How to save time at the airport?
With airports getting busier than ever and queues getting longer at check-in and airport security, the old airport “two-hour” rule often leaves very few minutes enough to buy a magazine, grab a snack or hustle your kids into the bathroom. But air travel does not have to be a hassle. Here are a few time-saving airport tips to make your next trip a breeze.
1. Choose an Overnight Flight
An overnight flight may not give you the best night’s slumber, but it can certainly get you through the airport faster. Usually, airports are considerably less crowded at night, so booking a flight after 10 p.m. will help you spend less time in queue and get to your gate faster.
2. Route to Airport
It is important to know beforehand where the airport is and what the shortest route to reach the airport is. If you are using public transport, make sure you check an up-to-date timetable in advance and in case you’re making your own way there, then use Google Maps route planner to get a better idea of how long it might take to reach there.
3. Download The Airline App and Check Flight Status
Most reputed airlines have native Apps for iOS and Samsung. These generally feature check-in and booking information, flight trackers and travel tips. If you download the airline app to your phone, you can save time by getting live updates instead of waiting at the help desk. In other words, when your plane is ready, you’re ready! Generally most of the airlines text their flight status updates if you sign up on their websites, and sites smartphone apps.
4. Prepare Your Documents
Before getting in the check-in line, keep in hand all the documents and items that need to be checked. This will save your time and make the process hassle free
5. Screenshot of Ticket
Another time saving option is to go paperless by carrying your e-ticket on your phone. Get a screenshot of the ticket. It is much easier to find it in the phone gallery than on email or airline’s app.
6. Print your Boarding Pass
Taking a print out of your boarding pass is commendable. There are chances of your mobile running out of battery unless you’re carrying a charger. So a paper back up can sometimes be a life-saver!
7. Packing Smart
Pack carry-on bags in layers. Any item you might need to remove during check-in and security should be easily accessible. Tuck all your valuables such as jewellery, cash and laptop in carry-on bag, rather than in checked luggage. Keeping in mind the 3-1-1 liquids rule, keep all liquids such as gels, creams and paste in a quart-sized, zip-lock bag. Moreover, keep your boarding pass and ID in a jacket pocket or in the outer pocket of your bag, since you will be using them often in the airport.
8. Weigh Heavy Bags At Home
If you’re embarking on a lengthy journey and travelling with really heavy luggage, then you must weigh your luggage in advance. This will save some time at the airport. Also ensure that your bags do not exceed the airline’s weight limit for checked luggage so that you do not have to repack your bags when you arrive at the airport.
9. Smart Airport Wear
Getting through airport security faster also means dressing smart. Items containing metal like jewellery, earrings, rings, watches and belts should be stored in a secure spot before reaching the checkpoint. Store your coats and jackets in checked baggage before screening. Wear slip on shoes for quick removal and a more efficient process through the security lines.
10. Sign Up for TSA Pre-Check
Sign up for TSA pre-check to speed up the security screening process. Qualified travellers get their own special line which is always much shorter than the general security line. You neither have to take off shoes nor remove liquid or laptop from your bag.
11. The Classic – Check In Online
Checking in online saves ample time that would have been spent on queuing at the flight desk. It is much quicker for those without hold luggage, as they can walk straight through with their printed boarding pass or mobile token.
12. Bookmark Terminal Maps
Airports are quite big and it is much easy to get lost. Most big airports have prepared terminal maps to help travellers. By bookmarking terminal maps, you can easily locate terminal gates and save time.