The Secrets to Getting Through the Airport Quickly.
There are a number of things that can slow you down at the airport, although many of them are actually avoidable. Regardless of how often you find yourself flying, all business travellers need to know these secrets to getting through the airport quickly.
Start With Packing
- Pack light – avoid checking your bag. This eliminates an entire step; you will not need to go to the check baggage line.
- Make sure your carry-on bag meets airport regulations as far as size and weight. If you are unsure, every airline has their size requirements listed on their website.
- Make sure you do not pack any restricted items, including devices capable of harm, work tools which could cause injury, toys which could be mistaken as weapons and liquids which exceed the allowed allocation.
- Pack all of your approved liquids in one clear plastic bag no larger than 1L.
- Make sure you can access your laptop easily to remove it for security.
- Scan your passport and leave a copy at home with your spouse or a friend. Keep a copy of the scanned image on your smartphone. Pack a separate copy with you. If you lose your actual passport, having these copies will come in handy.
Before You Go
Some of the biggest secrets to getting to the airport quickly start before you even get there.
- Apply for Global Entry or the TSA Pre Check, which is available to Canadian citizens who are members of Nexus. Having this designation will allow you to go through security without having to take off your shoes or jacket. It is much quicker.
- Many airlines offer online check in twenty-four hours before departure – some are even earlier. By doing this, you can print your boarding passes at home or send them to your smartphone.
- Program your travel advisor’s number into your phone in case there are troubles and you need help getting service while you’re at the airport. The staff at the gate will typically be overwhelmed and a phone call may expedite help in your situation.
- Download travel apps that may help you such as your preferred airlines or apps such as TripCase that could notify you in case of a cancellation or gate change. Your travel management company can also provide and recommend useful apps, specific to your travel needs. It doesn’t hurt to have a lot of resources in case you need them.
- The day of your flight, check the flight status to make sure it is on time as scheduled.
- If you are traveling to or from an airport you are not familiar with, take a few moments to check out the airport website and become familiar with the airport; concourses, parking, shuttles, rental cars, etc. Many of Canada’s airports have their own apps which include maps, shuttle information and more. You can load these apps on your Smartphone for ease of use.
Once you’ve arrived at the airport, many of the secrets to getting through the airport quickly revolve around what you’re wearing and carrying. These tips will really keep things moving for you.
- Have your boarding pass and ID out of your pocket/purse and ready.
- Make sure your pockets are empty of everything.
- Get rid of any liquids, take that last sip of coffee and throw away all cups, bottles, etc.
- Wear slip on shoes if possible.
- If you normally wear a belt, pack it until you get to the other side of security.
- If you have a jacket on or a bulky, heavy sweater, take it off early to be ready to put it through the X-ray in a bin.
- If you have the choice of which lane to go through, pick a lane where there are no children or large families. They tend to take more time.
You have made it through security! If you reviewed the airport map you may know which way to go. If not, check which concourse and gate you are headed to and start in that direction. Some airports have moving walkways that can speed up your time. Once you find your gate, here are a couple of things you should do.
- Check the board and make sure your plane is leaving as scheduled.
- Go to the restroom so you won’t need to visit the cramped airplane facilities
- Purchase a bottle of water (avoid coffee). Flying is very dehydrating and keeping some water on-hand will go a long way to keeping you energized and ready for your business meetings.
- If you didn’t bring a healthy snack you may want to get something, especially if you flight is long. Find some fruit, a granola bar, and yogurt; something that will provide protein and carbs to get you through the flight.
- Have your boarding pass ready to board.
If you follow these secrets to getting through the airport quickly, your pre-flight experience will move significantly faster. That said, always allow yourself some extra time just in case of a glitch. There is always a possibility for scenarios which are out of your control. Enjoy your flight!
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