Although we are relatively frequent flyers Mrs W still gets quite anxious when it comes to the travel day itself. So, to help alleviate the stress of flying and to make the whole airport experience a far more relaxed affair we do have our own airport flight routine.
Obviously, if you are fortunate to have the money one of the best ways to avoid the queues and the fuss of a busy airport is to fly everywhere first-class but alas, this is not a viable option for m
Getting To The Airport
Getting to the airport can often involve a long motorway drive. This comes with the usual prospect of delays and traffic jams. So, especially when flying long haul, we prefer to get to the airport the night before and relax in a hotel. We are not the type of people that can check-in last minute.
Check-In And Security
We do check-in quite early to avoid the queues and getting stuck behind that extended family who is surprised that they need to show their travel documents and have packed them randomly in various bags. We are not ‘carry-on only’ travellers so still have to drop-off the bags but we have found that the increase of self-check-in machines has reduced most of the long queues of the past.
If you do have access to fast-track security then take it. Security lines can be slow, stressful and what is it this week? Shoes on or shoes off. They also seem to like the heating quite high in these areas. American airports seem to specialise in ridiculously long security lines.
Once checked-in we go straight through security so you can relax airside rather than rushing to the gate.
Airside At The Airport
Once you have navigated the maze of Duty-Free which, in most airports, seems to start about 3 feet from the security scanner machine, what are you going to do for the next hour or two? Obviously, the best option is an airline lounge, they are usually much calmer than a paid lounge although some of the bigger airline lounges can be a bit busy, especially when there are ‘kids are expressing themselves’.
If you don’t have a lounge then finding a quiet spot next to a power supply is our goal. Whether it’s in the general waiting area or our favourite, a bar or restaurant. Just avoid the bar with the ‘lads’ or ‘hens’!
The Final Call
Lastly, when the gate is called do not rush to the gate. We have noticed a growing trend of airlines getting you to the gate only to keep you hanging around for 30 minutes in a area with no seating. I know there can sometimes be a rush to the gate by the ridiculous carry-on people so they can be first to take up all the locker space with their oversized bags.
Our plan is to avoid the wait and arrive at the gate in time to simply walk onto the plane. But don’t be too late as you will be greeted by a plane load of passengers giving you a stare as if they want to tear you limb from limb.
So, by now, you should be nice and calm and sitting on the plane which is now going to take-off exactly on time. Well, fingers crossed for that.