AIRPORT TIPS


Tips for before you arrive at the airport

Know where the airport is
Figure out where the airport is and how you get to it in advance. Most cities have numerous airports, so do your research look at timetables

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 (rather than relying on the airline's app or on a good internet connection at the airport)
Get a flexible friend
Certain credit cards targeting travellers offer perks like free access to airport lounges. For example, I hold a card which gets me a priority lounge pass for two entries each year, makes the airport wait more fun! 

At check-in


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. You can therefore sit and relax while you wait for your flight to be called. When it is you can go straight to the front of the queue.

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. This saves time and intimate body searches which really aren't fun!

Take a spare plastic bag
Take a spare ziplock bag or two to get your toiletries through security checks – it's ridiculous and annoying that some airports will charge you if you forget one!

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.

Don't queue to get on the plane
Sit comfortably in departures where you can see the boarding desk and (assuming you have a pre-allocated seat) read your book until the last possible minute. When the queue is down to one person, get up and casually stroll through the departure gate onto the plane. The plane won't leave without you until they have at least called out your name.

Make a good impression at immigration
I've had some very varied experiences arriving at immigration, particularly in the USA, ranging from being processed quickly in a few minutes to being asked to go off to the interview room for a secondary interview. 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. 

Enjoy your trip!

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