Passenger volumes are now at near record levels and this means airports are becoming less pleasant than ever. We know our customers do not always enjoy airports, so this week’s blog post brings you business travel tips to make your next journey faster and, hopefully, more enjoyable.
It sounds a bit obvious but, a glance at the length of check-in lines will confirm that, to many people it is not. If you want to avoid this pointless time waster, simply check in online and print out your boarding pass in the comfort of your own home.
Check Bags at the Curb
Check-in lines are not the only pointless lines in airports, baggage check lines inside the terminal are also not necessary. By checking your bag at the curbside, you’ll get the job done faster and save the frustration of hauling heavy bags through a crowded airport.
Choose Your Seat Strategically
If you want to get off first, you will almost always need to be at the front of the aircraft. Everyone knows this and, if it’s important to you, then go for the more crowded front seats. If you want a bit more space, heading to the back of the aircraft will often be less crowded and some airlines, like Virgin-Atlantic, board economy class from the back – so you’ll be one of the first on.
Get Set for Security
Security, and its associated lines, is necessary and un-avoidable. You can speed up your own personal time by preparing yourself before you get to the X-ray machines and by being organized when you’re there. Put your shoes into the machine first, followed by your laptop and then its case. That way, it’ll come out in the order you need it – shoes on first; while everything else is still being scanned, laptop in hand and then in bag and good to go.
Mark Your Luggage
Waiting at the conveyer belt and being confronted with a sea of black wheeled bags is almost unavoidable. You can make yours easier to spot with a bit of tape or ribbon and, in the process, reduce the odds that someone else mistakenly walks off with it.
Throw Money At the Problem
If you’re willing to dispense with some cash your can speed things up further at customs. Global Entry is a scheme that currently costs $100 and, after an interview with U.S. customs, you get to bypass immigration lines for 5 years. It works in over 30 airports and the fee can be refunded if you have a preferred status with United Airlines or American Express.
For those travelling from Denver, San Francisco, Orlando Dallas/Fort Worth and Westchester NY, Clear will speed you and your family’s path through airport security for $179 per year.
For $100 at over 40 airports – including Phoenix International, TSA PreCheck is available for eligible passengers on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. It is a process of pre-vetting and then expedited security. It is also available free of charge to active duty military and certain reservists and members of the National Guard.