Travelling by Aircraft – A Social Story

When travelling on holiday to a different country, going by plane is often the best way to travel.


Once you have boarded the plane your Mum and Dad will look for the correct seats which they have reserved for you and your family.  When your seats have been found you need to sit down whilst your Mum and Dad sort out what stuff you will need during the flight, and put other bags and belongings in the overhead locker.  This can be a very busy time and can get stressful – this is because everybody is doing the same and there isn’t much space to move about – therefore you need to be well behaved.

Whilst you are finding your seat your suitcases will be loaded into the bottom of the plane where they are stored during your flight, however you cannot see them.

After the bags have been put away everybody can sit down, you need to fasten your seatbelt.


When everybody is on the plane the doors will shut.  The cabin crew will then talk through a safety message should there be any problems with the aircraft – this is nothing to worry about and is there to help.  There will also be an emergency card in front of your seat which will say what to do in an emergency.

Airline Safety Cards

Oxygen masks might come down from the ceiling if something went wrong with the aircraft and are there to help you breathe.  There is a lifejacket under your seat in case the plane has to land over the sea.  It is really important you don’t fiddle with any of these things.

The cabin crew will also show you where the exits are – these are normally at the front, rear and sometimes in the middle of the aircraft.  Also they will say where the toilets are – normally they are at the front and the back of the aircraft.

The aircraft will then start moving slowly around the concrete of the airport, and will join a queue of other planes where it will finally meet the start of the runway.

Once the aircraft is at the start of the runway, the air traffic controllers will tell the pilot it is safe to take off, the pilots will then do some final checks to ensure the aircraft is ready to take off.

The plane’s engines will then start revving up and getting louder before the plane starts moving.  The plane will get faster and faster – you will feel like something is pushing you back into your seat.  This can be very noisy but there is nothing to worry about.


When the aircraft is going fast enough it will start tilting backwards and start to leave the ground.  The ground will appear smaller and smaller as the aircraft gets higher and higher.  It may feel quite bumpy at times but this is nothing to worry about.  As the plane gets higher, tge air pressure changes which means your ears may pop – a great way to stop this is to suck a sweet.


When the pilot decides it is safe the seatbelt sign will go off and there will be a noise too.  You can now go to the toilet if you want to.


During your flight you can play on your tablet, read a book or just look out of the window.  You can also get drinks and snacks from the cabin crew when they come round with a big trolley.

The amount of time you are on the aircraft varies depending upon where you are going.

The pilot will say when it is time to land.  This may feel strange, noisey and bumpy again as the aircraft gets lower and lower, you will have to wear your seatbelt from this point until the plane stops at the airport.

As the aircraft gets lower and lower the ground will get bigger and bigger.  When the aircraft touches the floor of the runway there will be a bump and a rumbling.  The plane will slow down, and eventually stop.  Once the seatbelt signs have turned off you can take your seatbelt off.

It will be very busy when you get off the plane – there is no rush and you need to let mum and dad make sure they don’t forget anything.

Hopefully the sun will be shining when you get off the plane and it might be very warm.



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