Thanksgiving is just under a month away and flyers are already noticing. Airports are getting busier as the holidays creep closer. As a result, we are spending more time in airports waiting in security lines, printing boarding passes and sifting through items to remove from overweight bags. These precious minutes lost around the holidays can turn into missed connections. If you want to cruise through the airport a little faster this holiday season, here are a few simple things you can do to save time.
Settle All Flight Business At Home: These days, you can check in online, pay for your checked bag the night before your flight and print out your boarding pass, all from the comfort of home. You can save a great deal of time waiting in lines throughout airports by settling your flight business at home and without people elbowing you in line. Also, if you pay for your bag online, many times you just have to go to your airline’s bag drop off desk. This line is generally shorter than one to check in for flights where those waiting need to check in, print their boarding passes and pay for a bag.
Know The Security Checkpoints At Your Airport: When I was traveling through my home airport of Denver, I approached a security line that wrapped around the nearby baggage claim. I knew the line would take a good hour so I quickly moved on to plan B. Denver has a security checkpoint that bridges from the Terminal to Concourse A. The line was shorter and I made my flight easily. Many times we are strangers to the airports we travel through. We don’t research them and in the process, we could be missing the insider ways of getting out of security as fast as possible. Travelers looking to breeze through the airport should research where all of the security checkpoints are that you could potentially use. That way if a line the length of the Great Wall of China develops, you have a backup plan other clueless travelers don’t know about.
Always Wear The Right Shoes: Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes at the airport and you might realize just how important your footwear can be to help you get through the airport as quickly as possible. At security, shoes that are hard to take off and put back on will cost you precious time. Also when you find your gate to be all the way to Timbuktu and you are wearing high heels, you might lose some time just by having trouble walking. You should avoid uncomfortable shoes or those that require extra time to put on and take off.
Study Rental Car and Parking Maps: I was set to depart out of Dublin, Ireland early in the morning. The only problem? I had to return my rental car. While this might sound easy, returning rental cars can drain all of the time that you may have allotted to get through the airport. In my case, the rental car return was in a completely different location than the rental car pick-up. If you have to return a rental car or park at the airport, you should be aware of where can drop off your wheels that will put you in the closest positioning to the airport. Both tasks can eat away time, but they don’t have to if you study the parking and rental car return layouts.
Weigh Bags at Home: If you are worried about forking over an extra charge for overweight bags, try to weigh you bags at home. This can cut out time you would be spending at the check in desk, frantically trying to remove items to make your bag lighter. You will cut down time spent at check in desks by knowing your bag is not overweight and in the process you won’t make enemies tapping their toes in line behind you.
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