7 Tips for Breezing Through the Airport

Security: The least fun part of getting into the airport

Happy April!  I hope you had a great Easter & didn’t get tricked on April Fool’s day!

What a great time of year. We have been having sunny, warm weather here in NC for the most part – finally! It was a bit colder this year than last year. We still love it.

If you don’t know we are originally from Pennsylvania and we do NOT miss the weather up there, but we really DO miss our family & friends all the time!  We should have gone up for a quick Easter weekend at least.  Soon enough, graduation will be here and the grandparents will all descend on NC.

My family has some crazy travels coming up. I’m going to be headed to Club Med in Punta Cana later this month to expand my knowledge for serving you even better, and my daughter is heading to NYC with her high school band!  So, although we stayed home for Easter, all of us except my son will be headed somewhere in the next month or so. 

I hope you have made some time to get away from it all over Easter, Spring Break, or sometime soon. We all need time to refresh, clear our heads, and enjoy a break from life.

Today, I want to discuss ways to avoid hassles at the airport… with that said, and with all the changing regulations, you always want to double check travel.state.gov as well as check in on your state’s REAL ID requirements to fly domestically by going to your state’s DMV website or https://www.dhs.gov/real-id. Otherwise, enjoy these 7 tips!

Have a great rest of your week! Blessings, Sandy

I know, I know!

Airports are busier and less efficient than ever and it seems like airline employees and TSA agents wake up on the wrong side of the bed every morning.

Many of my clients say that, as much as they love their vacations, the absolute worst part of the journey is simply surviving the airport experience.

Here are 7 suggestions to eliminate hassles at the airport and keep that blood pressure at a safe level Take notes and take action….and don’t forget to pack your patience and sense of humor in that carry-on. They don’t weigh anything! 

Tip #1: Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry!

This is my favorite recommendation for people who travel more than once a year, especially if that travel is International. Being able to cruise through security at over 130 US airports is heaven, but I especially love the Global Entry kiosks in US Immigration that can save you tons of time when returning to the US. Have you seen the length of some of those passport control lines? With Global Entry, you can usually walk right up to the kiosk, scan your passport and breeze through to baggage claim. 

Tip #2: Check your Flight Status!

This is so obvious that I feel like I shouldn’t even have to remind you, but the truth is very few people actually take this step. A quick glance at your airline app or on the airline website can save you a lot of hassles. You can find out if the flight is still predicted to be “on time”, if there are any weather delays or warnings, if there has been a cancellation, and even check for last-minute seat- switching options in just a couple of minutes.

If you have an app on your phone, it is smart to re-check it at the airport before you leave your car in the parking garage or with the valet. Most airlines will also text you flight status updates if you sign up on their websites.

Load the toll-free numbers to your airline, travel insurance company and travel agent into your cell phone so that you can quickly reach someone if there is a flight delay/cancellation. While everyone else is waiting in line at the gate, you can have someone on the phone working on your behalf to fix the issue. 

Tip #3: Check-In Online! 

This can save you a heap of time. You can avoid the whole kiosk/counter zoo at the airport when you arrive. Just check the monitors to find out what gate your flight is using and proceed to the security line. Also, some airlines may take your reserved seat assignment away if you have not checked-in prior to the flight, especially on a highly overbooked flight. Don’t take that chance! 

Also, this can save you some money if you are using a budget airline such as Spirit (which I don’t particularly recommend if you can avoid it) because they charge you more at the airport for your bags than if you pre-purchase them. 

Tip #4: Prepare your Documents! 

Before you get in line to check-in at the airport, be sure you have in-hand all the items and documentation you will need. That includes your driver’s license (make sure you know if you need a REAL ID or not!) or passport, your boarding pass from your online check-in (or confirmation code) and credit card if you are paying to check any luggage.

And that is for EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR PARTY. The airline agent and the folks behind you in line will be grateful. 

Tip #5: Weigh your Luggage! 

If you suspect that your bag might be overweight, find out BEFORE you reach the drop-off point. Many airports have installed scales in the check-in areas and I bet you have a scale in your bathroom at home that you can use. That way, you can leave a couple of things behind (you didn’t need them anyway), or shuffle heavy items between your checked bag and carry-on without incurring the wrath of the folks behind you in line at the airport. And avoid those ridiculously expensive overweight baggage fees at the same time. 

Check out these luggage scales so you can check your luggage weight anytime during your travel: 
Samsonite Manual Luggage Scale

Tip #6: Survive Security Screenings! 

Stow everything in your carry-on except for your ID and boarding pass…and that includes your phone (unless you are using it for an electronic boarding pass), your keys, wadded up cash, etc.

When you hit those white bins, quickly remove your shoes, take your laptop and toiletry baggie out of your bag and place them in the bins. Place your carry-on directly on the belt…take a deep breath, smile and proceed. It will be over before you know it. Keeping a positive attitude is key here. Those TSA screeners don’t enjoy it any more than you do….. give ’em a smile and wish them a GREAT day and make it your personal challenge to get a smile out of them!  🙂 

Tip #7 On The Other Side!

Once through Security, double-check the departure monitors again to make sure your gate hasn’t changed. Make sure you have ALL your bags, electronic devices, wallet (I can’t tell you HOW MANY times I’ve heard announcements about wallets left at security!) 

Then, walk directly to your gate to make sure everything is still accurate and on time. Then you can venture off a little bit to get something to eat/drink and visit the restroom. Stay within range of your gate as much as possible so you can hear any last-minute announcements like gate changes or delays…and check those apps every so often in case your gate changes your you experience a delay.  If you’re listening to music and things, keep an ear out so you can hear announcements.  

Most of all, keep your cool.

You will be on that plane very soon winging above the clouds to your perfect vacation destination. See…wasn’t that easy??? 

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