17 frequent flyer tips that will make your next flight easier | Real Word

Travelling is exciting, but getting through the airport can feel like running an obstacle course. Savvy travellers know how to handle the stress of flying, so we’ve got the lowdown from travellers who regularly navigate the world’s busiest airports. From check-in to landing, here are 17 frequent flyer tips to save time and stress on your next flight.

1. Book an overnight flight

plane on runway at night

If you hate rush-hour traffic and packed airports but don’t mind travelling overnight, try booking a red-eye flight. You may not get the best sleep, but you’ll get through the airport faster and might even have more space on the flight. Airports are usually less crowded at night, so booking a flight after that leaves past 10 pm is a great way to avoid that dreaded airport hassle. – Katie Birtles, Travel Writer

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2. Check-in online

Checking in online saves a great amount of time and stress at the airport. You can choose your seats for free, and you’ll skip the long check-in lines. Once you arrive at the airport, all you need to do is check your luggage (if you’ve got any checked bags) and breeze through security. Save even more time and paper wastage by downloading your boarding passes to your phone. – Ginny Smith, Travel Writer

3. Ask for an upgrade

One of the best frequent flyer tips is to always ask for an upgrade at check-in. You never know when you might score a great price or even a free upgrade, and the worst they can do is say no. For the best chance at scoring an upgrade, be polite and friendly and always look presentable (no sloppy tracksuits!) – Deyana Petrova, Trafalgar VP Digital Marketing

4. Head to the back

Book seats at the back of the plane. They’re more likely to be empty and that gives you more chance of bagging an extra seat… and there’s nothing better than getting to stretch out on a long flight! – Ginny

5. Don’t wait in line to re-book

woman waiting at airport frequent flyer tips

You’ll probably need this frequent flyer tip if you’re flying around the Christmas holidays. If your flight has been cancelled, don’t wait in a long line to get your flight re-booked. Instead, find an airport phone (they’re free to use when calling an airline) and call to re-book your flight. The representative on the phone can do everything the gate agent can do, and they can usually do it faster too. – Katie

6. Get strategic with your seats

If you’re travelling with another person on a long haul flight, book an aisle and a window seat. This leaves the middle seat empty, and most of the time it will remain empty as people travel in groups or couples and want to sit together. If you’re lucky enough to get the row to yourself, you’ll have more room to stretch out! – Deyana

7. Pack smart

When packing your hand luggage, always keep the important things within easy reach. Keep your passport, boarding pass, phone in outer pockets, and your bag of liquids and laptop at the top of your bag, since you’ll have to pull these out at security.

While you’re waiting in line, make sure you take your phone, keys, and loose change out of your pockets to avoid holding up the line. No one wants to be that person who sets off the alarm because they forgot to take off their metal belt. – Jason Millman, frequent flyer

8. Go to the left

people walking through airport

Research shows that people are biased towards their dominant hand. Since most people are right-handed, more people naturally move towards the right lane at security. If you want to save time at security, try choosing the left lanes. It’s not a guaranteed frequent flyer tip, but chances are they might be a little faster and quieter. – Irina Gorskaia, Performance Marketing Manager

9. Use a separate bag for essentials

Once you pass through security, transfer your in-flight essentials into one small bag. If you’ve got your snacks, water bottle, creams, jumper, earbuds and books in a separate bag, you can quickly stick it under your seat before you stow your bigger bag in the overhead bin. That way, you’ll have everything you need within easy reach and won’t have to rummage around through the overhead bins during your flight. – Jason

10. Bring a reusable water bottle

Flying makes you dehydrated so remember to drink a ton of water. The best way to get enough water is to bring your own reusable water bottle and fill it up in the airport once you get through security. That way, you won’t have to pay for overpriced water bottles in the airport or rely on those little cups of water that get handed out during the flight. – Deyana

11. Pack your own snacks

One of the thriftiest pieces of frequent flyer advice is to bring your own food. Airport restaurants are known for their sky-high prices, so pack your own travel snacks to avoid paying $10 for a bag of nuts. Snacks like granola bars, candy, crisps and other dry foods are perfect to munch on while you wait for your flight or to pass the time in the air. – Irina

12. Bring a portable charger

busy airport terminal frequent flyer tips

A portable charger is a lifesaver when you desperately need to charge your phone and can’t find an open outlet at the airport (or don’t have time to wait). You can also use it in-flight to make sure you’ve got enough charge when you land. – Jason

13. Use compression socks

If you struggle with swollen feet and legs on flights, try using compression socks. They really make a difference! Talk to a pharmacist to make sure you get the right fit – you don’t want them to be too tight or loose. Always put them on a few hours before you get on the flight and keep them on until you get off the plane. Also make you sure get up every few hours on the flight to stretch and keep the blood circulating. – Deyana

14. Stay warm

woman walking through airport

They always seem to set the air conditioning to freezing in airports and planes. Keep a warm jumper or a scarf on hand to stay warm and avoid getting sick. Even if you don’t wear it, you can always use it as a pillow during your flight. – Katie

15. Pack some spare clothes

Pack a change of clothes and a spare pair of underwear in your hand luggage, just in case your checked luggage goes missing. It can often take a few days for the airline to locate any missing baggage, and you don’t want to be left without clean clothes – especially after a long flight. – Ginny

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16. Practice self-care

My favourite frequent flyer tip is to treat yourself to some in-flight self-care. I love bringing a face mist or moisturiser (less than 100ml of course) to keep my skin from getting dry. A lavender face mist works wonders for helping you relax and get some sleep. Also, bring some antibacterial wipes and clean everything around you, especially on long-haul flights. Cleaning your space will help you ward off germs and make you feel more comfortable on the flight. – Deyana

17. Use colourful luggage tags

bright coloured luggage frequent flyer tips

It can be a nightmare trying to find your bag at the carousel when every piece of luggage looks the same – especially when you’re tired after a long flight. Use a bright-coloured ribbon or luggage tag so it’s easy to identify, and no one grabs your bag by mistake. I keep a bright pink ribbon on my suitcase which definitely stands out from the crowd. – Katie

Do you have any handy frequent flyer tips? Let us know in the comments below….

One Response

  1. Anonymous

    Flying tip
    I always wear slip-on shoes to save having to tie laces. Once I was busy tying and someone picked up my stuff. Carry a shoe horn if you may need one. The airport does not provide this amenity.

    Reply

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