ORD-LAX Virgin America May

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by Ryne, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Ryne

    Ryne Newbie

    Apr 5, 2011
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    First of all hey to everyone here. I finally found a nice free forum to talk airliners. I have flown once from Chicago to Phoenix when I was a lot younger, I am 21 now, but never have since that time...despite playing college sports and taking numerous trips its always been by car or bus. My friends and I are taking a trip out to California with VX and I wanted some advice on what to do or be prepared for on arrival to both airports ORD and LAX.

    Flight time is 7:15 Departure. What is a good time to arrive at the airport? What should I do or not do security wise. I won't have many bags 2 or 3 at most. Online Check-In? Does that just mean on the day of my flight I log in and check in and I won't have to do anything at the airport? Just looking for simple answers because I have never gone through the process. Any helpful advice and answers would be much appreciated. Sorry if I put this in the wrong forum too!
  2. Jaye Loves Airplanes

    Jan 28, 2012
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    I don't know much about ORD. But, I know much about LAX, in fact I live within 5 minutes of LAX. I would say be prepared for the LAX traffic, I don't care what time of day it is, LAX is always packed full of traveling people. The baggage claim once you arrive is usually easy to find coming off of your gate when your arrive, not to mention fast. Also if you are renting a car or getting a hotel, the shuttles come by pretty fast and quick but, don't wait long, so when you see the one you want, hurry and hope a board. If you have a round trip flight and you leave for LAX, make sure to arrive 2 hours early, lines get pretty long, and screening can take forever.
  3. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

    Jun 28, 2003
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    Ryne, here are some suggestions.

    1. Do not weigh yourself down with a bunch of luggage. If you can, make do with one checked bag and one carry-on. Most passengers who do not travel often take way more clothes than they will wear on their trip. One pair of jeans is sufficient. You do not need 3 or 4 pairs. If you get chilled easily, one neutral colored sweater than can be worn with any shirt. Take it with you on the plane. The cabin can get cold at times. The carry-on must be of regulation size (ask any reputable luggage store) that will fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. If you have a bulkhead seat (first row in a cabin), you will not have an underseat space; so everything must go in the overhead bin. And that means everything. You may not hold your computer in your lap, for instance. If you board late, you may end up having to check your carry-on bag if the overhead bins are full. In your carryon bag, make sure you have a change of underwear and socks, a toothbrush, and a small tube of toothpaste, and any medications that you have to take. It doesn't happen all that often, but your checked bag might get lost, or put on a different flight to LAX. Be prepared to "live out of" your carry on bag for up to 24 hours.
    2. Arrive at ORD at least 2 hours before scheduled departure. It is a huge and very busy airport. Security lines can be quite long. Go to your airline's website and see what they recommend for carry-on items. Also, what they suggest you avoid. For instance, you can NOT take liquids--such as bottled water to drink on the flight--through security. You are limited to the amount of "cosmetics"--toothpaste, cologne, shaving cream, etc--that you can take through security. If you have a bunch of this stuff that you just can't do without, put it in your checked bag(s).
    3. Be aware that you will have to go through a magnetometer which detects metal on your person. You will have to remove your shoes, your belt, your wallet (take the loose currency bills out of the wallet and put them in your pocket) and any other metal items (such as, your watch, change in your pockets, etc) before going through. If you have a laptop computer, it will have to be placed in a security tub (you'll see what I mean when you get there) by itself, out of its case.
    4. Do NOT argue with TSA employees at the checkpoint. Under the law, they can deny you access to the secure area of the airport which means you will miss your flight. They do not have to justify their actions. (Technically, they do. But, it's like my father used to say about the police...The law is what the cop on the beat says it is as far as you are concerned.)
    5. Once you are through security, locate an Arrivals/Departures board and determine what gate your flight is using. Be aware that departure gates often change at airports for various reasons; so, if you got through security fairly quickly and you've got two hours to kill, do not wander too far from your departure gate. Also, listen to the announcements that are made. They may be announcing a gate change for your flight. And, no they will not hold the flight until you get there. If you miss your flight, you may be put on the list for the next flight, but no guarantees. It will be what we call "space available"--i.e., you get on if there is a seat that otherwise would have gone out empty. And, it will NOT be the seat you originally selected.

    Some other suggestions:
    1. The online checkin is for your convenience. Most airlines allow you to check-in up to 24 hours in advance. This is a good idea if the flight is oversold. Airlines are allowed to sell more tickets than they have seats on the airplane. This is because historically, there is a certain percentage of no-shows for any given flight. However, if your flight has everyone show up, and you checked in late, you may not get on.
    2. Listen to the announcements made on the airplane. When the forward door is closed, they will tell you to turn off all electronic devices--computers, cell phones, MP3 players, E-readers (such as, Kindles)--anything with a battery and an on/off switch. Off means off. Not just make the screen blank, or put it in airplane mode. It means off. You may have someone tell you that your cell phone will not hurt anything on the airplane. And, they are probably right. However, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission happen to disagree, and their ace trumps your ace.
    3. This seems like a lot to remember, but it's not really. It takes longer to explain than to do. Enjoy your trip!
  4. Veritas

    Veritas Veteran

    Aug 19, 2002
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    The OP posted this question almost 10 months ago and has not been back since. One can surmise that this trip has been completed a while back.

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