Essential airport tricks

Manoeuvring your way through the airport can be a long and protracted undertaking these days. Security is tighter, so waiting times in lines can be quite lengthy. We share some tips to help you get to your departure gate a little quicker and make your waiting time less arduous.


Pack items you will need within easy reach
Place any items you will need to access frequently, such as your passport (for international travel), ID (for domestic), boarding pass, medication and a pen in your carry-on luggage.


Other items you will need to access during the flight might include headphones, a kindle or paperback for reading, earplugs and snacks.


You should also pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on. Bottled water can be hugely expensive at the airport, but an empty bottle will cause no problems at Security and you will be able to fill it up at a water fountain once you have cleared the security checkpoints.


Check in next to the first-class/business-class line
Agents will often call economy travellers to their counter if they have no first or business-class travellers checking in.


Go left at security
Most people are biased towards their dominant hand, so when faced with a choice, the majority will choose the right-hand security lane. But best to take the road less travelled and choose the left lane.


Empty your pockets
Don’t wait until you get to the front of the security checkpoint to take off your belt, scarf, hat and shoes. While you are winding your way through the inevitable line, empty your pockets of loose change, keys and the like.


Use the GateGuru app
Airports can be disorienting – especially some of the larger airports when you are on a layover. Use the GateGuru app to help you find food and amenities, as well as give you information about wifi options.



Wear more clothes
If you suspect you might be getting close to your luggage weight limit, put on more layers – such as jumpers and jackets. If you find it too hot to wear the extra layers from the outset, just place them in the front pocket or the top of your suitcase where they will be easy to access to put it on should the airline staff determine your luggage is overweight.


Take advantage of the humble shopping bag
Ask for a shopping bag at an airport store and put any extra items in it to fool the gate agents. They will think it is a purchase you have made at the airport and may not count it against your carry-on allowance. Alternatively, if you are not prepared to risk an eagle-eyed gatekeeper discovering your deception, fill the pockets of your jacket with any extra items!


Pack a portable phone charger
It can be difficult to find a free charging outlet at the airport. Having a portable phone charger will ensure you always have enough charge on your phone and you can also use it in-flight.


A multi-plug adapter can come in handy
If you are travelling in a group, a multi-plug adapter can turn one outlet into multiple ones. Often, you will arrive at your gate to find all the outlets are in use, but with a multi-plug adapter, fellow travellers are happy to share an outlet with you.


Find an empty gate
If you find yourself on a long layover or if your flight is delayed, try to find an empty gate where you can have all the seating, power outlets, wifi signals and space to yourself.


Take a photo of your parking spot
This will help you when you return from your journey. No more trudging through the parking area desperately trying to find your parking space. Also, keep your parking ticket with the rest of your travel documentation so you can access it easily when you are leaving the airport.


Are there any tips you have used to make your wait at the airport less stressful?


Related articles:
What not to do at airport security
Stress-free check-in checklist
What not to wear at airport security

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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