Take a big sigh of relief. After the drive to the airport, the hike from the parking garage with trailing bags, and the checking point inspection, you have earned a rest. Find your boarding gate. Enjoy the item you brought to pass the time, browse stores, take a bathroom break, eat a snack or drink an adult beverage. If you anticipate a case of midair munchies or need to eat for medical reasons, buy refreshments before you board. Few flights offer free meals now. The concourse will include at least one restaurant or snack shop plus a newsstand that sells snacks. You may take food and non-alcoholic beverages onboard.
Speaking of alcohol, while airlines do not use breathalyzers, they do notice suspicious behaviour and have the right to deny boarding to travellers who appear intoxicated. If there is the slightest chance alcohol will induce a passenger to behave in a way that causes upset or harm to other passengers or crew or to himself, boarding is denied. Gate agents do not have to perform sobriety tests. They must err on the side of safety. Inebriated passengers will be required to wait (without consuming more alcohol) until the next flight to the destination.
Regardless of the manner by which you fill the extra time, do not walk away from your bags. A good way to miss your flight is to return to the spot where you left your bag to find it confiscated by Airport Security, necessitating a visit to the Security Office to retrieve your bag and endure a lecture. If you have to go to the restroom, take your bag. If you set your bag down in a shop to flip through a magazine, do not leave it while you wander to the trail mix display.
Return to the boarding area no less than thirty minutes prior to departure. Large jets begin boarding at least a half hour before departure time. Regional flights may board twenty to twenty five minutes before boarding. Crews begin final departure preparations ten minutes prior to departure. For this reason, the doors will close to passengers and in most cases, no further boarding will occur within ten minutes of departure. Invariably, latecomers will whine, ‘but this boarding pass says the plane doesn’t leave for five minutes!’ Right. But it cannot leave if the door is hanging open and people are still putting their belongings in the overhead compartment and the flight attendant has to repeat emergency instructions for passengers straggling onboard.
While you await boarding, you will hear many announcements on the public address system, so many they will become background sound. Please pay attention to those announcements. Most likely the announcements will not concern you. However, if a gate change announcement is made for your flight and you continue to wait at the wrong gate you could miss your flight. If you are travelling with EasyJet, the most popular low cost British airline, use Easyjet contact number to get the boarding details by speaking directly to their customer care representatives.