18 Airport Tips

Even the most seasoned traveller dreads an overcrowded airport. I know a thing or two about packing, queuing and other holiday delights, so I’ve put together some of my best airport tips to make getting away a little easier.

Before You Go

  1. Request seats at the time of booking, particularly if you have any specific needs. Don’t wait until you’re at the airport as the best seats will be long gone.

 

  1. Make sure your passport has plenty of time left on it (six months is usually safest) and blank pages according to your destination’s requirements.

 

  1. Check in online and print your boarding pass at home.

 

  1. Arrange fast-track security. Search for this on your airport’s website.

 

  1. Pre-book an airport lounge pass. Comfy seats, cool interiors, drinks and snacks, TVs, newspapers, internet access, information screens and the best loos in the airport come as part of the package.

 

  1. Pack light using bags that meet your airline’s size and weight restrictions. Carry vital items such as medication, a toothbrush and clean pants in your hand luggage. And don’t forget to check the latest security rules on carrying liquids.

 

  1. Put your name, email and possibly mobile number or work address on your luggage labels in case your bags decide to have a holiday of their own.

 

  1. Don’t lock your hold luggage as security officials will have to destroy the lock or your bag if they need to get into it.

 

  1. In the days leading up to your departure, keep up to date on your flight’s status and anything likely to cause delays so you’ll avoid nasty surprises when you turn up at the airport.

 

  1. Consider booking a night at an airport hotel before your flight. Many have speedy access to departures, as well as great facilities for an early start to your holiday.

 

  1. Don’t bring your own snacks and drinks as you will come a cropper at security. Buy these once you’re airside, and they can be taken onto the plane in addition to your carry-on baggage.

 

Breeze Through Security

  1. Try to suss out the most efficient immigration and security official, and avoid queues containing large groups.

 

  1. When waiting in passport and security queues, have your documents (passport and boarding pass) at hand so you’ll be ready to take advantage if staff are looking to push anyone through fast.

 

  1. Don’t wear too many accessories that will need to be removed for the security check, and put what you can in your hand luggage before you reach the scanners.

 

In the Departure Lounge

  1. Pay attention to boards and announcements so you don’t miss news of delays, cancellations and other unexpected events.

 

  1. Avoid drinking too much alcohol. It could get you into all sorts of trouble.

 

  1. If your airline has oversold your flight and is looking for people to opt out, check the alternative flight they are offering and give it a go if time is not an issue. You could bag some nice little treats: a free ticket, cash-back, or even an upgrade.

 

  1. Board when your row is called! Your airline has the right to give your seat to a standby passenger if you haven’t rolled up to the line on time.

 

These tips will help you finish fast at the airport immigration queues especially when you’re at the Heathrow airport because it’s the top busiest airport of all.

Fun Things to Do When You’re Waiting at the Airport

How many times have you been stuck at the airport, waiting for your flight and just sitting there being bored? Whether it’s down to bad weather or for some other mean, completely unfair twist of fate you’re made to wait for hours. I know how painful that can be and now, I have come up with ideas to make time fly.

Eating and drinking comes to mind, though there are more ways to try something new and adventurous. If you’re there on your own:

  • Login in to Twitter and use a hashtag to search for other people who might be stuck at the same airport as you. You’d be refreshing your Twitter all the time anyway, so why not make a good use of it.
  • Use a delay as an excuse to start a conversation with a person you’d like to talk to. You never know, something good might come out of it. If nothing else, at least you can have a good whinge, we all love that!
  • Challenge a stranger to some silly game, such as Arm Wrestling or Rock, Paper, Scissors. There are plenty games you could try, all you need to do is be brave enough to ask a complete stranger to try it with you.
  • Do a performance act for other passenger, someone might even come and start chatting to you. If you do something hilarious, chances are people would approach you more. Something like a failed magic trick, or a funny dance would certainly make everyone laugh.
  • Organise a singing competition with others around you. While it may make your ears bleed when hearing all those “talents”, it’ll kill some time and you’ll be that cool person everyone points at.

 

Are you daring enough to try one of the above suggestions, or are you more for a relaxing things to do?

  • If you are you’re on a business trip, those precious hours could be all you’ll have for a private life until you’re back from your trip. Aside from rare sleep, of course!
  • Read a book. It might seem an obvious and dull choice, but it does make time fly.
  • People watching is one of my favourite pass time. Look at the people at your terminal, who are they and where are they going. You could write a short novel on each person that passes by.
  • Clear up your inbox. Remember all those messages that have been piling up for months, and you had no time to read them? Now you don’t have an excuse, just open your account and go through all of them. There might be something funny inside, people do like to email jokes, or if it’s boring it will help you fall asleep.
  • Go on a shopping spree. It’s much easier to go and buy presents when you’re on your way out. You won’t forget a nice little thing for your partner, and won’t have to worry about it on your way back home.

 

Or how about just sitting there and waiting? You could be tired. Use this opportunity to simply rest. Falling asleep could be an option too, I do it most of the time. Just be careful not to miss your flight!

UK’s Top 3 Busiest Airport in 2013

London Heathrow Airport, which witnessed a whopping 48.2 million passengers from January to August 2013, continues to be the busiest airport in the UK, with Gatwick a distant second and Newcastle Airport just beating Liverpool John Lennon Airport to tenth place.

Here, I listed the top 3 busiest airports in the UK based on passenger traffic in the first eight months of 2013:

 

  1. London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport has been witnessing a surge in the year 2013, with traffic growth by more than three percent compared to 2012. The airport handled 48.2 million passengers in the first eight months of 2013, serving approximately 191,200 passengers daily. It is owned by British Airports Authority (BAA), London Heathrow Airport is located 22km west of central London. It covers an area of 1,227ha, featuring two runways and five terminals. The 87m tall Air Traffic Control Tower at the airport is the tallest in the world. The airport serves 84 airlines and connects 184 destinations in 80 countries. The airport was officially opened in 1946 as London Airport. The fifth terminal was commissioned in 2008, while Terminal 4 was refurbished in 2009.

 

  1. London Gatwick Airport

Handling more than 24 million passengers in the year leading to August, London Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the UK in 2013. The airport was initially owned by the British Airports Authority, but ownership was transferred to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in December 2009 and it is now operated by Gatwick Airport Limited (Gatwick). The airport serves 45 airlines connecting 197 international destinations in 90 countries, as well as 12 domestic destinations. The airport is about 48km from London and features the world’s busiest single runway. The airport features 346 check-in desks and 115 aircraft stands. It employs 23,500 people on site in addition to generating 20,000 indirect jobs and approximately £2bn revenue to the economy of London and the South East on an annual basis.

 

  1. Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport, located within a 20 minute drive from central Manchester, is the main international gateway for the north of England and is the largest regional airport in the UK. The airport handled more than 13.5 million passengers during the first eight months of 2013, making it the third busiest in the UK. The airport is mainly owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also acts as the operator. The airport serves more than 100 airlines and connects 225 destinations worldwide.

It features two 3,048m parallel runways, three passenger terminals, a world freight terminal, 46 air bridges and 254 check-in desks. Parking facilities include eight public car parks with 15,595 spaces and eight staff car parks with 5,535 spaces. The airport was officially opened in June 1938. It has generated 19,000 direct jobs on site and 42,500 jobs in the north-west of England. The baggage system of Terminal 2 alone is four kilometres in length and handles 20,065 bags on an average day.

 

And so, these are the top 3 busiest airports in UK. I am positive that in this year of 2015, these 3 airports will still be the top 3 busiest. Be sure that you are aware of these airports, you may be shocked to see that the airport your plane will be landing is busy and full of people.

Travellers Unite!

For those of you who travel regularly for business, even those who are not, you know the last thing you need is to get stressed out by your journey. There are actually a lot of things to think about especially if you’re travelling just because of business.

 

I’ve created a guide to help make your journey quicker and more convenient for you:

 

Look for deals

Doing a little desktop research will help you in the long run. Look out for loyalty schemes for business travellers. They can save you a lot of money. For example, a lot of major airlines have loyalty schemes, with British Airways, your company earns points and then gets money off flights. Hilton Hotel’s loyalty scheme benefits you rather than your company. The more money you spend in your hotel room, the more points you get to book discounted and free rooms in the future. I am always on the lookout for possible flight deals whenever I have an upcoming business traveller. I really don’t want to spend a lot on the plane ticket. I keep it as less costly as possible.

 

Escape the hustle and bustle

Airport lounges are amazing. They are a great way for you to avoid tripping over bulky suitcases, getting achy feet from standing around and enduring all of the hectic airport noise. Airport lounges offer you a tranquil atmosphere to escape to. They usually have Wi-Fi access, spas, and comfortable chairs and sofas to relax on. Usually when I am waiting for my flight, mostly I just take a short nap or just simply looking out at all the people passes me by at the airport lounges. It may seem boring but I do am absorbed whenever I look at the people and the scenery. Sometimes, I could just open up my phone and chat online through social media sites or maybe update some posts and statuses.

 

Look out for other short cuts like valet parking

Valet parking is another wonderful way to avoid getting travel rage. There are many valet parking available out there that is perfect for business travellers like me. Simply drive up to your terminal, hand your keys over to one of the drivers who’ll be waiting for you. Make sure that he’s a genuine valet driver or else, your car will be lost big time, and you don’t want that. After giving out your keys to the valet drivers, you go straight into your terminal and the drivers will park it for you. So you’re not wasting valuable time trying to find a parking space. On your way back, the driver will meet you with your car at the terminal, so you can jump straight in and drive home or back to the office. So easy and convenient. Most valet’s can also wash your car whilst you’re away so that you can drive away in a sparkly clean car. Perfect after a long flight.

 

And these are the ways in which you can avoid travel stress whenever you will be travelling by plane. It doesn’t matter if you’re just for business travel or just a fun travel, you don’t want to be too stressed out in getting at the airport.