Remember when flying used to be a luxury? It was an exciting start to a glamorous trip. These days the airport is a concrete landscape standing between you and where you really want to be. Here are a few tips to help you survive your airport visits.
Start preparing yourself before you get to the airport. First, check in for your flight at home. Most airlines allow you to print the boarding pass about 24 hours before your flight. Checking in online saves time and allows you to skip a step before airport security.
If you can, try not to check a bag. But if you absolutely must check a bag or two consider checking your bags at the skycap. There is no extra charge for this service. You should tip $2 - $5 per bag. It can really save time in a big airport.
Don’t take any seat; get the best seat for you. When you check in online you can usually choose your seat. I like to keep the website Seat Guru open in a separate tab when I am choosing my seat to make sure I am not stuck with the worst seat on the plane. Also, try to get a seat towards the front of the plane; you will get off the plane faster. Airlines like Frontier, Viva Aerobus, and Spirit charge extra for picking seats. Most likely to pick a seat you will have to book directly on those websites because there is a charge.
Be sure to dress appropriately. I am always blown away when I see a woman in 6-inch heels running through the airport. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and easy to get off. Remember you are going through security so keep your clothing simple. Lose the belt and the shoelaces and leave the jewelry in your bag or at home.
After I check my bags I go straight through security and find my gate. You may think you have plenty of time, but who knows how long security might take or how far away your gate is.
Now, there are a few things you can do to get through security faster. If you are a frequent flyer you may have received a special invitation for the TSA PreCheck program. Although expedited security is not guaranteed and it only works on domestic flights, most Precheck travelers get little perks like leaving their laptops in their bags, leaving their shoes on, etc.
It you don’t qualify for Precheck, try joining a frequent-flyer program. Although you may never earn that free flight, some elite-status flyers can get access to faster security lines for themselves and companions.
When you get to security be sure to have your boarding pass and ID ready. Also, keep your carry-on bag organized. Don’t be that person who has to pull everything of their bag to find the laptop hidden its depths. I like to bring an empty water bottle, so that I can fill it up after I get through security.
After you have gotten through security and get to your gate double check to make sure the gate has not been moved. You are now free to move around the airport, just don’t go too far. Relax, explore, enjoy your victory.
Here are a few extra tips to help you on your way:
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Sharon is the co-owner and President of As You Wish Travel Agency. She loves working with people and ensuring they have a good time, no matter what people are doing. Sharon has been a travel agent for 2 years and she works with her husband AJ! Clonts, who is also a travel agent. Sharon and AJ! love clients that desire all-inclusive resorts, cruises, river cruises, honeymoons, wedding destination or group travel. They will soon be adding golf packages to their portfolio of services.