Avoiding Airport Stress

Written by on May 26, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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airport passengersIf you’re planning on heading overseas this year for your holidays, the chances are that your plans involve a trip to the airport.

In the peak travel months, the airport queues can be a huge source of stress and it’s never the best start to your holiday when you feel tense and anxious. If you can’t avoid the airport, a little bit of forward planning will help make the experience altogether less stressful.

Parking

Our family once almost missed a flight because we had booked off-airport parking several miles from the terminal and the bus we relied on to get us there failed to materialise.

If you are booking far enough in advance, the prices for parking at the long stay airport car park are often comparable with parking miles away, so it makes sense to park as close as possible, especially when you are travelling with several excited children and lots of luggage.

There are lots of comparison sites online which will help you find the best and most convenient parking for your departure airport.

Checking in

Many airlines insist that you check in yourself at home, but even if your carrier doesn’t you can save time and energy by printing off boarding passes the night before at home.

Even if you have checked in online you will have to queue up to drop off your luggage, unless you have brought hand baggage only. Check individual airline policies, as bags like the Samsonite Cosmolite which are marketed as cabin bags may be rejected by some budget airlines for being too large.

Security

Once you have dropped off your bags, head straight through to security. This is the most time-consuming part of the whole airport process and at peak times it can take up to an hour to pass through the security checks.

As you approach the security zone ensure you have your liquids in a separate bag, and have electronic goods like laptops or iPods out for inspection as well as passports and boarding cards for the whole party out and ready to be inspected.

Some airports ask you to remove thick soled shoes and all belts, so pay attention to what staff are asking people to do and be prepared to minimise queues. After you are through security, you can then relax until your flight is called.

Delays

Some degree of delay is unavoidable; pilots get ill, planes develop faults and baggage trucks break down. If your flight is delayed, pay close attention to the boards in the departure lounge. If you are delayed more than two hours on a flight departing from a UK airport, the airline should provide you with food and drink, or hotel rooms if appropriate.

For longer delays, the airline only has to pay out compensation if the delay was their fault, so delays due to engine faults or air traffic problems are not covered. For these reasons, taking out a good travel insurance policy is essential.

Arrival

If you are travelling light with just your hand luggage, then you can bypass the luggage carousel completely and head directly into the terminal. If you have to wait for your bags, don’t get caught up in the crush – get one member of your party to wait by the luggage belt while the rest stand back from the crowds.

If you are on a package holiday, you might be first on the coach but will have to wait until all passengers have arrived. If you’re picking up a hire car on arrival, look out for signs directing you through the terminal building and ask if you get lost.

Frankie Hughes is a blogger who believes that there are many simple ways that you can speed up check in times and avoid unnecessary airport stress. By ensuring that you keep your passport on your person, instead of packing it in your Samsonite Cosmolite luggage, security delays should not be a problem.

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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