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Group Check-in At Airports

by Chad Criswell

Plan Ahead For A Smooth Check-in and Flight

When traveling with a group through a major airport, here are some tips to help things go smoothly while reducing your personal stress level:

1. Prior to arriving at the airport, consider marking all of your group's luggage with something that is easy to notice. A red ribbon on everyone’s luggage handle makes it easier to spot as it comes around on the belt. If you are using a travel agent to book the flights ask them if you can have some of their complimentary luggage tags.

2. As your group arrives at the airport, take a moment to go inside and ask an airline agent where you should take your group to check in. Most airlines have a special group check-in line that may or may not be where you expect it to be.

3. Before getting in line at the counter, organize your participants into groups. It is easy to get separated in the hustle of the check-in process, and being in small groups helps avoid the possibility of a straggler getting left behind in the shuffle. Do not try to group up once you are inside the terminal, in most cases it will be too busy and noisy to do so.

4. Resist the temptation to hold on to everyone's airplane tickets until they get in line at the terminal. Once your group is in check-in line they will likely move through the agents VERY quickly. Give the tickets to the participants before they leave the bus.

5. Once your group has found your departure gate do not be too concerned if people want to go off to the bathroom or to get something to eat. Just make sure that your group leaders know what is going on, when the flight is going to board, and what time you want them back in the departure lounge. The group leader should always be the last person to get on the plane.

About The Author

Chad Criswell is a well-regarded high school music teacher. He has over a decade of experience planning and coordinating trips for school and non-profit groups of all sizes. He is a respected resource person for band, choir, and other activity groups across the country.

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