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10 Travel Tips – avoiding Airport Queues

Dont be running late for your flight!

Dont be running late for your flight!

Having worked in the hospitality, airline and travel industry for over 25 years, friends often come to me for advice on how to avoid stressful times when travelling.  Follow these pointers for avoiding airport queues…and you wont be running late for your flight!

Plan ahead.  Buy your tickets early for the best deals – especially if you are travelling during school holidays or long weekends.  You will have a larger range of flights to choose from and can avoid inconvenient flight times and stopovers.  Be aware of luggage limits on some discounted tickets.

Check-in online.  Many airlines have online check-in which opens 24 hours prior to the flight departure.  You can select your seats and print your boarding pass.  At the airport just head to the bag drop counter to have your luggage tagged for your destination.

Arrive early.  Most airlines open check-in 3 hours before the scheduled flight departure time for international flights.   If you don’t like to wait around, join a lounge.  You don’t have to be a high-flying airline member – some airports have non-airline affiliated lounges.  You can purchase passes online for access from 1 to 4 hours.  You can purchase them online.  Or ask the staff at the airline lounge if your boarding pass gives you access.

Be prepared for security.  Empty your pockets and put your keys, wallet, mobile phone etc in your carry-on bag before you get to the security check-point.   Pack your laptop neatly.  Wrap your electronic cords securely and not suspiciously sticking out the sides of the bag.  Put small adaptors in a clear zip-lock bag so you don’t lose anything.  Label the laptop and the bag.

Know the airport.  Check it out online and be familiar with the airport layout – especially if you have to change gates or aircraft along the way.  Find the closest baby change room, duty free shops, and even a smoking room if you need it!

Travel at the right time of day.  Weekend and day-time flights are usually filled with families and leisure travellers which are not familiar with airport procedures and could hold up the queues.  If you are travelling for business, travel at business hours where most people know the rules and it is a much speedier process.

Dress appropriately.  Leave the chunky earrings, belt buckles and hair clips behind or pack them in your checked luggage – they will only set off the security alarms.  Wear slip on shoes in case you have to take them off.  If you are travelling through cooler climates, make sure the pockets of your overcoat are empty.  Even if you are backpacking on a budget, you can still dress neatly and not attract suspicion.

Keep documents up to date and undamaged.  Slip your boarding pass into the photo page of your passport and keep it handy.  Always look after your passport – if it gets damaged or even gets wet in the rain, officials may reject it.

Know the regulations.   There are new regulations regarding carrying liquids and gels onboard the aircraft, regulations in USA for luggage locks, regulations, regulations, regulations.  Check the airline website for limits on carry-on and checked baggage – especially for children and infants.  Restrictions are strictly enforced during busy times and you may need to pay extra for your overweight luggage.

Be friendly, and smile!  You are going on holiday while the airline and airport security staff have to stay back and work! If you want to have unforgettable fun with your family and friends, check out the ski resorts close to Boise, Idaho.

Happy Holidays!

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