“To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane, then you’re truly wireless.”
– Ted Turner
For those who love airport travel, learning to quickly and easily navigate the airport is a necessary skill. Flights must stick to a tight schedule and your plane will take off—with or without you.
Check out these tips before your next flight to shave some much needed seconds off of your travel time and make sure that you complete the journey to your destination.
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Purchase Tickets In Advance
Now this one may sound like a given, but some people wait until the day of their trip to secure a ticket. These may be people who decided to take a trip last minute or folks who prefer to fly standby.
Though it is sometimes cheaper to fly standby, this means that you are not guaranteed to have a seat on any flight in particular and thus must wait until there is an open seat available—which could mean waiting hours or even days.
Choose Seating To Your Comfort Level
Choosing your seats when you buy your plane ticket gives you the luxury choice of quickly exiting the plane. After the special cases that unload first, leaving the plane basically becomes a free-for-all.
The quicker you can stand up and get to your belongings, the faster you get to disembark.
Pro tip: snagging an aisle seat means that you don’t have to wait for the rest of your row to file out ahead of you.
Pack Light and Diligently
If you don’t have to store a carry-on, then you don’t have to wait to access the overhead compartment. That’s one less obstacle in between you and the exit door.
Try to limit yourself to personal items that can be kept on your person or stowed under your seat for quick access and minimal in-cabin baggage.
Stay Up To Date With Travel Apps
It is highly likely that your airline has a smartphone app. Download it and you have access to your boarding pass and flight information in the palm of your hand.
You can use the app to track your flight and keep your boarding pass handy for quick scanning at security checkpoints. Having quick access to this information is also helpful if you need directions to your gate or terminal.
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Always Print Your Boarding Pass
Even though you can access it electronically, having a paper boarding pass is always a good backup plan.
You don’t want to be without your flight documents if your phone dies or for some reason cannot access the internet.
Though the airport will have areas where you can check in and print your boarding pass, printing it at home lets you skip the line. Every skipped line saves time.
Punctuality Is A Must!
When it comes to airport travel, if you’re not early then you’re late. It is typically recommended that you arrive at least two hours before your flight.
This gives you plenty of time to:
- Get through security checkpoints.
- Purchase any items that you forgot or that may have been confiscated due to size or improper packing.
- Grab a bite to eat before boarding.
Before You Plan To Drive Yourself, Consider Booking A Ride
An airport shuttle or chauffeur service sets you up with a professional driver. These drivers know the best ways to beat the typical traffic and get you to your flight on time.
Without your hands on the wheel, you’re free to make any necessary phone calls or last-minute preparations that can be done on the go. You’ll save time by not having to scour parking lots hunting a spot or walk from said spot to the terminal.
Not to mention the relief from high prices of airport parking or the stress of worrying about what could happen to your car while you’re away.
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At the Terminal
Preparation Leads To Success
Have your documents ready. When you get to the security line, go ahead and take off your shoes and anything on your person that may set off the alarm, such as:
Now is a good time to go ahead and pull out your bag of toiletries or any other liquids. You know that you’re going to have to remove these things anyway, so having them ready will get you through the lines even faster.
Pay Attention To Detail
Don’t put yourself in a situation that could undo all the time-saving progress that you’ve made by this point.
Set alarms on your phone to remind you of important times, such as:
- When your flight should arrive at the gate.
- When to begin boarding.
Go ahead and shop or enjoy the restaurants, but once your plane arrives at the gate, head that way. If you want to binge-watch your favorite show, keep one ear headphone-free or keep the volume low enough that you can hear any announcements.
Try to be close to the boarding line before your section is called. This way, you are ready to jump in line once your group is announced.
Going Out Of Town?
In the Air
Safety Comes First
Refusing to do things like fasten your seatbelt or put your phone in airplane mode can delay your flight. The flight attendants have a reason for the things that they ask of you, so follow along and all should go well.
Be Conscious & Aware At All Times
- Strewing your things around during your flight will no doubt result in a frenzy when it’s time to land.
- If you have any trash from in-flight snacks or drinks, tuck it all together. Be sure to through it out when the flight attendant comes to collect trash.
- Leaving your garbage laying around isn’t very nice. It can also lead to slips and falls which can cause injuries or, at the very least, slow everyone down.
- Don’t be that person who tries to climb out of their seat while:
- Juggling a Phone
- Computing on a Laptop
- Enjoying Drinks and Cuisine
- Use one device at a time and put it away well before the landing gear touches the tarmac.
- Stow your tray table securely and lift your armrest before trying to stand.
Once the plane has landed, it’s time to gather your things and get ready to head for your travel destination. Now you have another set of decisions ahead of you.
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Written By: Amber M. Smith