Welcome on board – part 2: Packing, arrival at the airport and procedures prior to boarding

In order to board the plane and for a carefree take off it is not enough just to have a ticket but also another very important travelling document- boarding pass, which is used to identify you as a passenger on a flight and as an entry to secured airport zone accessible only to passengers and aircraft staff. Boarding pass is obtained after successful flight registration at the airport desk i.e. check in, or online via web check which may be done 36 hours at the earliest or one hour at the latest prior to the flight. For check in you need your ID or passport and reservation code (for example O5GJ3V) as well as a numerical code /ticket number for example 8312302947363. After check in at the airport you will receive a boarding pass from an airport official, and if check in is done online you will receive it by email and then either print it or show it on your smart phone. It is important to mention that online check in has its benefits as you don’t have to queue in line at the airport desk but rather go straight to boarding pass and passenger/hand luggage security control. This option though applies only if you do not have checked luggage (the larger one and up to 23 kg  heavy which is transported in plane luggage compartment). If you do have it you’ll need to hand it over at the drop off desk at the airport check in, at least 90 minutes prior to take off. You then continue to boarding pass and passenger /hand luggage security control.

There are limits to transport of hand and checked luggage and here we will talk about what is important for you when packing for the journey by plane. If you travel only with hand luggage (up to 8 kg), with suitcase/bag of acceptable dimensions total of 115 cm (height+ width + depth) you can also carry additional luggage like ladies handbag, laptop bag or smaller rucksack/briefcase. It is necessary to emphasize that in each of this luggage element you need to follow the rules of prohibition of carrying certain items into aircraft cabin. Liquids are forbidden in your hand luggage except for individual packing of up to 100 ml stored in plastic bag with a zipper. The highest allowed capacity must not exceed volume of more than 1 litre. Liquids are gels, pastes, lotions, drinks, syrups, perfumes, and bottles under pressure, deodorants and other items of a similar content. Many passengers are confused by a plastic bag with a zipper, but it can easily be purchased in drugstores around the country at the price of 10 Kuna for several pieces. These zipper bags can be found on shelves together with all the other plastic bags for storing food into fridges/freezers but these ones have a pictogram of an aeroplane as a sign that they meet the required standards for carrying it into the aeroplane. In the same drugstores you will find all hygiene supplies which are packed according to required standards of travelling by plane i.e. for carrying them into the cabin (up to 100 ml per individual packing). We can immediately say no to the rising question, you may not take stated liquids in larger packages although the volume of the liquid itself is lesser then 100 ml. Also, other items are prohibited: firearms and other devices which eject ammunition and projectiles, stunning devices, sharp or blunt objects, working tools, explosives, flammable substances and devices and similar. Liquids which are used for medical purposes or for special nutritional requirements, including baby food are allowed in hand luggage. Other items like clothes, personal stuff, mobiles, chargers, laptops, solid foods and similar may be in your hand luggage without risk of them being taken away from you during security check up. If you plan on having a checked luggage you may pack all liquids regardless of volume apart from dangerous items mentioned for the hand luggage. If you need a transport of such items it is best to contact the flight operator (not airport) prior to packing and seek advice.

When we have packed adequately, arrived at the airport in time (an hour and half for domestic flights and two to two and a half hours for international flights), passed the boarding pass control, we arrive at a security check of passengers and hand luggage before entering a secured zone of airport and aircrafts themselves. All passengers, airport employees and aircraft staff (pilots, stewards…) and their luggage need to be securely checked prior to entrance to security sensitive and protected airport zones. Security check ups are carried out in specific spots by manual inspection and combination of technical devices such as scanners, x-ray devices and similar. Primary purpose of security check up is detection and prevention of entry of prohibited items into secured (protected) zone and possible unlawful interference with technological process of reception and departure of both passengers as well as an aeroplane.

In preparation for security check up of persons and luggage, you should remove your metal jewellery, hand watch, coins and similar items you carry on yourself or in your pockets and put them in the plastic box for items disposal for x-ray check. Equally, you should dispose of all your electronic devices (mobiles, cameras, tablets etc) in the same plastic box. If you have it, you must take out a plastic zipper bag containing liquids from the hand luggage and also put it in the box for check up. Take off your coat, jacket, vest and prepare them for a check up together with your hand luggage. If you have a belt on yourself, you should take it off and leave it in the box … Be prepared to take off your shoes, especially if they are higher shoes or boots. Surely follow all other instructions given by officials in charge of security check up. It is also necessary to mention that staff can single you out for additional check up at any time and it can also be expected that a test smear may be taken from your hands, your waist edge of the trousers and around pockets to check if you have been in contact with prohibited substances (explosives, narcotic and similar). Due to   increased security measures at the airports, don’t carry any pocket knives regardless of the blade length, metal nail files, scissors of any size, and pendants in shape of any weapon, pocket tools and similar items. It is of an utmost importance to abide to the instructions and advices in order to avoid sanctions from security officers of the airport!

When you have been checked by the security personnel, you can retrieve your items from the plastic box, collect your hand luggage and head towards your gate i.e. spot where you will wait for boarding the aeroplane.  List of gates for all flights and for yours as well is visible at many screens around the airport. You should find your destination on the screen (Frankfurt), number of flight which is stated on your boarding pass (for example OU410 ) and departure time.  If your flight is international, right after the security check, a border police will check your ID, passport, visa… After that you follow signs and instructions to your gate. If your flight is not international, after security check up you head towards the gate for domestic flights which include flights for Osijek, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik (Brač in summer season). After finding your gate, you will wait for your boarding here as well as for the sequel of our story on preparation, procedures and everything about the flight itself.

Photo © AvioRadar (I.S., illustration)