During my time as a leadership consultant (LC), I’ve been fortunate to have the ability to travel around the country. In doing so, I’ve learned a lot of lifehacks for airport travel that will hopefully make your next flight a little easier.
Pick an airline, and stick with it.
Unless you are traveling nationwide like some of our LCs, figure out which airline you would most frequently use from your home base. By selecting one airline and registering for their loyalty or mileage programs, you will begin racking up points for things like priority boarding, free checked bags, possible seat upgrades or free flights. With this, if you need to use a different airline, that’s okay! Just find your favorite, and enjoy the extra legroom in your upgrade!
Cut the lines
If you’re a frequent flyer or enjoy skipping lines, look into getting TSA Precheck. After filling out a quick survey and stopping into one of their certified locations, you’ll have access to the precheck lines at airports, get to bypass the crazy security lines, and even keep your shoes on when going through security. While there is a cost associated with the service, it’s valid for five years, and with the countless hours you save waiting at the airport, I think it’s a great deal. For more information click here!
Use your smartphone
Have you ever gotten to your gate, ready to scan your ticket to realize it’s lost in the deep dark abyss of your bag? Try using your smart technology to keep this from happening. If you download your airline provider’s app, or request a barcode be sent to your email, you will be able to have them scan your screen to get on the plane. For a pro tip, for iPhones, save the code to your apple wallet, it will come up on your home screen for easy access, and sync to other devices including apple watches or tablets!
Check your bag at the gate
I only recommend this if you have longer than an hour layover or only have one flight, but this can be a lifesaver. Checking larger carry-on bags at the gate allow you to not worry about the hassle of getting your bag down and holding up the mass exodus that is getting off the plane, and instead, pick it up right outside and head on your way.
Wear your pillow
Layering on flights will be your best friend. Not only will layers like sweaters, jackets, or scarves keep you warm if your neighbor decides to turn the air all the way up, but they also roll up into perfect little pillows for a nice nap. For a pro tip, blanket scarves are the most diverse accessory. Not only are they trendy and add flare to your outfit, they also can be used as a pillow or a blanket.
While stale pretzels and cookies are okay when you’re desperate, bringing your own snacks can elevate your flying experience. Fruit, popcorn, granola bars or crackers are all a good idea, but watch out for nuts! Some passengers may be allergic so make sure you listen to the flight attendants before eating them!
Recently, many airlines are providing free in-flight entertainment which includes popular movies, as well as television episodes. You should be able to access your airline’s website to see what they will have available for your flight. If you don’t see anything you’re looking for, head over to Netflix and utilize their new offline viewing feature. While this feature is not yet available on computers, you can access it from your phone and some tablets. For more information on how to download or access shows or movies offline click here!
Good luck, and happy flying!