Many of my clients tell me the airport experience is the very worst part of their vacation. It does seem that airports are busier than ever and getting through security is becoming more and more stressful. Here are a few tips to make flying to your destination just a little bit easier
Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
If you travel more than once a year, this is one of the best things you can do. You will breeze through security while wearing your shoes and keeping everything in your bag. If you travel internationally, Global Entry is definitely for you. You will save lots of time by eliminating the need to stand in the passport control lines.
Load Important Phone Numbers into your Phone
Don't leave home without the phone numbers to your airline, travel insurance company, and travel agent so that you can reach someone quickly if there is a flight delay or cancellation. While everyone else is waiting in line, you can have someone working on your behalf to fix the issue.
Check-In Online 24 hours Before Your Flight
Make sure you either print your boarding pass or have it sent to your mobile phone. If you are not checking bags, you can avoid the crowds at the airline counter and proceed directly through security. Be aware that some airlines may take your reserved seat assignment away if you have not checked in online, especially if the flight is over booked.
Always Check Your Flight Status Before Leaving for the Airport
Most people don't take the time to do this, but this simple step can save you a lot of hassles. Go to the airline's website or app and find out if your flight is still on time, if there are any weather delays, or if your flight has been cancelled. Check it again at the airport before you pull into the parking garage and unload all of your luggage.
Weigh your Luggage Before You Get to the Airport
Avoid expensive overweight bag fees. Ensure that your luggage is not over 50 pounds before you get to the counter. If you have to move heavy items from your checked bag to your carry-on, you don't want to have a long line of disgruntled people behind you.
Survive Security Screenings
When you arrive at security screening, put everything in your carry-on except your ID and boarding pass. That includes your phone (unless you are using it for an electronic boarding pass), your keys, money, etc. Grab a bin and quickly place your shoes, laptop, and zip-lock toiletry bag into the bin and proceed. Keep a positive attitude, especially if you're stopped for additional screening. The TSA employees don't enjoy this any more than you do!
Find Your Gate Before Doing Anything Else
Once through security, double-check the departure monitors to make sure your gate hasn’t changed. Walk directly to your gate to make sure everything is still accurate and on time. Then you can take the time to get something to eat or drink and visit the restroom. Stay in range of your gate as much as possible so you can hear any last-minute announcements like gate changes or delays. You will be on that plane soon, high above the clouds to your perfect vacation destination.
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Ann Jones, CTC, MCC