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AIRPORT AND FLIGHT TIPS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Flying can be a stressful and a tiring experience, especially if you are short on time, there are long lines, or delays. With so many things to keep track of, these tips will help you feel more in control, organized and have the best possible experience while flying.
1. Book a night or early morning departure
When booking a flight, keep in mind the times of your flight as long as you’re flexible with your schedule. Generally, during the night and early morning there are far fewer passengers at the airport. This results in decreased line waits and a much smoother check in process including going through the TSA which can be stressful enough on its own.
2. Check in early
A simple thing you can do to save lots of time before your flight. No more standing in the long lines waiting to get your boarding pass. This works best if you only have carry on luggage with you. If you are checking in luggage, some airlines have a luggage only line or the option to use a skycap to drop your luggage off right at the front door to skip the lines for a small fee. Some airlines even charge a fee if you haven’t checked in online since it is very beneficial for airlines that you do. Take a screenshot of your boarding pass but also opt to print it out just in case.
3. Ask to move your seat
If you have a short time frame for your connecting flight, ask the check in person at the counter if they can move your seat closer to the front so that you can get off of the plane faster to catch your next plane on time. More often than not they will be willing to accommodate you if they have the space.
4. Ask for Upgrades
If you never ask, you will never get. But if you do ask there is at least a little chance that you might get an upgrade. The worst that can happen is they say no. Try to look presentable and be nice about asking because first impressions count.
5. Decide when to get on the plane
While sitting down and letting the crowd rush through on the plane might be appealing to avoid the crowd, consider that it might result in no space for your carry on luggage at your seat. Then, your carry on will have to be placed towards the back which will result in having everyone to pass by before you can backtrack and get you carry on bag.
On the other hand, standing in line can take a while before actually boarding the plane so have your pick at when you want to wait because waiting at least a little while in either situation is inevitable.
6. Check your layover time
Make sure you book tickets with enough time in the layover to get to your next flight. Sometimes flights can be with less than an hour of a layover and in a huge airport, it takes some time to figure out and get to your next gate. You don’t want to be that person who missed their flight by a little bit. Flights are often delayed even if by a little bit which can be all the difference between not making your flight.
7. Go left
At any line you have to wait at, such as TSA check, go to the left. Most people naturally choose the right lane. Of course, it is subjective but according to some who have tested it out, it actually holds true for the most part.
8. Always check the flight monitors
When passing by, make sure to check the flight monitors to ensure your flight is still flying out at the same gate. Flights and gates change all the time, and often without notice, but you can always find your exact flight by your flight number. If you are sitting at your gate with the time nearing your boarding and there isn’t a big crowd of people around, that is a sign that most likely your gate has been changed and you need to find your new gate right away.
9. Download your airline app
By downloading the app you will have access to more deals from the airline. This can include in flight entertainment during your flight even if you don’t pay for the WIFI. You will also know about any delays to your flight and when you’re boarding. These days you can even swap your seat if one is available and rebook a flight yourself if issues in your next flight arise, all from your app.
10. Check your flight status online
Even if you don’t have the app, you can keep up to date on boarding info by checking online to make sure everything is going as planned. That way if a flight is delayed, you can know as soon as possible to give a heads up if someone is supposed to pick you up at your scheduled time.
11. Have all your documents in one place
Being organized and having all of your documents in one place with make the checking in process go much faster and smoother. Not only have your documents in one place but take screenshots of your bookings, itinerary and other important documents to quickly be able to answer questions, especially on international flights.
12. Make your luggage stand out
Quickly spot your luggage by having a unique item attached to it whether it be a ribbon, sticker or some other tag and make sure it is well secured.. Those moments where you try to figure out whether a bag is yours, along with dozens of other people will no longer be an issue. Quickly and confidently grab your bag and be on your way.
13. Carry a pen
A pen can be useful in many situations but especially if you’re traveling internationally. You will need to fill out customs papers and don’t want to be the person asking everyone around if they have a pen you can borrow.
14. Make your luggage easy to find
Put all of your information, such as your phone number, email and address in your checked luggage so that is it is lost that it could be easily found and delivered back to you. Also take a picture of your luggage just in case so you are able to show what your luggage looks like to make it easier for them to find it.
15. Have everything ready for airport security
Don’t wear too many things such as a belt, or jewelry, if you can, to make your tsa pass through as smooth and fast as possible. Pack things in small plastic bags so you can quickly take things out that need to be removed from your carry on. When packing, leave the things you know you will have to take out such as liquids and electronics at the top of your carry on.
16. Skip the fragile signs
While you might be tempted to put tens of fragile signs on your checked luggage for it to be handled more carefully but that can actually have the opposite effect. Instead, put on a tag on your luggage that says “I love rampers” (baggage handlers) and it will go a long way.
17. Find the best security point
Many airports have more than one security check point. People usually go to the first one they see, and the ones by popular airlines or ones that have a flight going out soon. The lines can become very long with everyone flocking to the same one. Check to see if another one has a shorter line to pass through much faster, since more often than not, there is one not too far away.
18. Get lounge access
There are many perks of having access to a lounge in an airport. Imagine complementary amenities such as premium food and snack options, shower facilities, fast WIFI and private areas where you can catch up on some work or take a quick nap. Although not all airport lounges are created the same, it is worth looking into being able to access ones that are. If you don’t have a business or first class ticket, the good news is that you can have access to some airport lounges by just having certain credit cards, a day pass, annual membership or with miles.
19. Access the WIFI
Although most airports offer free WIFI, it isn’t always so easy to connect. Ever been at an international airport and wanted to access the WIFI but couldn’t because they were asking for a phone number or password? Well those days are over. With this comprehensive map of WIFI passwords all over the world that are updated regularly, you will be able to access the WIFI in no time.
20. Check for compensation
If your flight has been cancelled, overbooked, or even just delayed you may be eligible for a compensation. Check with your airline as usually them aim for customer satisfaction. However, it may not always be easy to claim or in some cases your claim will not be valid.
READ MORE: HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
21. Reduce Turbulence Strategically
To cut down on turbulence during a flight, sit near the wings or towards the front of the plane, as turbulence is felt much less in these places. Choose to fly earlier in the day, since planes tend to be less turbulent in the mornings.
22. Prevent bloating
Drops in cabin pressure can cause bloating. To avoid it, before boarding a plane avoid carbonated drinks, and eat a meal that is low in sodium and carbohydrates.
23. Keep hydrated
As air in the plane tends to be on the dry side it is a good idea to keep hydrated not only with your favorite cream but drinking plenty of water as well. Bring your own refillable water bottle with you so that once you’re past security, you can fill it up and stay hydrated.
24. Pack a snack
Airport food is overpriced and airlines don’t always have the best food. Save money and eat healthy by bringing your own snacks and meals. Pack yourself a sandwich, granola bar and dried fruits which are all great snacks to bring with you.
25. Make your flight attendant feel appreciated
Bring some candies or a small gift to give to your flight attendants as that will make them feel appreciated and they will take extra care of you during your flight. If there is anything you need, they will gladly help you out.
26. Sanitize your seat area
Bring some sanitizer wipes with you on the plane to wipe down your seat, belt and tray as they tend to be the dirtiest places that many people have used before you. While airlines try to keep their planes clean for new passengers, they aren’t thoroughly cleaned every time. Do yourself a favor and quickly wipe down around your seat, it will only take a few seconds.
27. Get up and walk around
To avoid having swollen feet and increase your blood flow get up and walk around the plane for a minute. Since sitting for such a long period of time can affect your blood circulation its important to help it along even if it’s just a short walk to the bathroom.
28. Ask for help
If you start getting a headache, there’s no need to suffer through it if you don’t have anything for it with you. Make sure you ask the flight attendant for something as they always carry medicine for basic needs such as food poisoning and headaches.
29. Bring a scarf or a sweater
Airports and airplanes have a tendency to be on the colder side. If you are someone who gets cold easily, bring a sweater or a thick scarf that you can bundle up in. An over-sized scarf or a shawl are your best bet as it can be used for many different purposes. Not cold? Roll them up and use them as an extra cushion pillow.
30. Bring comfort necessities for better sleep
While sleeping on a plane feels incredibly uncomfortable and impossible to some, it can be helped with a few things. Some people bring melatonin, a natural supplement that helps you to fall asleep. Put in your headphones and turn on relaxing music, have some kind of pillow to lean your head on, and even put on a sleep mask if that’s your thing.
Author: Angela Miller
Having the travel bug since a very young age, Angela has been on countless adventures around the world and she’s not planning on stopping any time soon.