There are a few things that are more stressful for a traveler than the fear of getting late for or missing a flight. Even when one reaches the airport on time, there are many instances where you are needlessly delayed or get caught up in either the security check or flight check in.
Below are a list of tips that I have learnt from my (many) situations at various airports both local and international
1.Check-in online before your flight
This is pretty much a no-brainer. Online check-ins save you time by getting your seat assigned to you in advance. Most airlines start online check-in up to 24 hours before departure. Simply log in to their website with your PNR/Booking Number and save yourself a seat!
Pro Tip: This can also be handy in the rare case that an airline has overbooked a flight. In case you reach the airport late, you know your seat will be secure.
2. Take off all metal items on you before you check-in
You might want to look your best at the airport, but watches, jewelry, belts etc need all be removed when you are walking through the metal detector at most international airports, and it is a real pain and waste of time to take everything off and wear it again. If you really want to be wearing any of that when you land, just keep it in your bag and wear the items once you have cleared immigration.
3. Only keep liquids which are less than 100 ml and that too all together in a clear plastic ziplock bag
Some airports will mandate that you keep all your liquid items together in a clear bag and run them through the bag scanning machine separately. If you don’t do that they might either confiscate your liquids or provide you with a bag, ask you to re-pack your liquid items in it and run it through the metal detector again. This happened to me once at Heathrow Airport and I had to actually throw away half the liquid items in my bag because there was no time to pack them off elsewhere as I was getting delayed for my flight.
4. Wear simple and comfortable shoes
Once again, dressing up at the airport is great. But the biggest mistake you could do is to wear fancy shoes/heels or anything that isn’t comfortable to walk in. For one, if you are wearing heels or boots you will have to take them off at the security counter and two, airport gates and terminals can range from a few hundred meters in difference from each other to even being kilometers apart. You really do not want to get stuck in a situation like that with uncomfortable shoes!
5. Weigh your bags in advance
Always check the airline policy and weigh bags in advance. Being overweight can be a huge pain as you might need to shuffle around your luggage from hand carry to check in luggage or vice versa. If you are overweight on both counts then you might need to pay extra for luggage. It’s always best to keep a KG or 2 to spare as well to be on the safe side.
6. Keep your documents handy
Even after having a taken a ton of flights, I still am guilty of this. Always list down the important documents you need at the airport i.e passport, tickets, in some cases hotel reservations in your safest-yet-easy-to-access compartment of your bag. It’s always a stress when you are asked for some documentation and you are fumbling around for it with an impatient que behind you.
Hope you liked these tips! If you have any you would like to contribute to this article please email me!