Let me start by saying how important it is to follow these simple steps, they will not only make your life a whole lot easier, it will also benefit those around you.
- Move quickly or out-of-the-way – Surprise! Believe it or not, there are others around you. Crazy right? Who would have thought. Now I do have some sympathetic feelings for first time travelers or people who just plain old don’t know what
the fuckthey are doing, However we need to have some spacial awareness. I happen to work at the airport and am forever running late, just as every frequent flyer is, we all often need to savor that 10 extra minutes in bed before a long shift or multiple flights in one day. So when someone decides to walk 10 abreast, crab walk sideways into your path or stare at the ceiling trying to find what gate they are at,it can be incredibly frustrating. Its simple, move to the side, watch where your going and always stand on the left hand side of the escalator. (Unless your from one of those countries that drive on the right, in which case stand of the right of the escalator).
- Bring a pen – Travelling comes with a few downfalls, one being a myriad of forms to fill out. Ground staff and flight attendants don’t have an unlimited supply of pens, so bring one from home. I can guarantee it will come in handy more than once.
- Doing security right – Most airports require you to place your liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) that are all 100 ml or less into a clear bag and remove them from your bag when going through security checks. You can use ziplock bags or I recommend these. Its been like this for years so its nothing new. It’s important to do this and it also helps if it’s on the top of your bag, this saves time waiting in lines, being flustered once you get there. Arrive at the airport with empty pockets; phones, keys and wallets need to be in your bag. That handy pen you brought from home won’t set off the alarm. Don’t over-pack your bag, clustered bags = bag search. Walk through the body scanner one at a time and only walk when told by the security officer. This is sure to get you through security quickly, which leaves more time for duty-free shopping or making the most of the Airport Lounge. Which leads me to point four….
- Airport Lounges – Whether you buy your yearly subscription through your airline, are travelling business class or purchase a one of airport lounge pass, words will not describe the gratitude you will have when you walk into the tranquil lounge away from the buzz, take a long hot shower and all you can eat food. Lounges can come at a price though so I would only recommend on long airport layovers or having subscription if you’re a frequent flyer.
- Be at the gate one hour before your plane departs – and 30 minutes for domestic. Funnily enough the departure time means the departure time. This means that the aircraft will (hopefully) be departing at the time printed on your boarding pass. This means all passengers must be onboard and in their seats before the departure time. It’s not like a bus where it pulls up on time and leaves a minute later.
- Buy a bottle of water – Planes make you thirsty. Hydration is the key, especially if plan on having a few wines.
- Catch up on sleep – Long layovers can be hell, I find it helpful to find a dark corner and get some sleep. Bonus tip, bring a pillow case. Put some clothes in it to fashion a comfy pillow. Sleeping on a plane can be impossible, airports often have quiet areas. Helps to find a charging port and most airports have free wi-fi.