How To Beat Airport Queues and Ease the Stress
In the past months, countless passengers have been caught up in huge queues due to staff shortages and a surge in the number of tourists. At Heathrow Airport, fliers reported queues that stretched outside of the terminal, in addition to waiting forever to get their luggage back after a flight. Airlines and airports are making great efforts to recruit suitable staff and remind people of the rule on liquids, as the process is slowed down considerably when lots of bags need to be searched. If you’re travelling out of the UK anytime soon, leave yourself plenty of time because the queues are long hours.
There’s nothing you can do about delayed or cancelled flights, but the good news is you can avoid queues at the airport and give yourself peace of mind ahead of your trip. Keep on reading to discover how to reduce waiting time and speed it up when possible.
Don’t Book Your Trip During the School Holiday
As you probably know, schools get about two weeks off for the Easter break, but specific dates vary between schools and areas. At any rate, it’s not a good idea to book your trip during the school holiday because numerous people are set to travel through the airport. Passengers are now able to choose from flights to more than one hundred destinations in over thirty countries, so it’s one of the busiest times of the year. If possible, avoid the school holiday because you risk getting caught up in long queues at the airport, not to mention that you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets for flying and accommodation.
It’s not a good idea to wait until the last minute to start looking. Flight schedules are mapped out several months in advance, anywhere between three and ten months, so you can book your plane tickets ahead of time for the best price deal. Keep in mind that bad weather, runway construction, or other unexpected events can affect departure and arrival times. If you’re looking to fly without experiencing huge crowds, focus on the times when the airport is the least crowded. If you book in June, for example, you’ll have the beach all to yourself.
Download The Airport/Airline App
Airports and airlines leverage mobile apps to disseminate information and enhance customer service, so don’t waste any more time and download the app to plan your arrival time accordingly. In the future, there will be more functions, such as estimating travel time to the airport or tackling any queries you might have. The app is your ideal travel companion, notifying you of check-in and gate openings, allowing you to pre-order food, and much more. If you want to reserve airport parking, you can do it directly from the app. As you can see, the app provides immense value by relieving you of the stress of not finding a spot to park your car, which can cause you to feel tense, out of breath, and claustrophobic.
Reserve A Parking Spot Before You Fly
If you want to self-drive to the airport, booking airport parking ahead of time is a good idea, as it gives you some peace of mind. Car parks go above and beyond to make sure all vehicles are secure, so don’t be anxious about handing over your keys. Attention must be paid to the fact that airport parking can be expensive in the UK, so you can expect charges of up to £83.30 a day. Airports like Heathrow Airport have car parks operated by third parties, just outside the complex. Off-site Heathrow airport parking is a little bit more affordable, meaning that you’ll pay considerably less for a parking spot within a minimal walking distance from the airport, conveniently located near the terminal.
It’s advisable to pre-book airport parking with an agency where you can get considerable discounts on the gate price, so reserve your spot as soon as you know the flight details. You can save money, time, and hassle. The closer the booking date is to the date of your departure, the higher the charge for your parking will be. Long-term airport parking is the most affordable option, which is why you should consider pre-booking an extended stay. If you’re travelling to/from Gatwick Airport, You can make huge savings on Gatwick parking instead of paying on the day, but use a quote engine to carry out a price check and ensure you get the best deal possible.
Take A Screenshot of Your Boarding Pass
Your boarding pass should be a tap or two away from your home screen. Even if you have a link to it in your email or texts, it’s a good idea to take a screenshot of the boarding pass because there might be issues with the airport guest’s Wi-Fi. Simply put, have an offline, scannable version of your boarding pass so that you don’t squander through your bag to find it. Imagine what frustration it can cause behind you in the check-in queue. Screenshot everything that’s indispensable to have the information you need at hand, such as emails with confirmation numbers, the address(es) and phone number(s) of the person/people you’re visiting, maps and directions, etc.
Turn Up on Time, Not Early
If you’re like others, you show up at the airport hours before you need to be to avoid long waiting lines. Domestic airlines don’t open baggage check-in until two hours before the flight, so if you arrive too early, you’ll end up having an additional wait. The queues get worse, and you hold up passengers with earlier flights. Two hours is enough time to park your car, check your bags, and go through the security gate. It’s recommended to be at the airport three hours before flight time for an international departure. Nobody likes to be rushed with screenings.
The demand for air travel is expected to remain high, and airlines have raised prices because of this. Many airports are short-staffed after having reduced personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can expect long lines at security checkpoints and check-in counters. Thankfully, you can mitigate the travel chaos without forgoing the airport, so the experience of cross-country train travel is going to have to wait.