Last Updated on March 31, 2023
We all know that feeling: you’ve spent hours on a long-haul flight. You’re tired, grumpy, hungry. You have cramps in your limbs and all you want to do is get out of the airport and either head home to unwind or to your hotel to start enjoying your vacation.
That’s why learning the most efficient ways to navigate airports and their security protocols is a vital skill for any frequent flyer in today’s world.
Luckily, airports are doing their bit to help us out. The improved signage displaying information about security procedures and floor stickers helping you to find your bearings in one of today’s vast, disorientating airports is making our lives easier.
But here are some other pointers to help you get in and out as fast as you can and minimize the amount of time you spend in airports and engaging in their stressful security checks.
1) Prep your documents at home
Put all the important documents you need for flying together in a safe and easy to access location, separate from your main luggage. Make sure everything is in order and to hand before you arrive at the airport. This includes checking in online and printing off your boarding pass at home.
2) Familiarize yourself with the airport
Use the airport’s online resources to get familiar with the airport’s size and layout, so you‘ll know where you have to go and how you’re going to get there before you even arrive. Even stuff that might seem obvious like checking which terminal you’re flying from can be overlooked in the stress and excitement of packing and getting ready to go on vacation.
Doing all of this will also help you avoid arriving late at your gate: some airports are truly monstrous in size, and you may need to allow plenty of time for walking from the car park to the departure gate.
3) Make sure your luggage is in order
Make sure you know what your luggage allowance is, how much weight you are allowed for your checked baggage and how large a bag you are allowed to carry on with you. Additionally, you need to make sure that you are not carrying any forbidden items, such as gels and liquids, which need to be placed in a resealable plastic container. Save your self-time by doing all of this at home before arriving at airport security.
4) Be polite and pleasant to airport staff
You may be tired, stressed and flustered, but that’s no need to start venting your bad mood on the people around you. It’s just good manners. Besides, being unpleasant or disrespectful to the airport staff isn’t going to get you through security faster: in fact, you’re liable to attract extra, unwanted attention to yourself and invite additional security checks which slow down your progress through security.
No matter how irritable you are, keep smiling and always be polite to the staff. Doing so will get you where you want to be quicker than being aggressive will.