We all know a cruise is one of the most relaxing types of holiday you can take but just like all holidays it can be marred slightly by a bad flight. Whether it’s arriving stressed or coming back in a bad mood, there’s nothing that can quite compare to a bad flight.
With that thought in mind we reached out to our cruise community and asked them for their top tips on flying, whether it be before you go, in the airport or when you’re actually on the plane.
Make sure you take a read before your next visit to an airport for some great tips from our frequent flyers on making it onto a plane in one piece…
Who needs luggage?
Whilst it’s probably not possible if you’re off on a fourteen day cruise, one tip many frequent flyers recommend is skipping the baggage line completely and just bringing on hand luggage. Checking your bags can mean long queues and then there’s always the risk of having your luggage lost or sent to a random airport so if possible why not travel like a pro and just skip it all by packing everything in your carry on? (This tip will obviously be dependent on your chosen airlines carry on allowance as it can vary considerably).
Hob nob with the rich and famous
We mentioned how certain credit cards offer free air miles as a signing up bonus. Others (and if you’re lucky sometimes the same ones) offer free or discounted entry to airport lounges. If you do fly a lot it’s worth shopping around for these providers; airport lounges don’t just have to be the preserve of the rich and famous!
It’s always 5pm somewhere…
When you’re arranging your flights try to arrange them for times when it’s socially acceptable to drink. A 6am flight won’t stop you having that pre-flight drink at the airport bar but will make you feel a lot less guilty about it!
Shoes… Not slippers!
To speed themselves through security checks many frequent flyers recommend wearing slip on shoes when heading off for a flight. Not having to faff around with laces or big boots keeps the security line moving and makes heading through security just a little less stressful.
Leave the bling at home
Whilst we’re talking about security checks… it’s always a good idea to avoid wearing any big or bulky jewellery as this can set the scanners off. Now we’re not suggesting leaving it at home (you can’t go on a cruise without your bling after all!) but packing it away in your luggage will make for a much smoother (and quicker) security process for both you and everyone stuck behind you.
You’re being clever, not cheap
It might sound like a bit of a cheapskate tip but bottled water can be expensive! Instead of buying it when you arrive at the airport, only to have to throw it away when you head through security; just pack a couple of empty bottles. Airports have water fountains dotted around where you can fill your bottles up (for free) without having to throw them away needlessly.
Speed is of the essence
Never pack your laptop in with the rest of your carry-on as you’ll have to get it out at security for screening. Either check it with the rest of your bags or have it in a separate laptop bag to avoid rooting through your carry on to find it when you reach the security gate.
One of our favourite tips was to always wear matching socks without holes in them… No one likes being embarrassed when they have to take their shoes off at the security gate!
Avoiding kids at an airport is always a good idea
And don’t forget… When you do join the security queue avoid the one with kids; you’ll be there all day. Go for the one with the ‘suits’ in it and you’ll fly through security (no pun intended).
Avoiding that last minute run is another a good idea!
Once you make it through to the departure lounge set an alarm on your phone. No one likes a last minute dash to the gates because they nearly missed their flight browsing the duty free!
Don’t be that person…
At check-in make sure you have your passport and tickets to hand. Don’t stand in a long queue only to get to the desk to spend five minutes hunting through your bags for your passport, holding up everyone behind you. Don’t be that person… no one likes that person!
Having someone walk off with your bag is never fun!
Once you’ve completed your flight you’ll need to collect your bags. Which means the carousel. Which means dozens of identical bags.
Time was the given advice was to tie a ribbon to your handle so you can spot yours and whilst this still isn’t bad advice you may find many other people are doing it as well. A black travel case may seem stylish in the shop but you’re going to struggle to find it on the carousel. Swallowing your fashion pride and going for a brightly coloured case could save you time and someone walking off with your bag.
When is free not good?
Many airports offer free Wi-Fi and even when they don’t many of the shops or cafes in the terminal will. Make sure you don’t waste your data allowance (especially if you’re abroad) by connecting through 4G, instead take advantage of the free connection.
There’s no rush…
Don’t rush to the gate the minute your flight is called, the plane won’t go anywhere till your names been called at least once anyway, all you’ll be doing is joining another cramped queue. Instead sit comfortably somewhere in departures with a view of the boarding desk then join the queue when it’s down to the last one or two people. You’ll then just be able to walk straight onto the plane.
Note: This tip only works if you’ve pre allocated seating. If you don’t then make sure you fight your way to the front of the crowd so you can claim the best seats available!
Always be vigilant
For our penultimate tip we’d recommend before you leave anywhere in the airport, be it a café, bar, lounge or departures; take a look around where you’ve been sitting to make sure you haven’t left anything behind… like your bags or passport (we say this as we’ve done it countless times!)
We’re not quite sure what to say about this one!
Finally (and we weren’t sure whether to include this one or not), however these items have all been confiscated by airport security from peoples hand or checked luggage…
Don’t pack any explosives, flammable items, knives, samurai swords, illegal drugs, firearms, live eels, grenade launchers or an explosive (albeit antique) cannon ball. It upsets the security guards on duty when you do and might cause a delay to you boarding (that’s a ten year delay till your flight ban has expired!)
What do you think? Have you ever used any of these hacks?
Would you? What’s your best tips (or horror stories) for being stuck in an airport terminal?
Let us know in the comments below…
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