From the baggage drop to the security line to the boarding gate, just getting through the airport these days can throw pitfalls at you that you never saw coming. Even if you sail through the lines, there are other things you can do to make the wisest use of your time, and money, at the airport. Here are typical airport mistakes you may be making, quoted from SmarterTravel.
1. Not Downloading Your Airline/Airport App
Using your carrier’s app is important not just at the airport, but before you get there, too. Most carriers have apps you can download on your smartphone that will alert you if your flight is delayed or canceled, even before you leave for the airport. Once there, the information on the app is often more up-to-date than the arrival-departure screens in the terminal. More and more airports have developed apps that help travelers navigate the terminals with maps, lists of services, etc.
2. Not Checking in Online
Unless you have some kind of problem that can’t be resolved, there’s no good reason for not checking in online. Just have the ticket sent to your phone (via text or email link), and if you don’t have any luggage to check, you can skip the counter and head straight to the security line. But, if you have luggage you’ll need to drop it off, but if you’ve checked in beforehand, this goes quickly. Also, some airlines only let you choose a seat when you check in.
3. Not Bringing Food
It’s no secret that airport food, whether from a grab-and-go vendor or a sit-down restaurant, comes with a hefty price tag. The only value-add is convenience, but not the quality. That’s not the only reason to pack a snack in your carry-on luggage. If you get held up in the security line and get squeezed for time, a sandwich, chips, cookies, and fruit in your carry-on can save the day. Most food is allowed, except for liquids like salad dressings, soups, yogurt, etc. If in doubt, you can check on Google for most prohibited food items.
4. Wearing the Wrong Clothing
Strategically dress not just for comfort on the plane, but to get through the line faster, too. That means eliminating anything that could set off alarms when going through the body scanner, like chunky jewelry or a belt. Keep your footwear simple, too, with shoes that are quick and easy to get on and off and don’t forget socks.
5. Not Marking Your Luggage
The last things you have to do at the airport is to grab your luggage from baggage claim. And one by one here they come, an endless stream of suitcases that look more or less the same. Save yourself the hassle of looking at each bag as is it goes by marking yours with a brightly colored tag. So you’ll be able to spot yours in a quick second and be on your way.
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