5 tips for getting through the airport smoothly

Remember my cousin who is on a two month business trip? He left about a week ago. As I drove him to the airport I tried to Victorinox spinnerremember all of my best tips for him. “Have your stuff ready when you get to the security line.” “Wait until they call your group number before going to board.” “The best breakfast is definitely across from gate 7.” Etc. Eventually I realized that he was never going to remember all of it, so I boiled it down to these main points.

  1. Check on your flight. Before you ever get to the airport, check to make sure your flight is on time. And remember: gates change on a regular basis, so the gate when you arrive may be different from the one listed while you’re still at home.
  2. Be ready for security. Have your ID and boarding pass in hand when you get to the front of the security line. Also make sure the items that need to be scanned—liquids bag, laptop, etc—are at the top of your bag, and that your pockets are empty (I’m looking at you Home Warrior! The man always forgets the stuff in his pockets). Most important: when you get through the scanner, pick up your bins and bag and move to a bench. Don’t put your headphones back on or the change back in your pocket; all of that can be done without holding up the line.
  3. Wait your turn to board. There is really no reason to go stand at the gate, blocking people’s way, before they call your number. And for that matter—listen to what the gate agents are saying! Almost every flight there is someone who isn’t paying attention who has their boarding pass scanned, then has to do the walk of shame to the end of the line when they realize it’s not their turn yet.
  4. Be careful with your carry-on. Lots of people barrel through airports (and plane aisles!) with no regard for others’ toes, shoulders, and heads. I’ve been whacked by someone’s bag more times than I can count! Make sure you are aware of where your bag is, and please don’t hit anyone with it.
  5. Have patience. Above all, be patient. Everyone is always feeling rushed at the airport. If you show patience and a little kindness, others will appreciate it and respond in kind.

If you want more tips for first time business travelers, check out my Business Travel 101 series!

Readers, what are your best tips for a newbie to get through the airport smoothly?

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  1. I would add visit the restroom before boarding, you never know how long the wait will be before taking off
    ( and the ground facilities are better than the cubical in the plane)

  2. Erik

    thanks for the link, that looks like a good option for small stuff that usually ends up migrating to the bottom of my carry on bag.

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