With the festive season approaching, many of us will be planning visits to loved ones or holiday destinations. It’s a wonderful time of the year, with opportunities to reconnect with friends and family, and to take a break from commutes, meetings, teleconferences and to-do lists.
This does lead to airports getting over-crowded, but that needn’t mean getting caught in the throng. Shaun Pozyn, Head of Marketing at kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) offers the following clever tips to make the most of your airport experience.
Take care of business online: In our fast-paced world, most airline customers opt to use their laptops, tablets and smartphones. With pretty much everybody connected 24/7, checking in online is empowering, quick and easy. Most of all, says Pozyn, it lets you share the news that you are on your way to that island getaway with all your friends on Facebook. Lighten your load: rather than queuing to check-in your luggage, you can use the bag drop facilities, once you’ve already checked yourself in and only have your luggage to be taken care of.
Breeze through security: With boarding-pass in hand on your mobile device, and your luggage dropped off, all you need to do is get yourself onto the plane and off on your well-deserved holiday.
But first you need to get through security. Before getting to the airport, make sure you’re free of any metal that might set off the metal-detector, such as copper change or a massive bunch of keys. Rather, place that in your hand luggage and put it through the scanner.
If you’re travelling with a laptop, take it out of its bag ahead of time and move swiftly through security.
Safety first: Remember the regulations on what you can carry in your hand-luggage: it’s not just the bayonet which your granddad brought home from the war and which is now used to cut the cake at any family wedding, like the one you’re flying to. Security staff are also likely to confiscate nail-scissors, multi-tools and even toy weapons. “That floppy rubber sword your little Jack or Jane Sparrow likes to brandish? It might be taken away, much to your pirate’s distrrrrrrress,” warns Pozyn.
Give Junior a tablet: And if you’re travelling with youngsters, you’ll be grateful for toys and games that keep them busy. But while Lego and Meccano are excellent for kids’ creativity, the small parts will be tricky to retrieve from the floor of an airline cabin. This may be the one occasion to let the kids play on a smartphone or tablet, for as much as they like.
Chew on this: Small children sometimes struggle to equalise the pressure in their ears as the aircraft ascends and descends, so age-appropriate food and drink that encourage swallowing can help. If you’re worried that sugar will make them hyperactive, then cooled rooibos tea and snacks like droëwors will do the trick.