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In the United States, there are all sorts of airline companies, ranging from dirt cheap all the way to premium. Therefore, a traveller can have all sorts of experiences with US flights. However, there are a few things that seem to be common to most of them, at least when it comes to regular commercial airlines.
When going to the US, it is unlikely to be too much different from any other flight. The “US flight” experience really comes into play when flying within the USA, or from the USA to another country.
A long wait at the airport is pretty much mandatory for US flights. Due to changes pushed through in the name of “security,” passengers have to show up far in advance, and waste an hour or so of their lives for basically no reason whatsoever. Supposedly this is to give more time to be passed by security, but often it involves just standing in line or sitting at the airport.
The actual security check is something that has been the target of derision both in the United States and abroad. Just like at Heathrow, there have been reports of obvious threats being missed at US airports, whilst earnest travellers are held up over seemingly silly things like nail clippers. Your best bet for a smooth trip through US airport security is to make sure not to have any banned items with you or in your carryon cases.
Whether the US flight itself is enjoyable has a lot to do with how much you were willing to pay. Coach flights are the cheap ones, and are more prone to be filled with rowdy tourists and babies than the first-class sections. Inexpensive airlines, which specialize in making every seat a “cheap seat,” are known for their lack of space and amenities.
To get the best experience with US flights, it is advised to arrive at the airport a long time before your flight is scheduled. Also, make sure all your bags and suitcases can be searched by security without them having to dig through it and disrupt it too much. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, make the investment for first-class seats on a top-tier airline. With these techniques, your US flight experience should both progress smoothly and be enjoyable.