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15 top airport tips: How to stay calm and save time at the airport.
Before you arrive
1. Know where the airport is Figure out where the airport is and how you get to it in advance.
2. Screenshot your boarding pass If you’re using a boarding pass on your mobile phone, take a screenshot of it and save it in your pictures folder on your phone.
3. Always print out your boarding pass Although we live in an age where you can check in with your smartphone and email, you never know when your phone may just run out of battery or pack in.
4. Skip the check-in queue During holiday times airports like London Gatwick can get EXTREMELY busy. You could be standing the check-in queue for ages. The trick in that case is not to join the queue but to go and sit in a café and read a book. When the airport is that busy they call out the flights that are due to depart first and let their passengers through as a priority.
5. Skip the security queue If you’re really cutting it fine for time, a polite word to an airport employee almost always results in a queue jump at security.
6. Remove your Crown Jewels At security, if you don’t want to set off the alarms after waving goodbye to your hand luggage, keys, mobile phone, laptop etc, make sure you remove all the Crown Jewels you are wearing. Apparently, your watch, earrings, necklace and ring MIGHT set off the alarms.
7. Take a spare plastic bag Take a spare zip lock bag or two to get your toiletries through security checks.
8. Wear matching socks Make sure you wear socks of the same colour! Just in case you have to take off your shoes.
In the departure lounge
9. Fly at a time when it is socially acceptable to drink whisky Try to fly at a time, which means it’s socially acceptable to taste the whisky samples at duty free.
10. Set an alarm so you don’t miss your plane Set an alarm on your phone to go off at boarding time, it’s easy to get distracted in the departure lounge.
11. Keep the kids entertained If travelling with kids, ensure you have their game consoles handy (and FULLY CHARGED) to allow you to have as stress-free a time while waiting to depart. Make sure the kids have a small backpack containing game consoles, pens, pencils and a pad of paper so they can draw etc.
12. Get some work done Connect to Wi-Fi and get some work done.
At the gate
13. Don’t queue to get on the plane Sit comfortably in departures where you can see the boarding desk and read your book until the last possible minute.
14. Make a good impression at immigration Be smartly dressed, polite and well spoken, make good eye contact with the immigration official and have a clear idea of where you are going next (name of hotel, car hire). Never ever make jokes and do not use your mobile phone. Also, make sure you have a credit card to hand and if possible local currency as you may be asked to prove you are able to pay your way If you are travelling on business, never say “I am here to work” as they will be concerned that you are going to be working illegally; a better phrase is: “I am here to have some meetings with business colleagues”.
15. Look before you leave Whenever you get up to leave somewhere at the airport – in a café, a bar or at the gate – always turn around and make sure you haven’t left anything behind – like your tickets.