Traveling can be an exciting experience. Your next business trip could be the journey that leads to the biggest promotion of your life, or your future family vacation could create memories that will last with you for a lifetime. Unfortunately, if you want to get the good out of travel, you’ll also need to deal with the bad.
The airport check-in experience is by no means the best part of a jet-setting lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be a catastrophe either. As long as you take the time to do your research ahead of your scheduled flight, and have the right information handy, you should be fine. The following steps should help you to improve your airport check-in process, so that you can enjoy the fun parts of travel, faster.
1. Step 1: Timing is Crucial – Plan Ahead
You’ve stored crucial documents in your RFID-protected waist belt, packed your luggage full of essential items, and secured your bags with TSA-approved padlocks – surely you’ve done all of the planning you need, right?
Unfortunately, if you want to improve your airport check-in, there’s one more issue you need to plan for – security lines. You’re going to spend some time waiting around in an airport – no matter how organized you’ve been up until this point, so make sure that your travel plans account for these delays. Don’t blame your ticket agent if you end up getting to the departure gate late when you chose to start your drive with just enough time to arrive for your flight.
2. Educate Yourself
When you book your reservation on a flight, you should find that you get a hefty amount of information sent to you via email, or any other format you’ve chosen. Make a note of all of the crucial data that you might need for the day of travel, including which airline you’ve booked with. Once you’ve got all of the details you need, improve your airport check-in experience by checking in with the carrier operating the flight – instead of the person marketing it.
Too many people waste time standing in line with their flight information in hand just to find out that they’re travelling with a different carrier altogether.
3. Know Baggage Policies
Finally, make sure that you check any policies and rules held by the airline in relation to checked baggage. Fees and guidelines are always changing, and if you’re travelling internationally with more than one carrier, you could find that you have unexpected baggage rules to think about.
A good rule of thumb to follow with any airline – regardless of where you’re going – is to avoid stuffing your bags full of excess luggage whenever possible. Although you might have weighed your suitcases and found that they’re less than the limit imposed on you by your last flight, the slightest change could mean that you end up paying extra fees, or leaving luggage behind on the day. Plus, bear in mind that if you’re headed on a personal vacation, you’ll need to leave room for souvenirs, anyway.