From check-in to take off – how to make your trip a little bit smoother
With more flights, more passengers and tighter security measures, a little extra thought can save considerable time at the airport and during your onward journey…
Leading flight website Cheapflights.co.uk has come up with a list of tips to help speed up travellers’ journeys through the airport.
Have your printed boarding pass ready (and pre-book your seat if you prefer). If you only have hand luggage, you can bypass bag drop and go straight to security.
However make sure your hand luggage really is hand luggage and that it doesn’t exceed any weight limits. Ryanair are very strict about this – under their rules, both handbags and laptops must fit into your hand luggage – total weight not to exceed 10kg per person. If your cabin luggage is overweight it will most likely be put in the hold at the departure gate and you’ll be charged €35/£35.
If you can’t avoid peak travel times, then these are some ways to save time while passing through the airport:
• Pack intelligently and bag it sell. Bags with easy access flaps make belongings easier to locate
• Dress to reduce your chances of getting a pat down. For example belt buckles can set off the metal detector, while high heels or thick soles will probably have to come off.
• Before you go through the security line, take off your jacket or coat, and try to remember to have your loose change, keys, mobile, watch and liquid items pre-packed in plastic bags. Note: you should place liquids in the standard size plastic bag (20cm x 20cm, no larger) as airport security may remove larger plastic bags and you’ll have to squeeze any liquids, gels, creams or pastes (max. allowance 100ml per bottle) into one standard bag – which may mean leaving them at the airport.
• Don’t pack anything sharp such as nail scissors or lighters, aerosol deodorants and so on – these will get picked up and confiscated.
• Strip down to basics – leave as many lotions at home and bring travel sizes of the essential ones.
You may think you’re saving money by taking a low cost flight to a secondary airport, but if the only way into the centre of town is by taxi if it’s already late, or transport links are not convenient, you’ll be wishing you’d booked a different flight. Ryanair for example keeps its prices low by flying into “alternate” city airports – sometimes a half hour drive from the city centre.
Istanbul is a good example of why it’s worth checking airport locations in relation to your ultimate destination. The Turkish capital has two airpots, Ataturk International and Sabiha Goken, but Ataturk lies on the European side while Sabiha is on the Asian side. In Italy, Milan’s Linate airport is four miles east of the city while Malpensa is twenty-nine miles west.
For more information, see Gatwick Airport’s FAQ page about security procedures: