The autumn school holidays, which begin in Estonia next week, are likely to see more passengers with children passing through Tallinn Airport. To ensure that your travels start out problem-free, you should make sure you arrive at the airport a good two hours before your scheduled departure, giving you enough time to park and check in (if you need to) before passing through security and, depending on your destination, passport control. Be sure to check that your travel documents are valid and that you are aware of the requirements in the country or countries to which you are travelling.
“The pandemic grounded just about all flights and changed people’s travel habits,” said Eero Pärgmäe, a member of the management board of Tallinn Airport. “There are more trips now that are ending at the check-in desk when passengers discover their ID card or passport is out of date or that they haven’t met the requirements of the country they’re going to. On top of that, a lot of people seem to have forgotten how they should be packing liquids so that they get through security without any issues and without having to throw away expensive toiletries and cosmetics. I urge all travellers to do a little bit of homework so that their travels are as stress-free as possible.”
Below is a reminder of travellers’ most common mistakes and oversights.
The validity of their ID card or passport does not meet the requirements of the country or countries to which they are travelling. Whereas the expiry date on an ID card or passport can coincide with the final date of travel within the European Union, a passport must still be valid for at least six months after a trip to, say, Egypt. We strongly recommend that you check the requirements of your travel documents in the country or countries you are travelling to and the validity of your ID card and passport well before your trip begins. You can do this on the Reisi Targalt website.
They try travelling just with their ID card when they actually need their passport. Estonian citizens can enter other Member States of the European Union (EU) and countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) using their ID card or passport for identification. However, outside of Europe, passports are the only valid travel document. We recommend that you bring yourself up to speed with the document type required in the country or countries you are travelling to, which you can do on the Reisi Targalt website.
They are not aware of the requirements of countries through which they are transiting. For example, if you travel to Mexico via the United States, you must also meet the entry requirements for the USA: even if you don’t leave the airport in America, you will have to present your ESTA and the form for entering the country upon departing from Tallinn. We recommend that you check the requirements of any countries you are transiting though, which you can do on the Reisi Targalt website.
They don’t have a visa for one or more of the countries to which they are intending to travel. Check whether the country or countries you are travelling to require visas. If you do not have a visa, you will not be allowed to board your flight in Tallinn. We recommend bringing yourself up to speed on the visa requirements of the country or countries you are travelling to. Some countries offer visas at the border, such as Egypt. For more information, visit the Reisi Targalt website.
They have not met COVID requirements. Some countries still require travellers to present certificates of vaccination against or infection and recovery from coronavirus or to take tests. If you are required to take a test, check the period of time in which you must take it, as this differs from country to country (between 24 and 48 hours before your first flight). We recommend that you review the COVID requirements of the country or countries you are travelling to. The requirements can change at short notice, so make sure you check them again just before your trip. Don’t leave getting tested until the last minute, as you may not be allowed to board your flight if the test is taken too late. For more information, visit the Reisi Targalt website.
They are caught out by the terms and conditions imposed by an airline. Check the terms and conditions of your ticket: how much luggage it includes, whether checking in at the airport is free or charged separately, what payment terms the airline accepts, etc. There are often situations where passengers are all smiles when they arrive at the airport, only to find that registering for their flight at the check-in desk costs extra (€55 per person with Ryanair, for instance). Limits are set on the weight of both carry-on and checked-in luggage, and if you go over those limits you will have to pay more before your flight. Bear in mind as well that some airlines only accept card payments.
When arriving by car at the airport, be aware that the car parks are quite full during the school holidays and it can take a while to find a space. Parking information can be found here.
Make sure your luggage is properly packed: leave prohibited items at home, pack liquids correctly and label your luggage with your name and address. See more detailed instructions here