Disneyland, Starbucks, a Beyoncé concert, airports, and the big game all have one thing in common: endless lines. Whether it is waiting for a morning latte or an adventure out of the country, lines can really kill your vibe.
Tens of thousands of travelers miss their flights due to long lines and we don’t want you to be one of them. In fact, 70,000 American Airlines passengers missed their flights in the first half of 2016 because of security lines alone. In addition to the benefits of TSA Pre-Check, there are many other ways you can prepare to avoid long lines at the airport. Check out just a few of them below!
Strategize Getting To the Airport – Before you even step into the airport, there is traffic to battle. It is important to decide your means of transportation getting to the airport and take into consideration the traffic. If you are getting a ride, get dropped off at arrivals rather than departures. There is always less commotion.
If you are leaving your car at the airport, research the easiest and most convenient parking lot to your terminal. If you are taking a ride-sharing service, be sure to bake in an extra 10 minutes in case your driver takes the wrong exit. If you are taking public transportation, be mindful of potential schedule delays and arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of your departure time.
Avoid Travel Heavy Days
If you can, stay away from the airport when everyone else is there. Studies have shown that Friday afternoons between 4pm and 8pm are the busiest with business travel ending and personal travel beginning so wait times can double.
The same goes for traditional busy travel days; the day before and Sunday after Thanksgiving are definitely high traffic times. The best times to fly always depend on the time of year and destination, but according to airfarewatchdog.com, mid-week travel tends to be the least busy days, offer the lowest fare, and can help you avoid long lines at the airport.
Check-In Online & Have Your Boarding Pass – Having done both of these things, you will be able to jump right into the security lines. Print your boarding pass before arriving at the airport or have your mobile pass handy and ready to scan. If you’re not taking advantage of the benefits of TSA Pre-check, you’ll want to use the available “bag drop lines,” which are separate lines for those who have a boarding pass in hand and just need to check a bag. If your travels permit, bring a spacious backpack as your carry-on that can fit everything you need and wear foldable shoes that can slip right off before the screening.
Chat with TSA Agents
TSA agents have the most information when it comes to getting through the TSA lines. There is no need to get in the line that is closest to your gate; they all go to the same place. Ask an agent which line has been moving the fastest. If you are nice and friendly, they might give you a good piece of insight.
Try using these tips to avoid long lines at the airport and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much smoother airports can be – and once you get on the plane, use your Evolution® Pillow to get cozy and cruise through your flight.