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Airline travel can be extremely stressful, and especially if you are unprepared for all eventualities. We have canvassed the most senior travellers from The Holidaysafe office, to ask for their tips on conquering the airport once and for all! The best advice is listed below.
This may be obvious, but it’s often undervalued. You should always aim to arrive at the airport two hours before your flight is due to depart, as this should give you plenty of time to join the check in queue, and make it to your departure gate without breaking into a run. If you now know what time you should arrive, give yourself plenty of time to complete the journey, and then walk from the car park or train station. Beware of delays and check the motorways or train systems before you leave home!
If you’re delayed stay calm
Losing your temper won’t get you there faster, and it may lose you the sympathy of the airport staff who can keep you updated and could possibly pull some strings to get you going.
Pack with security in mind
Do your homework on current screening procedures and airline policies for checked and carry-on luggage. There are still clueless passengers who pack large bottles of liquids in their carry-on luggage, a nuisance to everyone behind them. Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off, and keep items you may have to remove from your luggage for screening, such as laptops, readily accessible. This keeps the line moving, which keeps tempers calm. If you’re a frequent traveller who knows the drill, be patient with those who are new at this-they may be nervous.
On the plane
Take an eye shade for napping, and use headphones to listen to music or movies (whether in the terminal or on the plane), or earplugs to block out unwanted conversations. Books and magazines are readily available in the airport, and are also a great way to pass the time.
The middle seat arm rests are shared property
That said, it’s generous for the aisle and window seat holders to give the middle passenger a chance to claim them first.
Travelling is trying for adults with children
Crying babies are part of the air travel package, so it’s a good idea to stash some earplugs in your carry on. However, if a child is kicking the back of your seat, it’s okay to ask their parents to stop them.
Reading over someone’s shoulder is nosy and intrusive
Avoid the temptation and come prepared with books, magazines, or a laptop of your own. Privacy filters for computers and smart phones will bar wandering eyes. If 25F is taking an unhealthy interest in your screen, meet his gaze briefly.
In flight meal?
With airlines cutting back on complimentary in-flight meals and snacks, the smart traveller buys his own at the airport. Avoid foods with strong odours that may bother your neighbours, such as tuna fish, egg salad, or a garlicky meatball sub, – enjoy these in the terminal instead.
You can’t always choose your neighbours
On the plane or in the boarding area, but you can take responsibility for your own comfort and come as prepared as possible. You’re going to be sat next to at least one person for at least a few hours, so why not start up a conversation? You may find them extremely interesting. Try to read your neighbour first though, as they may not be chatty and you don’t want to make them awkward!
Finally, remember to buy travel insurance before you depart for your trip. This will step in if you miss you flight, or if your flight is delayed. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information.
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