Arrived Guwahati airport at 8:45am. A full half an hour early. I have a sneaking suspicion that the driver chewing on some white paste & beetlenut leaf had something to do with the half hour gain. All through the hill roads, he didn’t wear a seat belt. The moment we reach the flat ground of Guwahati, he thinks of the seat belt! Safety is not important. Nor self-preservation. But we mustn’t be stopped by the police over a silly non-sensical thing like a seat belt.

Must haves before you can catch your domestic flight out of any Indian airport:

1. Proof of confirmation of booking / Ticket:
To get into the airport you will need a printout of the booking confirmation received via email. A print out can be obtained for a few of Rs 50 from the ticket office. Alternatively, if you have a smartphone, showing the email on your phone will be acceptable as proof.

2. Proof of Baggage Security Check:
Once inside the airport, you head straight for the line for having your check-in baggage X-Ray screened. Once done, a signed sticker has to be applied to the locks or buckles. Without this sticker, your baggage will not be accepted by the airlines.

3. Check-in:
Have the printout of your ticket and ID ready for check-in. In absence of a printout the confirmation (aka the PNR Number) number will also be acceptable.

4. Baggage Tag for Carry-on:
Each item (you are allowed only 1 piece as Carry-on) must have a tag. Without this you will not be allowed through Security Check. This will be provided when you check in.

5. Security Check:
The usual dance but you will not need to remove your belt and shoes.
Tip: Pack all your electronic chargers and cables in a small bag. Easier and quicker, when and if you are asked to remove all such items (this will include cameras also) to screen the bag without these items.
To save time at the personal security screening, you can empty out all your pockets and put them in the carry-on, just for the screening process. Mobile phones must go into the Carry-on.
Laptops and iPads will need to removed and put in a separate tray for screening. You will be provided a token showing which tray number has your items.

Now to personal security check. If you have anything in your pockets, get everything out and in your hand. These items, including pens, will be checked.

Once completed, your boarding card will be stamped. Without this stamp you will not be allowed to board. Now collect your carry-on. The baggage tag must be stamped by Security. Without this, you will not be allowed to board.

That’s it. You’re through. Award yourself a Gold Star, Champ! Now just wait for the flight, twiddling your thumbs and then prepare for the Boarding Dance call.