No matter how early you arrive at the airport or how many flights you’ve taken, going through the mandated check-in and security checkpoints with students can be a stressful process. To help, we’ve rounded up all the information you need to get you from security to seated on your flight.
First things first, we'll take care of checking in your group, but keep in mind that group check-in for airlines varies greatly. For example, if you’re flying United Airlines, the seats are assigned once the group is checked in. Traveling students are checked in as a group and placed as close as possible to one another. However, Southwest Airlines has no seat assignments but will board together as much as possible.
Arriving At The Airport/Check-In
Upon arrival at the airport, each individual traveler will need to check in with the assigned airline. Anyone traveling under the age of 18 does not need a photo ID but will provide their name, birthdate and check any necessary luggage. Any travelers 18 and over will need to provide a state-issued photo ID while checking their bags. Each individual will then receive their boarding passes. If you have connecting flights, travelers will receive those boarding passes at this time.
New Year, New ID Requirements
Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable forms of ID to fly within the United States. The easiest way to see if your driver’s license is compliant is to check for the star. REAL ID-compliant cards are generally marked with a star located in the upper portion of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.
All individuals 18 or under will need to have their boarding passes available for inspection. Anyone 18 and over will need to have their state-issued photo ID and boarding pass available for inspection. To help your group move smoothly through the TSA checkpoints, be sure to review the TSA Travel Checklist with your students to avoid any hang-ups or thrown away items. Once everyone is through, you are free to move to your assigned gate.
Flight Changes (if applicable)
When you arrive at a connecting airport, check-in with your group leaders after the plane lands. Check your boarding passes to verify the flight's gate number. Check the flight schedules on the information boards to ensure no gate changes or flight changes have occurred.
When you arrive at the airport, regroup after the plane lands to pick up any checked baggage, administer any instructions about transportation to your first destination, and ultimately, to begin your trip!