It’s no secret that, over the years, air travel has lost some of its spark. We might be able to attribute these changes to heightened security procedures, an increase in the number of people travelling, or simply an increase in day-to-day travel requirements that varies for each destination. Take a look at this list and make sure you don’t end up being one of these passengers. In this article we have listed more than 25 common airport mistakes that you need to avoid.
If you’re flying domestically, you should arrive at the airport two hours before takeoff and three hours before takeoff on an international flight. This is an excellent general rule of thumb.
However, we recommend that you look at historical statistics for your airport before calculating how early you should actually arrive at your destination. Not only that, but it’s also a good idea to check flight schedules before heading to the airport. Are there 6 planes departing within 20 minutes of one another at the same time of your flight? If this is the case, security lines will be incredibly long. Don’t make the same mistake as the airport and arrive at the peak hours only to be astonished by how crowded it is.
And, because of labour shortages and increased travel demand due to the epidemic, you’ll want to allow yourself as much of a time cushion as you possibly can.
Pro Tip: Don’t arrive too early, however, if you wish to get your suitcase checked in at the airport. Many planes do not allow you to check your luggage more than 4 hours in advance.
Arriving at the Wrong Airport Terminal
While you may be wondering who would do anything like this, survey shows it happens more often than you think! Ensure that flight times and airports are double-checked (or triple checked, or quadruple checked).
Not Calculating the Extra Time to Park and Reach to the Gate
Always work backwards from the scheduled flight. See how you can optimize your plan effectively and keep extra margin for the time lost due to any reason.
Choosing not to Purchase Travel Insurance
For frequent travellers, we strongly recommend either an annual policy covering the entire family (or per-trip coverage), as there are numerous instances in which it will be beneficial (for infrequent travellers).
Not Making a Parking Reservation
Typically, there are a plethora of parking options near an airport. Garages operated by airports are the most conveniently accessible, but they are also the most expensive. Economy parking lots will need you to spend time on a shuttle or bus. However, there are numerous alternative possibilities, like Park N’ Fly, The Parking Spot, and local hotels, among others. What exactly do you need to know about this? Some parking lots demand advance reservations and do not accept drive-ups on the same day. Make a plan for your parking ahead of time!!
Some off-site parking lots feature shuttles that run every few minutes, while others have buses that run only at particular times. Always remember to inquire!
Not being able to recall where you parked
It does happen. We understand whether you’re hurrying to get to the airport because you didn’t allow enough time or trying to get three children and their luggage through the airport. Your return from your trip is marred by the realization that you have no idea where you parked!
Pro Tip: For the next time, snap a photo of your car’s location or make a note in your mobile app or reminders so that you can find your car swiftly.
Having forgotten to bring a water bottle
Yes, we understand that liquids cannot be brought through security, but it does not imply that you must spend $5 for a 300 ml bottle of water after passing through security. Make sure you have an empty water bottle with you at all times. Water filling facilities are available at most airports, allowing you to save money while also helping the environment. We do recommend that you place the empty water bottle in your trash can next to your bag so that the TSA security personnel can easily see that it is not filled with anything else.
You’re not washing your hands, are you?
Although it should go without saying, please wash your hands after using the restroom. Always keep hand sanitizer on hand. Germs can be found anywhere. If at all possible, avoid touching the handrails.
Not printing a boarding pass is a bad idea.
A physical boarding card is still recommended, even if many of us choose to utilize mobile boarding passes on our smartphones instead. Perhaps it will be the day when you forget to charge your phone. The airline may be experiencing technical difficulties. Things do happen. Having a paper copy is always preferable. No one knows when the cell phone battery dies down.
You’re not Making Use of the Lounge Access
Airport lounges may be available to you if you have a credit card or frequent flier status with any airline. Before your flight, check to see if you qualify for any credit card benefits. The airport experience will be far more enjoyable if you qualified to be facilitated by the lounge membership, especially during peak season travel days. You’ll have access to complimentary refreshments and WIFI, as well as comfortable recliners.
The Failure to Plan for the Security Check
Many airport blunders occur during your time at the security checkpoint; therefore we’ve compiled a list of the most common ones below for your convenience.
- Shoes that are easy to take off and put back on are highly recommended.
- Dress conservatively and avoid wearing anything else that could set off the metal detector.
- Ensure that all liquids and toiletries are put in a one-quart zip-top plastic bag before leaving home. Everything, including liquids, gels, and aerosols, should be no larger than 100ml (3.4 ounces).
- Anything larger than a cell phone should be conveniently accessible and able to be removed from your bag without difficulty.
- Pay attention to the instructions provided by the TSA agent.
- Some airports require iPads be placed in a bin with the rest of the luggage, much like a laptop.
- Keep track of where your snacks are; while you may not be required to remove food items from your luggage, some airports may demand passengers to do so in order to be swabbed.
Leaving Snacks at Home
The situation is as follows: flight delays are becoming more typical these days. In addition, they can occur while you are strapped into your seat on a tarmac with no means to get out. Travelling always brings with it the unpredictability of life. Bring some snacks with you so that no one’s stomach will be rumbled no matter what happens.
Pro Tip: Bringing yor own snacks will save your money on the outrageously overpriced airport food rates.
Consider the Possibility that a Delay
When a flight delay appears on the board, remember that it is only a best-guess estimate. You have been notified by the airline that you may be delayed. Things, however, have changed. It is recommended that you continue your drive to the airport if you still intend to take the flight. If you’re already at the airport, pay attention to the announcements to avoid missing anything important. Set up text alerts on your phone to receive notifications.
Delays can, and frequently do, vary. And there are situations when the delay necessitates a gate change. Not wanting to be sitting at wrong Gate, contentedly binge-watching or engaged with social media apps only to discover that your flight left from another Gate 20 minutes ago.
Not Taking Advantage of Exciting Airport Entertainment Opportunities
So you’ve arrived at the airport early and have lots of time until your aircraft takes off. You take a seat near your gate and wait, and wait, and wait. See if there’s anything else you can do. Airports deliver more entertainment than ever before, with everything from art exhibits to yoga rooms to live music to movies. Also, take a look at these ideas for keeping your children entertained at the airport.
Not Bringing Proper Identification or Documentation
Not being able to travel because your passport is about to expire is a frustrating experience. Find out what kind of identification you’ll need and double-check that yours is up to date before booking your flight.
Minor Consent Travel Authorization Form
You must complete this form if you are travelling with your children alone (even if you are married to their other parent). Please remember to carry this form with you when you travel. Nasreen Stump provided the photograph.
Not double-checking the size of your carry-on bag before leaving for the airport
There seems to be a different size limit for carry-on luggage on every airline these days, it seems like. Check to see if yours is up to snuff BEFORE you head to the airport. It’s important to remember that the restrictions for many overseas flights are different.
Having to check a luggage that is too large at the last minute will put a damper on your vacation. If you’re flying with a low-cost carrier, it could also cost you a lot of money. You’ll have to pay a hefty +$50 to check your bag at the airport, or even more than that if you get to the gate and the gate agent tells you that your bag is too large and need to be booked.
Not Packing Emergency Needed Items
Planes frequently run out of overhead bin space before the entire flight has boarded. If you’re one of the last passengers to board the plane, it’s likely that you’ll have to hand over your carry-on to the gate attendant so that it may be checked and placed beneath the plane with the rest of the other passengers’ checked luggage.
Make sure you have a “emergency bag” in your carry-on. It might be as easy as a reusable tote bag to make a difference. As a result, if your carry-on bag is searched, you will be able to swiftly retrieve the items — prescriptions, bathing suits, a spare pair of underwear — that you may need in case your bag is misplaced.
Not Being Aware of Your Rights
Know your airport rights, whether it’s not understanding that you have the right to bring breast milk past the security checkpoint as a nursing mother or not knowing what rights you have if your plane is delayed. There are a slew of standards that govern what an airline is required to supply you in case of a delay or cancellation of your flight. You have the choice to request cash instead of vouchers if you like. Don’t agree to anything without first researching the terms and conditions of the airline’s Contract of Carriage.
Not Using Airline Entertainment App When Flying
Free onboard entertainment is becoming increasingly common among airlines, which are including it into their in flight entertainment. If you’re in the air when you find out, it’s a bummer to be in your position. Make sure to check ahead of time to see what you’ll need on your phone or other device.
Not Seeking Assistance When Needed
No matter if you’re travelling alone or with a small group of children, flying may be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Many people try to put up a brave face and bear it. Don’t! Inquire for assistance!
Gate officials can point you in the direction of the nearest bathrooms. Do you have a lot on your plate? There’s a fair probability that a fellow traveller may get their good human certificate for the day simply by holding onto things for a second longer than necessary.
Journey attendants are not only there to ensure your safety, but they are also there to ensure that you have a pleasurable flight. Don’t sulk your way through your travels by yourself. As many questions as you need to ask. If you give them the opportunity, they will generally be willing to assist you.
Ground Transportation is not Planned.
You may be surprised to learn that Uber is not available in every city. In addition, rental car companies are not always open during the hours that are listed on their websites. Investigate transit choices and call the venues to check or to ask questions if the information is unclear. Anyone would prefer not to be feel abandoned at an airport at 4 o’clock in the early morning.
Forgetting about the requirement to provide “proof of Onward Travel”
“Proof of onward travel,” if you’ve never heard of it before, is simply demonstrating to the airline check-in desk/immigration that you already have a return ticket, or that you’re leaving the country. Many nations consider this to be a must, and if you don’t have it, you won’t be able to board your flight till you have it. Make sure you know the immigration/border requirements of the country you are travelling.
Confirming the Validity Of Your ESTA
This is for any and all visitors to the United States of America who are not citizens of the country. You must make certain that your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is still valid, as failure to do so could result in harsh consequences! Personally, I think it’s crazy that you have to be concerned about this just because you’re going to be in the United States for a layover, but that’s just the way things are. If you are travelling to America, make sure you apply for and have a valid ESTA.
Do not Overpack the luggage
Are you a person who overpacks? Then you really must invest in one of those extremely convenient luggage scales. Purchase a little luggage scale and ensure you’re underweight before checking in to avoid this situation.
Difficulties with Transit Visas
Have you studied the airports/nations you’ll be travelling into before you leave? As with the United States, there are many countries with special needs, just as many countries with specific standards.
Make sure you complete your study and know your travel eligibility in each nation/airport before you depart.
Arriving at the Wrong Airport Terminal
Make sure you always double-check the airport is included on your travel schedule because hundreds of cities throughout the world have more than one airport!
Not Having Travel Insurance
When I was a younger traveller, I honestly didn’t think about purchasing travel insurance. I just didn’t want to spend the money because I was on a strict budget at the time, but now I understand what a huge mistake I made.
What would happen if your luggage was misplaced at the airport…? Are you prepared to bear the whole financial burden of everything? Well, if you have travel insurance, you can rest assured that they will take excellent care of you!
We highly recommend to get the online travel insurance via travelinsurance website.
Forgetting to Refill your water bottle and forgetting to bring snacks
Always bring an empty water bottle through security, and try to pack a few snacks in my carry-on! The pricing of food and beverages at airports is outrageous, and despise squandering money at these vendors! Consider your options ahead of time, empty your water bottle before entering security, and bring some food with you!
We hope that, you will enjoy travel if you can avoid some of the above described common airport mistakes.