From the lengthy check-in process to long security lines to dealing with delays, navigating through the airport can drive even the most chill traveler insane. But, following these six tips will ensure a smoother, quicker and all around better airport experience.
1. Book red-eye flights for an emptier airport.
Long lines, crowded commutes, and traffic can be avoided by picking off-peak flights, especially overnight ones and holiday eves.
2. Be loyal to one airline.
Loyalty to an airline, as well as frequent flyer and reward programs, will get you perks like upgrades, lounge access and priority boarding.
3. Check-in online.
Don’t waste time fighting for a kiosk at your terminal to print off your boarding pass, or wait in line for the attendant to do it. Spending the extra five minutes to check-in online (or even on your phone!), review flight time and print a boarding pass can save you a lot of grief at the airport.
4. Enroll in an expedited screening program.
A Trusted Traveler program allows for pre-approved travelers to expedite time at security checkpoints. There are a few different programs to choose from, depending on where you fly most (domestic or international), but the Department of Homeland Security site has made it easy to determine which program is best for you.
5. Make your gear TSA-friendly.
Ain’t nobody got time to be in the security line forever fumbling through a carry on for liquids, electronics, etc. Expedite the search by organizing your travel sized products in a TSA-friendly clear plastic bag and having your laptop handy for a quick out-of-bag grab.
6. Find a go-to travel outfit.
A comfy pair of pants, a cozy sweater, and slip-on shoes can go a long way in making your airport experience more enjoyable—and getting to your destination a breeze. Steer clear of difficult jewelry, complicated accessories with metal hardware (that will inevitably set off the alarm and slow the lines down) or shoes that are tricky to get on and off quickly.