Top Expert Travel Tips - Part 3: Pre-Flight & Airport
Book better meals, seats and avoid queues
• SeatGuru helps you find the best seat for your needs on almost any aircraft configuration. It will warn you about equipment boxes under the seat in front of you, cold seats, or seats with a lot of bathroom traffic, etc.
• If travelling economy, order a special meal – it will arrive first, is often healthier and will be cleared away first, freeing you up to use your laptop or watch a movie.
• Check-in online 24 hours before your flight - whether checking bags or not. Increasingly airlines provide separate lines for people already checked-in online, saving up to an hour of shuffling.
• Print out your boarding pass if possible - unless you know for certain that you can use your digital check-in receipt.
• Check what the upgrades are available on your airline's website – if there are seats available, you could get an upgrade to premium economy or business for a very reasonable fee. You might also find promotional inclusions like extra luggage or a free limousine service.
At the Airport
• If you park your car at the airport, take a picture of the floor/row/spot marker with your camera phone.
• Online check-in counters are relatively new and are therefore often empty – while hundreds of other are queuing up in the next isles. Just make sure you have checked-in online within your airline's time limits.
• When going through airport security, avoid lines that contain people who look like they don't travel often – I.E. children, holiday makers or large organised groups.
• If your flight is cancelled, get in line and also call customer service at the same time – you don't know which will help out first.
• The air on aircraft is very dry. Applying moisturiser, eye-drops and lip balm before getting on the plane gives you a protective layer.
• If you use cloud sync services (like Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud) check to make sure they don't accidentally use up roaming data if tethering your laptop.
• Map the journey from your destination airport to hotel or office on Google maps - this will cache the maps allowing you use them without turning on data access.
• If you have a Kindle or iPad, turn off your Wi-Fi/3G to extend the battery life.
• Turn off roaming data access on your phone. You don't want to accidentally start running up international roaming data charges.