Recently you may have heard all of the nonsense on the news about airport security taking much longer than it previously has. People are missing their flights due to long security lines and the TSA recommends getting to the airport 3 hours early for domestic flight and 4 hours early for international flights now. Security lines have been reported as taking up to 2 hours to get through.
Let me tell you… I have been in airports all over the world in the past few months… from San Francisco to Cairo to Frankfurt and not once did I see anything like this happen or anyone miss their flight. Most of the time I got to the airport 2 hours early for an international flight and breezed right through security. I don’t necessarily recommend this, though. I recommend always allowing yourself ample time to get to your gate because missing your flight is THE WORST. However, I always follow some simple tips and tricks to make the anxiety-ridden stress of the airport easier. I’ll share them with you now:
- DO keep your passport and boarding pass (or mobile ticket) within easy reach. We really do forget just how many times we have to show that to a TSA agent or scan it. I keep mine in my (zipped) sweatshirt pocket.
- DO check in online 24 hours before your flight if you can. This makes the process at the airport go much more quickly and if you have a mobile ticket you won’t even need to go to the airline counter or a kiosk unless dropping checked luggage off.
- DO book on a Tuesday, fly out on a Tuesday. Tuesdays have been known to not only have the cheapest fares online but they are also known to be the least hectic day of the week to fly as well. Avoid Friday through Sunday like the plague if you can.
- DO keep electronics and liquids handy. 99% of the time you will have to remove your laptop/tablet and one-quart baggie of liquids. You should save this baggie for your ACTUAL liquids. Shampoo, face wash, etc. Deodorant, toothpaste, etc do not need to be included in your one-quart allowance.
- DO wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to take off. I’ve seen many women that try to be fashionable at the airport but believe me it’s not worth it to have everyone glaring at you in security because we have to wait 15 minutes for you to get your Jimmy Choo heels off. To make packing lighter I always wore my chunky hiking boots to the airport but they have a zipper that goes all the way down allowing me to take them off and put them back on easily.
Be smart. Be efficient. Be safe. Why do I tell you all of this? So we can all get to where we need to be hassle-free.