Re: Need advice on flying
If you're leaving from Columbia, get there an hour early. These days, people like to pack large carry-ons, to avoid paying for a checked bag. When I have to fly these days, I go the opposite. I put everything in my checked bag. Makes getting around in the airport easier. Put anything you want in your checked bag, and just cruise right through the xray and boarding.
Wear shoes you can slip on/off, makes it easier, you have to take them off going through the xray now. You'll have to remove your belt as well.
I know people are afraid of losing a checked bag - but I've never, ever had this happen. Especially if you are flying direct. Odds of losing a bag are slim/none.