People Share The Best Airport Hacks They Know
Oskar Kadaksoo on Unsplash

The stress that can accompany travel on ground transportation pale to the anxiety of air travel.


Getting to the airport and waiting in long switchback queues for checking in is just the beginning.
Going through security is in itself a daunting procedure, especially if you get stuck behind an unseasoned traveler who isn't quite sure of the protocol for getting through, efficiently.

But thanks to Redditor pumpboy, you may find yourself traveling with ease.

The Orignal Poster asked:

"What are your airport tips and tricks?"

You arrive at the airport. Now keep in mind of the following.

Information From The Source

"Don’t just trust the gate number on your phone app, always double check with the airport screens."

– googooachu

Checking The Gate

"Don’t even trust the gate number at the gate. I showed up five hours early at the appointed gate. Waited around with no one else showing up. Then the people behind the counter grabbed their jackets and purses and left, even as the display still showed my flight."

"I went around the corner, looked at a screen, and found my flight had been moved to a gate at the other end of the airport. Ran through the airport and caught my flight 15 minutes before it was due to board."

– tangcameo

Announcements

"Also listen to all announcements near your gate. On my last flight everybody was confused because the gate changed but the screens in the airport would not change. They had to announce about 5 times that the gate changed before everybody started to move. I had a notification on my phone from the airline saying the gate changed before they ever announced it."

– Jsully05

Being Early

"Its better to be 3 hours early than 3 minutes late, airport food is cheaper than paying to book another flight."

– Fuzzwuzzle2

Restrooms on land are better than the ones on planes.

One Last Trip

"Always pee BEFORE you board."

– mikedashe

Unpredictable Waits

"Can't emphasize this enough."

"Oh well, we should be up in the air soon enough, I can hold it until then." "The fasten seatbelt sign has to go away at some point, right?"

"These are not acceptable thought processes. I've had these bright ideas only to get in line, and board, then have to wait another 45 - 90 minutes before I get to go pee. When you get in line, make sure you're in condition to hold it for a while. It's not always this bad, but it could turn that bar any moment."

– OwlCoveredInSnow

Here are some tips about carry-ons and water bottles.

Stay Hydrated

"At the security line, put all your things (phone, wallet, watch, belt, etc) that will need to be removed in your carry-on. It makes it much more efficient rather than taking each individual article and placing it into the bin."

"Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the fountains. Air travel dehydrates you and most of us don't drink enough fluids anyway."

– kukukele

Beware The Bottle Pressure

"Once I filled up my water bottle in the airport. Later, while in mid flight, I flipped open the spout for the first time since filling it and I guess because of the pressure difference and my bottle being air-tight as the plane ascended, opening it instantly caused half the water in the bottle to come shooting out, blasting straight up like a geyser, hitting the ceiling of the cabin and coming down spraying all the strangers around me. I sheepishly apologized."

– bcmachine

Stay Cognizant Of Access

"In your carry on or especially in winter, it’s often easier to put it all in your coat pockets."

"And also pack with access in mind, especially when travelling abroad, sometimes you have to take out your laptop sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you have to include the charger. Sometimes iPads count. Just make sure they’re all in easy to access places."

– PhiloPhocion

A Hat Trick

"I often wear a ball cap and put everything from my pockets into that. Security will often tell you to empty your pockets into your carryon, but I rarely have the space. They’re always reluctant to hand out the tiny dog bowl sized bins which would be perfect."

– pfranz

Keep It Simple

"I always pack a smallish collapsable bag and when I'm sitting by the gate waiting to board I put in the things I want to access during the flight ( book, a couple snacks, headphones) from my carry on so I dont have to dig around in the carry on during the flight."

– Curlytomato

These tips may save your sanity.

Know Your Worth

"if you get bumped from a flight because the airline overbooked and you have to wait more than two hours then you are entitled to up to 4x your fare. Certain restrictions apply but point is dont let them take advantage of you."

– AussieBlender78

Seek An Advantage

"Always try to book an early flight. My father-in-law used to travel a lot and worked in an industry connected with the airlines. He said that the schedule board usually resets between 3 and 6 in the morning, so if there are late or cancelled flights causing a chain reaction in other areas that all tends to drop out of the system when it starts fresh the next day. I’ve never had a flight that left before 8 am that was noticeably late or canceled unless it just wasn’t safe to fly."

– gemurrayx

General Summary Of Tips

"I used to board 2-4 flights every week before COVID. Here are a few things:"

  1. "If you can then arrive early."
  2. "Have 2 bags. The backpack should contain all the stuff you would like to be available at moment's notice during the flight. The bigger trolley should only be opened once you have deboarded"
  3. "Stay away from the line that contains old people, kids, families. Queue up behind business travelers. There is an excellent scene in Up in The Air where Clooney profiles different kind of fliers. All of it is true."
  4. "Flight attendants have heard every single excuse for an upgrade. You can try but good luck. However, if you do get one than stop bragging about it. It might get them into trouble."
  5. "Flight attendants also like small gift like little bags of treats. If you are on a longer flight this is always an option to cheer someone up and make their day."
  6. "If you are frequent flier get a pair of noise canceling headphones."
  7. "Always check in as soon the window for check in opens. Usually 24 hours before the flight."
  8. "A small powerbank can make a world of difference."
  9. "The lounge is worth the money if you have a long layover or you are a frequent flier."
  10. "Always keep a small bag full of regular OTC medication you may need."

"Edit: Since someone mentioned wine I recalled that you can always fill a venti/trenta Starbucks cup with an entire bottle of wine. Edit -2: This is illegal as people have mentioned below and do it at your own risk. In my profession, a lot of people are functional alcoholics."

– satya314

Dispense With Social Graces

"Airports are lawless wastelands, like Fallout 3. There are no rules, all social miscues you’ve been taught to avoid are no more. Want to sit on the floor? F'king do it. Pizza and beer for breakfast? F'king do it. Fasting walking past old people to get in line faster? F'king do it. Survive."

– DogmeatIsAGoodDog

Hold On To Personal Belongings

"Never leave your bags unattended, never leave it with someone, I know it’s good to be human and be helpful but never carry anyone’s luggage for them. You don’t know who’s carrying contrabands or not and can easily put you in a jam."

– kevinokai

Yes, traveling is stressful for passengers. But airline employees and TSA agents put with the same, if not more, amounts of stress dealing with a whole slew of irritable passengers who take their aggression out on them.

I try my best to be kind towards them as they put up with a lot of B.S.

Who knows? Your friendliness may cause airline attendants at the check-in counter to conveniently "overlook" the maximum weight limit for your check-in luggage–like it happened to me once when I took the time to acknowledge their name and flashed them my pearly whites.

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