It’s a lamentable reality that air travel has morphed from a magical, luxury experience into an uninspired, exhausting ordeal – but there are some things you can do to make your airport stay that little bit more bearable. Start by taking a stress-free airport shuttle to get there on time (if you’re staying with us, you can organize this through our concierge service), then check out these 10 hacks and look forward to flying again.
1. Get a lounge: Whether you’re the kind of person who arrives much too early for a flight just to be sure, or you have an unexpected delay or long layover, the members lounge is the way to go. Great service, complimentary drinks and snacks plus free WiFi await you in a comfortable, quiet space. You can often buy a one day pass for your airline’s lounge and trust us, it’s worth it.
2. Get free WiFi: Don’t have access to the first class lounge? Sit right outside one and you can often pick up the free, unsecured Wifi.
4. Ask for an upgrade: It’s rare but it happens, so it’s always worth asking politely at check-in if there’s any chance of an upgrade on that day’s flight. Sometimes they’re overbooked and have to bump people up. If you ask nicely and look presentable, you’re often top of the list.
3. Dress Well: Lots of reasons for this – the reality is that you’ll get treated better; at check in, security, and on the plane. Second: when you ask for that upgrade at the check-in desk, you’re more likely to be given the first class seat if you’re not in sweats, and third: if your luggage gets lost, you’re not missing your best outfit.
4. Get through security faster: It goes without saying that you’re not wearing jewellery/a metal belt/a watch at this point right? (Here’s a good reminder of what not to wear), but cut down your wait time even more by choosing the right line. Avoid families, groups traveling together, and older people, who often hold things up. Keep a pocket of your carry on empty so you can dump phone, wallet, passport and change in there just before passing through the scanner
5. Breeze through the immigration line: Some airports now have “global entry” a fast-track program for residents and frequent travelers. Sign up for it – those immigration lines can be almost an hour long on a bad day.
6. Hydrate: To avoid paying a premium for airport water, or having to ask for those tiny bottles on the plane, bring a large empty water bottle through security and then fill up at a water fountain on the other side.
7. Stay sane: Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones are a godsend on long journeys. A lot of the stress and fatigue of flying is down to the constant noise: take off, landing, loud announcements and crying babies. Save yourself – cut out the aural intrusion.
8. Bring a multi-plug adapter: Outlets are almost always taken at departure lounges, and if your flight’s delayed you may need to charge up. Bring an adapter that allows more than one plug to connect, and you can simply ask whoever has taken the outlet to share.
9. Dying to go?: When you get off the plane, don’t use the first restroom you see – it’s going to be the most packed. Walk a little further down the concourse to the next one and avoid the bathroom line-up.
10. Fix problems faster: If your flight is cancelled or delayed – get into that desperate line of people waiting to get on the next flight, but also get on the phone to your airline’s customer service – it may well be faster.