Let’s face it. Airports are a big pain in the you know what. However, there is still something that draws me to the excitement of flying regardless of all the hassles. These days, airports seem more crowded and full of more issues than ever. With all of our back and forth, here are the five things that will make navigating your next trip to the airport a bit easier.
Everything in the travel industry has gone digital and airlines at airports are no exception. Having a few apps can go a long way to navigating the airport with ease. So get your iPhone ready with a few of our faves.
Start with TripAdvisor. We love this app because it keeps all of your information in one place. Be sure to download your airline app and connect with them on Twitter. This is a great way to get expedited customer service if plans start to fall apart. Lastly, grab the MyTSA app to get the down low on your local airport. With stats on how long lines will be and what is and is not allowed through security.
Check you bags
There. We said it. It is beyond us why everyone is convinced that this is the travel corner to cut. Here us out! Why oh why does it sound like a good idea to schlep all of your stuff through TSA and past 57 gates in order to board a plane and play a game of overhead tetris with every other sweaty passenger? Check the bag. And, hey, if you’re nervous use an apple airtag or try out the service offered by Blue Ribbon Bags. Just think about how nice it would be to simply walk through security and not arrive at your gate as a sweaty, sweaty mess.
Arrive with time to relax
Speaking of sweaty messes, can we recommend that arriving with time to browse a shop or have a drink at an over-priced bar. What we mean is that maybe the airport can be part of the experience instead of a bigger hassle.
Don’t be a gate crasher
Another phenomenon that we can’t wrap our brains around is the boarding process chaos. Please explain to us the psychology behind everyone wanting to board first. In all reality, we like to board last. Since our bags are checked, we have no need to join the overhead bin battle. We can walk on as the door is ready to close and buckle up just in time for the pre-flight safety show.
Upgrade your travel wardrobe
Don’t get us wrong, we like to travel in comfort too. But, if there is one thing we’ve learned over lots of air time, it would be that dressing nicely can often signal to flight staff that you would be a good candidate for an upgrade. Since you won’t be a sweaty mess, you’ll probably look the part and get that upgrade as you waltz on board at the end of the line.
Have an exit strategy
We like to take inventory of where everything is in our airports. It makes things easier on the return trip. We keep an eye out for all kinds of things like where baggage is, where the low use bathrooms are located and where shuttles or Ubers meet passengers. This little task can make things a little less stressful when you are an overtired traveler.
So, what are our pics and pans?
- BWI: dated over crowded and a plain mess. Instead we’d pick PBI: we love this little airport! It’s an easy in and an easy out.
- CDG: with no air conditioner and extra long corridors that don’t ever stop, we’d pass and land instead at ORY: small quick and cheaper to get into town.
- FCO: there are so very many tourists happening here that it becomes a tough task to get in and out easily. Instead, we’d land in the brand new customs hall at ATH.
- IAD: in desperate need for a remodel and no realistic public transport in sight, we’d opt for DCA any day.
- JFK: with a dated customs welcome and a mess in the traffic department, we think that you’d receive a better welcome at ATL.