How to Speed Through Airports
Airports seem to be getting busier by the year, and with airline strikes and staff cuts the lines at the check-in desk and at security are only going to get longer.
Knowing the tricks of the trade can save you a lot of time and make your journey through each airport a lot easier.
Here are 6 quick tips to help you get through the airport and onto the plane as quickly and as easily as possible:
Before You Leave Home
1) Pack Accordingly
There are a few items that can help you get through an airport more quickly.
Firstly, packing all of your items in easy-access bags will allow security to quickly search through your bag if necessary.
Wear slip-on shoes (or shoes that can easily be taken off and put back on) and get a TSA-friendly laptop case (if you have a laptop) for when you have to pass through security.
On the day of the flight, it’s handy to make sure you have your wallet, passport and boarding pass (if you have one) in an easy-to-access part of your bag, making them easy to find when you need them.
2) Check the Status of Your Flight Online
It’s a good idea to check the status of your flight (i.e. whether it’s been delayed or cancelled) before setting off. There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport only to discover you have to wait another 6 hours as you’re flight’s been cancelled.
If you have the TripIt app (or something similar) or if you’re signed up to TripIt.com you can organize your flight itinerary on your phone and receive flight status notifications/emails.
Remember that a flight’s status can change minute-to-minute, so it’s best to keep an eye on it while you’re driving to the airport as well (if possible).
3) Check in Online
This is a big one as it can save a ton of time, and is especially useful if you aren’t checking in any bags (i.e. you only have hand luggage) as you can go straight through to security.
Some car parks are only open at certain times and some may be full, so you’ll want to find the one that’s closest to your terminal.
As well as checking this online, most airports have an automated telephone information service so you can easily ring up and find out.
At the Airport
5) Getting Through Security
After you’ve checked in and headed over to security, make sure you’ve packed everything bar your passport and boarding pass in your carry-on luggage (including metallic (when possible) and anything that’s in your pockets)
As you approach the front of the security line, make a quick mental checklist of the things you need to remove (e.g. shoes, belt, watch, etc.) and get ready to take your laptop out of it’s case.
6) After Security
After breezing through security, find a monitor and double check your flight gate and boarding time, then head for the gate.
Congratulations, you just navigated an airport in double-quick time!
TSA recently announced that they will be trying out a ‘trusted traveler program’, meaning you’ll be able to pre-submit a background check and breeze through airport security even faster.
Currently it’ll only be used at a few airports, so whether this will be used nationwide (and even worldwide) is yet to be seen.
Something to look out for, though!
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