In News on Friday 14th Aug, 2015

Tips for getting through the airport more quickly

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Airports can be a stressful part of travelling. If you are a first time traveller or if you have travelled the world, we have five tips to help make the airport experience easy and anxiety free every time.

1. Prepare at home

The first tip starts before you even leave. Prepare your carry-on bag and checked baggage. The liquid items that go in your carry-on bag need to be less than 10oml and placed in a plastic bag.

Your laptop, Kindle or iPad needs to be removed from your bag and scanned through separately.

Have your passport and ticket ready in your hand before entering the security check point.

2. Check in online 

The internet has completely changed the airport check-in experience. Long gone are the days of arriving at the airport hours before your flight. Most airports say 3 hours before international flights and 1.5 before domestic flights.

Most airlines have online check-in services that allow their passengers to check-in and choose a seat. All you need is your passport and ticket number to be able to check-in online.

Some airlines, such as Qantas, have check-in computers at the airport. These machines allow you to check-in, print your ticket and check your bags without the help of an agent.

3. Fly during off peak times 

Another option to improve your travel experience is choosing a flight option that departs first thing in the morning or late at night. This suits people who are flexible and are looking to avoid crowds.

The benefit of choosing ‘flexible hour’ flight times is that the queues are shorter, the departure lounge isn’t rammed and there isn’t as much traffic on the roads.

The only downside may be a disrupted sleeping pattern.

4. Don’t check in a bag 

Travellers who have a short holiday abroad or are in a position to pack lightly should take a carry-on and avoid checking a bag.

The benefit of only have a carry-on is avoiding annoying fees and not having to queue at the luggage drop before departing or the baggage claim after arriving.

As soon as the plane lands you can grab your carry-on bag and head for the exits after clearing passport control.

However, if you have no option but to take a check-in bag you should weigh it in advance if you fear it exceeds the limit (normally 30kg for international flights).

5. Fast track

The worst part of travelling is waiting in a long queue at a security checkpoint, especially when you’re forced to watch others hold up the process after packing prohibited items in their hand luggage.

We suggest checking the airports website to see if they offer fast track service for a small fee. Some airports charge customers to skip the queues at airports.

For example at Manchester Airport, travellers can pay £3.50 (approx. $7) for access to a dedicated lane that is meant to get them through security quickly.

6. Dress comfortably 

You should dress comfortably for your flight especially the long international flights. Comfortable clothes include: sand shoes, jeans or trackies and jumpers.

Dressing comfortably also means not wearing belts or jewellery on the flight, this will make it easier to go through security check at the airport.

7. Customs and quarantine 

Australian Customs and Border Protection manage what goes in and out of each state, territory and Australia boarders. Item like meat, spices and plants can not be taken on a flight to another country or brought into Australia.

There are restrictions on goods  you can bring in and out of Australia. Some items need to be declared before they enter or exist the country, to find out what those items are check your airline’s website.

Duty-free items also have restrictions such as having a limit to how much tobacco you can buy and bring into Australia.

Did you find this helpful? Will you use these suggestions on your next trip to the airport?