Never Been on a Plane Before - Please Help!

Hey Monkeys, could use some tips/pointers from you all. As embarrassing as it is, never been on a plane in my life before. Only child and my parents haven't flown in decades (no need as they're farmers). I'm just a kid from a small town in the Midwest. Have high hopes and dreams of one day living it up in a big city. Speaking of which, I currently work as a personal banker at a big national bank that has branches in my home town. Have been given the opportunity to interview for a PWM role. First few rounds of interviews were by phone and Zoom, but now they want to do in-person in NYC. Exciting and scary at the same time. 

Would like your opinion on which airlines are preferred, how seating works, what to do about baggage, how early I should arrive to my airport, etc.

My social anxiety makes to prone to overthinking. I appreciate your guys' kindness! 

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Dude go on Kayaak and search for some cheap flights. Make sure you select the most convenient airport, don't go for those in the middle of buttfuck nowhere because the tickets are cheaper (you'll be spending more money ubering there). You gotta check-in online 24 hours before your scheduled flight. Don't select your seats because you gotta pay extra. Most airlines allow you to carry a backpack and a carry-on. You only do the large suitcase check-ins if you really need a lot of things (for vacation, but you're only going to interview in NYC so a carry-on and backpack is sufficient). Get to the airport 2 hours early, and make sure you eat good prior cuz airport food is expensive. Wear comfortable clothes for TSA. Don't forget to empty your water bottle, and bring less than 3.4 fl oz of liquids on your backpack and carry on! On the plane, carry-on goes on top, backpack under the seat in front of you. Then sit back, relax, and prepare for takeoff.


Thanks for the thorough response! Looks like its between American Airlines and Spirit (which I've heard mixed things about). 

American Airlines is charging $100 each way for window seats, right up front and with 6' inches of additional legroom. At least my penis would be comfortable. Boarding and unboarding would be more streamlined. 

If I don't pick seating, is it pre-assigned or is it random on the day of?


Good advice, bringing an empty water bottle through security is critical, nothing worse than dry mouth on a plane when the seatbelt sign is on the stewies are ignoring you!  I'll counter one point, acknowledging it's a matter of preference.  Even when I was broke I never found it worth it to not pick your seat.  If you're already anxious, it's hardly worth adding uncertainty about when and where you are going to find out about your seat.  I'm also 6'5 so aisle meant a lot more to me than others, maybe.

If you're flying out for an interview, I'm assuming the company will reimburse you.  If that's the case, definitely get a ticket with a seat, closer to the front to expedite boarding/unboarding.  Choose an airline with a logical boarding system (Delta), not a hunger games free for all for carry-on space.

Leave yourself plenty of time.  It's always easier to be massively early than to be sitting in traffic wondering how security will be and stressing about making your flight.  Especially these days 90% of airports have actual free wifi, you can post up at your gate or at the bar.    


It’s random on the day of if you don’t pre-select your seat. I don’t know about you, but I’m tall and I’m a fidgety bastard—meaning I actually prefer the aisle because I can stretch my legs/piss off to bathroom if I so please.

Saw another comment about sitting near the front, highly recommend. Alternatively recommend choosing an emergency exit, they typically have more leg room.

Bring a book/download music/podcast/etc. to keep you entertained on the flight, they’ll make you put your phone in airplane mode so just prep yourself to be entertained offline for a few hours.

I also want to echo all the stuff about dressing comfy, packing light, arrival time, etc.

Relax and enjoy it, airline staff are extremely helpful (and if you’re into women/your attendants are women, they’re also usually very attractive).


1. Make sure you show up in good time. If you have never navigated an airport, I'd say 2.5 hours would be ample time to figure everything out. More than that is unnecessary, as long as it's over 2 hours you will be fine. 

2. Eat before arriving to the airport. I know it was mentioned previously, but I'd like to add that you should make sure you eat clean foods that won't make you feel too sick to your stomach. The reason for this is; since it's your first time flying, you don't know if you'll feel "airsick", and you most definitely don't want a BigMac in your stomach when that happens.

3. Book your seat as close to the front as you can. The back just isn't enjoyable, you'll learn that once you try it.

4. Pack a backpack and a small suitcase. If you can avoid checking any baggage onto the plane, do it. It eliminates the stress of worrying where your stuff is, and you can have it all with you. Pretty much every standard airline allows a personal bag,(backpack), and a carry-on, (small suitcase).

5. Only bring liquids < 3.4oz. Makes it much easier to get through security. 

6. Just relax. Millions and millions of people travel every day, you'll be just fine. If you need to sleep, bring some melatonin and some noise cancelling headphones if you have them. Neck/very small pillows can be nice too.

I know I'm re-iterating some what was said above. Hope this helps. Best of luck!


If you're flying out the night before, get to the airport early and have a beer or two at a bar in the terminal– it'll knock you right out. I've always been fascinated with planes and stare out the window like a kid even though I travel domestically a few times a year and int'l 1-2x per year. That said, I always get hammered, stare out the window a bit, then go to sleep


There’s nothing to prepare for. 

I was in your shoes. Boarded my first plane at 17 for a school trip, and all my friends had been taking 3-4 family vacations a year since birth.  It was their 50th flight and my 1st.  

But it was a breeze.  There’s nothing to think about. Go to any major booking site (i use google flights) and just book according to your schedule.  Then show up an hour before each flight and go. 

My only tip would be, airports are much nicer now so feel free to get their way in advance. There will be comfortable places to eat, read etc.

Dont do the whole “I’m a small town midwesterner” schtick, that’s the only way to come off as awkward.

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Looks like you got on the easy flight, huh, cupcake? I solo piloted a p-51 Mustang in the Pacific islands during WWII when I was 5 years old.

Okay you're right, I should be nicer.

OP: Make sure to pack snacks because they don't always have peanuts or even chips to hand out. You'll want headphones or a book and comfortable clothes. Would even consider bringing a pillow or a blanket. Don't forget your bottle either. And remember to change your diapers after the plane lands, after which you can mark "safe" on social media.


I'm sure you're on top of this, but remember that you will need photo ID for the airport (generally passport or driver's license). Also, keep in mind that there are 3 airports in the NYC area. NYC people can correct me if I'm wrong, but generally LaGuardia would be fastest into Manhattan vs. Newark and JFK. However, they should all be okay if you are going to grab a cab or Uber.       


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