If you spend a lot of time in the airport, chances are you have a few tricks for getting through quickly and painlessly. Taking a few steps to avoid long lines or a negative experience for others will make your airport time a little less frustrating. Here are some hacks for getting through the airport:
Book a flight early in the day: The earlier you fly, the less likely it is for your flight to be delayed. Those who fly earlier in the morning experience less time waiting in line and are more likely to arrive at their destinations on time. Also, the earliest flight tend to be the emptiest and you have a better chance of getting a good seat and, also, upgrading your seat.
Check in and print your boarding pass from home: Check in to your flight and print your boarding pass at home. This will save a long wait in line. If your airline has curb side check in, take advantage. Curb side check ins take minutes, as opposed to the half hour to hour you may spend waiting in a long line. Many hotels offer printers so you can print out your boarding pass for the return trip home. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to the old way.
You know how they say to get to the airport two hours ahead of time? It’s a good idea. No, really. Yeah, you may have to wait those two hours but there are times when you’ll need it. It’s better to get to the airport early and wait then to get there at the last minute and hold up a flight. Besides, you may have to endure check in and security lines. Airports have restaurants, book stores and WiFi (at a cost) so you won’t be bored while you wait. Don’t miss your flight, and don’t hold up the plane for others. Get to the airport early.
Check your airlines regulations regarding toiletries, food, liquids, sharp stuff and any other questionable items you wish to carry with you: The last thing you want is to be pulled aside from the security lines because you’re carrying something you shouldn’t. Banned items will be confiscated, which means you may have to buy more when you reach your destination. Packing your toiletries, nail clippers and razors in your checked luggage will save you the hassle.
Don’t put your ID away until you’re through the security checkpoint: Keep your driver’s license or passport in your hand until you reach the security checkpoint. You’ll be asked for it on more than one occasion. To keep walleting it means you’re holding up yourself – and the rest of the line. Once you’re through security you can put it away for good.
Wear shoes that slide on and off with little or no effort: Wear shoes that are easy to slide on and off. Don’t wear boots or other difficult to manage shoes. Not only does this hold up your own progress, it holds up the rest of the security line. No one wants to wait for you to take off your shoes and no one wants to wait for you to put them back on again.
Check your luggage or don’t, just know what you’re getting into: If you check your baggage, you can get around the airport quicker because you’re not lugging around a big heavy suitcase. You don’t have to find a spot for it at restaurants, log it through shops or put it in an out of the way place in seating areas. You also don’t have to hold up the line on the plane as you finagle it into the overhead compartment. Not checking luggage means you won’t have to wait at the baggage carousel and can run out to your cab or car as soon as you’re allowed off the plane.
If you’re working while you’re waiting sit near one of those charging stations: Many waiting areas have “charging stations” to plug in your electronics. Using these means you save your batteries. Find them and use them.
Don’t ask anyone to watch your stuff. Ever. The easiest way to have something stolen is to ask someone to watch your stuff. Watching someone else’s stuff is dangerous. Plus, you’re stuck sitting there until they come back which might take a while. If you have too much stuff to take to the bathroom or restaurant, check it. Otherwise be responsible for your own gear.
Keep the iPod low: The last thing you want is to miss important announcements about gate changes or flight delays or cancellations because your music is too loud. Turn down the iPod so you can hear special announcements.