Anyway, I know you are happy. Looks like your flight is on time.
Although most agents do not arrive at the boarding gate until one hour prior to departure, your flight status is normally displayed at your departure gate hours ahead of time.
If you have your boarding pass take a seat and relax.
Some airlines like Southwest do not have assigned seating.
So you will have to wait until you are on board for a window, aisle or the dreaded middle seat. For now, a boarding pass will do.
Do you need to recharge your laptop or iPhone? Then find a seat near a column as this is usually where you will find an electrical outlet. Most airlines board the aircraft with passengers that will be seated in the rear of the airplane first. However, those needing assistance, First Class or Frequent Flyer members will get priority.
If your flight is showing a delay and you will have a tight connection (less than one hour), now is the time to work your charm. Getting a seat towards the front of the airplane will help with your next flight connection. Give up your window or aisle seat if it will get you closer to the deplaning door at your connecting city.
This is one good reason to check in online up to 24 hours prior to your departure.
Gate agents sometimes have limited seating options. Often they will ask other passengers with longer connection times to exchange their seats. Last minute seat changes can also be requested at this time. Your luck may depend on the level to which your flight is booked or the effect of your lame joke.
On long haul flights with full service this might be worth it. Since you weren't meant to fly coach here's an opportunity to treat yourself.
Historically, as a standard practice airlines have overbooked flights. A seemingly odd thing to do until you understand the reasoning behind it.
Your flight now has an open seat.
Should that seat be technically sold again? The airlines say “Yes”. Money is made or at least should be made when an airplane is flown full. With historical data on a flight's estimate to actual capacity flown, airlines gamble on which flights to overbook.
A lot of turkeys might be flying.
If your flight is overbooked, volunteers will be requested. Your flexibility may give you the opportunity to pick up a nice travel voucher along with meal or hotel accommodations if you have to fly the next day.
Are you still relaxing? No need to crowd the boarding door or gate podium. Allow deplaning passengers easy access into the terminal as this will speed up your boarding process. If your flight is on an airplane that just arrived at the gate it will take about thirty minutes to get it nice and shiny for you.
Do you see a pilot at the podium trolling over tons and tons and tons of paperwork? If you are a nervous flyer, want some technical or weather information about your flight then step on over and introduce yourself.
Most will be accommodating and will put your concerns at ease. A flight deck visit may even be in the offering. Get your camera ready!