Make the Most Out of Your Layover
Airports are the first stop on many of our modern-day trips. And the time spent getting to and waiting for a flight can be filled with excitement for the adventure ahead rather than with anxiety and dread. Here are some tips that might help transform your time at the airport into a more pleasant — or at least a less irritating — part of the journey.
Many airports work hard to offer passengers unique amenities and special programs to help make layovers and delays more bearable and even enjoyable. But you’ll need to know what is where. Before a trip, take a moment to review the websites and follow the social media accounts of each airport you’ll pass through on your journey. (You can always unsubscribe later.) You don’t want to miss out on a great art or history exhibit, live music performance, unique shop or fun giveaway because you didn’t know there were creative alternatives to sitting at the gate.
Be sure to arrive at the airport with all your gadgets fully charged. And don’t forget to bring along a fully charged backup charger as well. Airport power stations are quite common these days but are often in use when you really need one. In busy times, traveling with a short extension cord with multiple outlets can make you a hero to other passengers.
Cut some lines
Apply for TSA PreCheck to gain access to expedited security checkpoint lines at more than 200 airports. The five-year/$85 membership is a good investment for both occasional and frequent travelers. When traveling internationally, download the free Mobile Passport Control app offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or the Airside Mobile Passport App to use on your return to the United States. The apps allow you to fill out your passport information and answer the customs questions before arrival, and gain access to expedited exit lines at more than 30 airports and four seaports.
Become a VIP
Airport lounges aren’t just for members. Your airline’s lounge (or that of a partner airline) may be accessible via a day pass. And several brands (i.e., The Club) offer day passes to passengers from any airline.
Bring some money
Delays, cancellations and irritating checkpoint experiences happen. Tuck an extra $20 bill into your wallet to buy yourself a small gift, a decadent snack or an indulgent drink in case you end up waiting longer than you planned.
– Written by Harriet Baskas