If airports are spaces you loathe, places where all sanity, politeness and common decadency fly out the window, you are doing it all wrong. Last week I spent well over 24 hours traveling from the middle of the U.S. to Eastern Europe. With three flights and two layovers, I practically lived in the airport. And while I too tend to loathe these spaces, I did find some ways to actually make my travel day through the airport a little bit more relaxing, even downright calming. If you are airport bound for a big trip or maybe just a simple weekend getaway, practice these tips and you just might begin to find the airport not so bad after all.
Don’t Sit At Your Assigned Gate:
Practically everyone at the airport makes this mistake. I started to on my flight from Denver to Dulles and quickly realized my error. If you have arrived to sit at your gate before boarding, chances are the rest of your flight is also here. Between screaming babies and rolling suitcases running over your toes, these packed gates can make waiting for your flight less than tolerable. Rather than sitting at your assigned gate, seek out a gate that is completely empty. Not only will you have more peace and quiet, but you also won’t fell claustrophobic and encroached, as can be the case at a busy gate.
Purchase Airline Club Access For The Day:
I ended up having an airline club pass that I received with a new credit card. I wasn’t sure when or where I would use them, but on my long travel day, the pass certainly came in handy. While some of these clubs might charge a day fee of something along the lines of $50, you just might save your sanity and your pocketbook by making this purchase. Airline clubs and lounges often offer food and drinks for free. As airport food can be ridiculously expensive, the club cost can equal what you buy outside. These spaces are quiet, free of squawky announcements and feature plenty of outlets. Part of what can make the airport so stressful and tiring is the noise and having to contort into strange positions to find the one plug available. Do a bit of research to see if day passes are offered from the airline you are flying.
Look into Joining an Airport Security Program:
From TSA Pre-Check to Global Entry, there are a number of airport security programs you can join for a fee. I always tend to get a bit anxious when I have to go through airport security. It usually features some yelling and can be generally unpleasant. Airport security programs can eliminate having to trudge along with everyone else through slow lines and also put an end to having to take off almost everything on your person.
Check Where Your Plane is Coming From:
One of the main reasons why the airport can be a giant stress ball comes with delays. Your flight is boarding any minute and all of sudden they make an announcement that the incoming aircraft is delayed two hours so you will be delayed three. You shouldn’t have to spend extra time in the airport when you don’t need to in the end. I always do a check of where my plane is coming from before I leave for the airport. If I see a delay is eminent, I keep a watch on the flight, but I don’t jump up to spend more time in the airport. By being ahead of a delay, you can avoid spending too much time at the airport.