Airports can be a traveller’s worst nightmare. Long security queues, fights for the best overhead locker space on the plane and overpriced food just add to the stress when departing on a holiday. However, keeping a few simple tips in mind can make the airport experience much easier on the already stressed traveller.
1. Arrive early!
This point cannot be stressed enough – arrive early to the airport. Check-in and security queues get longer as travellers become more frantic when boarding announcements are made, so it is best to arrive as early as possible to provide some breathing room should a mishap occur. Security and airline personnel are usually very accommodating when it comes to long lines and fast approaching departure times, but it is best to be early just in case you encounter a not-so-helpful airport employee.
In addition, in the event of an overbooked flight, airlines sometimes provide preference in boarding to those who checked in early. Getting away on time can be especially important to those with connecting flights, so to avoid any issues later on in your journey, arrive early!
2. Know the security rules before you go
Airline security gets tighter every year, and it seems that every time we go away for a holiday there is a new security regulation to confuse travellers even more. A pet hate of many seasoned flyers is the liquids and gels rule; depending on the country of origin for your flight, security personnel are often required to confiscate liquids and gels over a certain volume from travellers proceeding through security checkpoints. Familiarising yourself with new security regulations before you go through security will not only allow you to save time at the security checkpoint but also hold on to your bottle of Chanel perfume.
3. Stay abreast of cancellations and delays
As with any business in the travel industry, airline schedules are often subject to change due to weather, strikes, operational requirements or safety concerns. In some cases, flights do need to be cancelled. Airlines are usually very efficient at notifying travellers of delays and cancellations, however the compensation provided to travellers affected by these is often minimal. A good way to reduce the impact of a cancellation while flying is to take out travel insurance. Most good policies will provide cover for additional accommodation, food and communications expenses in the event of a cancellation or extended delay. It is important, however, to keep receipts handy in the event of such an incident to prove to your insurance company that the expenses you are claiming for were indeed necessary.
A crowded and chaotic airport is any traveller’s least favourite way to start a holiday, but by planning well and keeping your eyes peeled for any issues while at the airport, it is very simple to reduce the effect of any incidents on your vacation. While wading through the masses of people at check-in, security and at the gate, keep in mind what awaits at the other end of your plane flight to keep you motivated!
Nickel Keat regularly blogs about business related issues. He works for DirectAsia Travel Insurance which is as one of the best online insurance firms.