished with the process.
  • Take with you your hand carry luggage and go find the entrance to the immigration area.
  • Once at the entrance, find the area where the departure cards are being placed. Get 2 just in case you make a mistake. Fill out the needed information asked.
  • Join the queue for immigration processing. Relax! Breathe!
  • Prepare your passport, boarding pass/es, plane ticket/e-ticket and the departure card. Prepare to provide other documents the Immigration Officer may ask from you.
  • Provide your digital index finger and thumb prints by placing them on the small fingerprint scanner one at a time. Also, prepare your most “poker face” expression when ask by the Immigration Officer to look at the camera.
  • Collect everything you presented to the Immigration Officer. Of course, plus a stamp on your passport this time.
  • Go directly to the one last security screening. Take everything out of your pocket, your belt, jacket/hoodie and place them all in trays provided at the screening areas.
  • Have all your items including your hand carry luggage pass through the screening/x-ray machine for security check.
  • Pass through the metal detecting area situated next to the x-ray/scanning machine.
  • Collect all your stuff and go to the designated areas where you can buckle your belt, wear your hoodie/jacket, etc.
  • Once you’re ready, look for your flight’s assigned gate. ASK IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR WAY AROUND. Anyway, you won’t get lost because the area has directions written all over.
  • When you reach the waiting lounge assigned for your flight, make yourself comfortable and wait for any boarding announcement.
  • When boarding, present your passport together with your boarding pass/es to the flight crew stationed at the entrance of the aircraft.
  • As you enter the aircraft, follow the flight attendant’s direction for your seat assignment.
  • Once you find your assigned seat, have your hand carry luggage tucked in the overhead bin. You may have your handbag/tote with you but you need to have it placed under the seat in front of you during take-off and landing.
  • Once settled in your seat, pray for a safe journey.

REMINDER:

It is always advised that you get to the airport at least four (4) hours before your international flight departure.

For tips on how and what to prepare for a long-haul flight, you might want to check this link, as I have blogged about it, too. https://wordpress.com/post/freddysmusings.home.blog/70

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