If you’ve ever been late for a flight, you know it can be stressful – and expensive. A missed flight means, in many cases, you lose the original cost of the airplane ticket and then have to pay an outrageous price for a same-day flight. Or, instead of missing your flight, you could follow the steps below in order to stay organized and on time for all your future airport travels. You’ll never miss a flight again.
What to Do Before Leaving for the Airport to Never Miss a Flight
- Pack your bags. Sounds obvious, right? Yet some people wait to pack their bags until the morning before their flight, making it more likely that they’ll forget an important item. Make a list of what items to bring and cross them off as you add them to your luggage. Planning the day before your departure also allows you to take the time to pack the most items into your bags, rearranging as necessary.
- Use on-line check in. In this day and age, it just doesn’t make sense to check in at the airport. It’s one more thing you have to worry about once you reach the airport, and it can be easily avoided via the on-line check in feature. Make sure to check in 24 hours in advance so you can reserve a good seat.
- Arrange for an airport taxi or look at parking fees. Fuel up your car the night before so you don’t have another 20 minute pit-stop to factor into your airport commute time. If you’re catching a cab or shuttle to the airport, make the arrangements a few days in advance. You don’t want to have a no-show taxi cab be the reason you miss your flight.
- Know the airport layout. Don’t waste time wandering around looking for your terminal once you do finally arrive. If you are parking, understand if you need to take an airport shuttle from the parking lot to your terminal, or if you can just walk right in. This saves you unnecessary stress as you arrive at your airport of choice.
- Have your documents ready. Place your ID, credit card, and boarding pass in an easy to reach location in one of your carry-on items. This eliminates any unnecessary searching when you arrive at the airport.
- Check the status of the flight. Do this the hour or two before you head out the door for the airport. That way if you have a flight delay or cancellation, you’ll know whether or not to head to the airport and not miss your flight.
- Plan your time well. Factor in the time it takes to drive to the airport, get to the terminal, get your bags checked, and get to TSA. Need to grab a bite to eat at the airport? Factor in a half an hour for that, too.
What to Do on Your Way to the Airport
- Stay hydrated. Many passengers complain of dehydration on airplanes. This is due to the low humidity in the air of the cabin. Drink lots of water on your way to the airport and pack more bottles for on the flight.
- Grab some travel snacks. Want to avoid overpriced snacks at the airport? Grab some pre-packaged snacks along the way. Dried fruit, peanut butter, jerky, trail mix, and crackers are all good snacking options for the plane.
- Double check that you have all your documents. It doesn’t hurt to do a quick double check to make sure you still have your wallet, ID, and boarding pass with you after getting into the car.
What to Do at the Airport
- Have your documents at hand. This saves you from furiously searching for your ID or boarding pass as you approach the TSA desk.
- Know what to remove from your bags. If you have a laptop, make it accessible so you can take it out during the security check. Know what clothing items you must remove for the TSA checkpoint. Make sure your toiletries are all in a see-through bag and easy to identify.
- Check your flight status again. Once through security, make sure that you are still on time and that you know which gate to go to.
- Get to your gate ASAP. The sooner the better, since you’ll have time to sit and relax before the flight starts boarding.
- Take any medications you need. Do you get nauseated during air travel? Take some Dramamine before boarding your airplane. Whether it’s a sleep aid, anti-anxiety, or other medication, take them before boarding the plan so you have time to acclimate.
- Relax. Sit back, take a breath, and enjoy your flight! You’ll reach your destination in next to no time.
Never Be Late to the Airport Again
Being late to the airport can mean you’ll miss your flight altogether – and no one wants to deal with the stress, hassle, and exorbitant costs associated with rescheduling or missing a flight. If you follow our tips above, you’ll be on time and well-prepared for a safe and comfortable journey to your destination of choice.
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