Checking in online and printing a boarding pass at home are two ways of easing the flying process. But how else can you reduce the hassle and time spent at the airport? Here are 10 simple but surprisingly little used ways.
BEFORE LEAVING HOME
2. Clearly label your bag with your work address, cell phone number and email address – this will really help if your bag gets lost. Security specialists advise not putting your home address on your bag so not to advertize your absence – nobody wants a visit from the likes of the Wet Bandits. (A business card works well here).
3. Don’t get burned by a flight cancellation. Sign-up for a Tripit account and get notifications on your flight’s status sent to your smartphone and/or iPad.
4. Where possible, avoid security lines containing less experienced travelers – i.e. children, senior citizens, large organized groups. They typically take longer to complete the process. If possible, before joining a line identify one that’s being managed by an ultra-efficient official who’s speeding people through.
5. Stuff loose belongings – i.e. your wallet, keys, watch, phone, iPod, belt – into your carry-on luggage before reaching the scanner.
6. Send your shoes though the scanner before your bag (and other trays if needed) – it’s easiest to put them back on before getting the rest of yourself together, and gives you the chance to quickly grab everything and reorganize in a quieter area.
7. Take an empty water bottle through security then refill airside at a water fountain.
AT THE GATE
8. If you like to work on your laptop at the airport and on the flight, have a small outlet splitter in your carry-on. The small number of outlets in departures are always in high demand – this way you can share one that’s already occupied, or be sure not to be interrupted by another passenger looking for power.
AFTER DISEMBARKING THE PLANE
9. Avoid the first restroom. The ones further along in the arrivals terminal and baggage area will be much less busy (and cleaner).
WHEN TRAVELING BETWEEN TERMINALS
10. Shadow flight crews as you pass through the terminal (waiting for transfer trains, elevators and the like). They know how to navigate through the airport in the quickest and most convenient manner.
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