Whether you’re a first-timer or a frequent flyer there are airport mistakes we can all avoid to make our next flight easier. Skyscanner Australia has come up with the following 14 unnecessary hold-ups. Are there any obvious airport mistakes we’re missing?
1. Not knowing your limits
Check and double-check your baggage allowance before you pack, you don’t want to get stung with massive excess baggage fees.
Each airline is different and most will state what you’re allowed, if anything, with the fare type you buy. As a general rule, you’re not allowed more than 7kg as hand luggage or 23kg as checked luggage. Bags over 32kg may be refused on health and safety grounds.
2. Packing liquids in your hand luggage
If you want to zip through security, pre-pack your less-than-100mL liquids and gels in a clear plastic zip-lock bag before you travel. Have these (as well as metallic and electronic devices like laptops) out of your luggage when you put them on the conveyor belts for scanning.
3. Winging it
Make sure you plan your journey. Check any traffic jams, roadworks, events or other factors which could slow you down.
Most of the major airports in Australia have apps to help keep you on track and Skyscanner has a free-to-download app that gives updates on flight departures.
4. Leaving it to the last minute
You should arrive at the airport 3 hours before international flights and at least 1 hour before domestic flights. While you may be able to breeze through before this, if you face any delays or long lines it can be the difference between making your flight and having to rebook for a later departure.
5. Not signing up for frequent flyer points
Even if you rarely fly, frequent flyer programs are often free, with benefits like extra baggage allowance and free access to lounges. Some airlines offer cheaper flights to members as well.
6. Checking in at the airport
One of the biggest airport mistakes is to wait in unnecessary queues. Checking in online is incredibly easy. For domestic flights without checked luggage, you can waltz straight through to security as soon as you arrive, allowing you to skip a queue and claim the best seat by the departure gate.
7. Not being prepared
For international flights, keep a pen handy and have all your documents ready when you get to customs. You may be lucky and find oneat the airport or a friendly traveller willing to lend you a pen, but you shouldn’t count on this.
8. Wearing headphones
Airport mitskes continue once you’ve gone through security. Airlines often announce gate changes over the airport PA system – don’t get too engrossed in that YouTube video as you could miss your flight!
9. Not drinking enough water
We don’t want to sound like your mum here, but keeping hydrated is so important! Drinking enough water will keep you feeling comfortable, especially on long-haul flights.
Okay, we all know plastic water bottles are bad for the environment, and at the airport they’re also bad for your wallet. Take anempty bottle and fill it at a bubbler once you get through security.
10. Not keeping your charger handy
Almost all airports and planes offer free charging points. Keep your charger in your hand luggage for easy access, especially if you’re planning to pass away time by playing games or watching videos on your own device.
11. Not making use of the facilities
Next time you have a stopover, don’t just plonk yourself down in your gate lounge. Your next leg will be much better after a shower, a massage or even a nap.
12. Not wearing a scarf (even in summer)
A big, light-weight fabric scarf is your best friend in an airport. Airports can be like cinemas – way colder than you’re expecting.Scarves can also double as blankets on chilly flights.
13. Wearing jeans
Jeans and other restrictive clothes make flying unnecessarily uncomfortable – think loose and floaty. Despite the runway, an airport is not a fashion show so make comfort your priority.
14. Losing your luggage
You can also commit airport mistakes at the other end of your journey. We’ve all had that moment of “is that my bag..?” at the baggage carousel, especially if you have a dark case. Make your bag standout with a bright sticker, belt or ribbon.