With air travel getting more stressful and less dignified, here are 7 tips for check-in, security line-ups, and when on board the plane.
- Get your boarding pass ASAP – Most airlines offer 24 hour advance check-in online and often you can change your seat if you don’t like the one they pre-selected for you. Less likely to be bumped and avoid the stress of being late for the check-in deadline when you have your boarding pass in your hand.
- Dress for security success – Be aware of the accumulation of metal you may be wearing from shoes, buttons, buckles, to wire support bras to avoid the pat down frustration & humiliation search exercise under the glaring eyes of other frustrated travelers resenting you for the delay. Wear comfortable shoes without metal (ie: running shoes – most business shoes have metal in them) Take your belt off and shoes if you are unsure about the metal content of them.
- Which security line-up to get into – if possible, get in the line-up that has more business travelers as they tend to be more savvy in packing & preparing for security. Sometimes families, party holiday people, and those delightful elderly who find it all new and confusing may delay the line.
- Pack carry-on for success – YES, put all liquids in small 3 oz containers in a plastic bag. Even though every Transport Security Agent (TSA) will tell you, amazing how many people don’t do it and you’ll further prolong the ordeal for everyone else in line if you’re not prepared. A stuffed bag is harder to detect what’s inside so take out extra things to put in the bin if you’re packed to the max – electronics, anything metal. Regrettably, many flights currently will not allow ANY carry-on luggage so know in advance what restrictions there are.
- Wear extra support socks as your feet will swell during flight.
- Have food handy – Any flight under 3 hours will not offer you food & with delays, line-ups, & tight connections, eating can be challenging. Most airports tend to specialize in pizza, muffins, junk/fast food & carb heavy questionable sandwiches so bring something healthy. Examples: nuts, prunes, energy bars, tuna & crackers to-go that are found in grocery stores (fish, prunes, nuts are good for the brain) and have drinking water available.
- Always be polite and respectful to the Transport Security Agents (TSA) even if they may be rude and less than diplomatic. Give eye contact with a pleasant expression. TSA’s are almost in the same hated category as parking meter attendants. Don’t give them a reason to feel defensive or disrespected – you don’t want to be singled out as they take the stress of their job out on you.
Be patient, take a breath, and try to have a positive attitude about it all.