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Thursday, March 3, 2011


Travel editor Serena Brower is here today with some tips that will help you zip through the airport. Well, maybe not zip through, but you’ll get through sooner than the people not heeding her advice. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! This has been the worst winter for travel I’ve ever experienced. Every flight I’ve taken has either been canceled or delayed due to weather-related problems. There’s not much any of us can do about the weather, but there are things we can do to cut down the time we spend getting from the airport entrance to the flight gate.

First, if your travel is flexible, fly on a Saturday morning. Business travelers want to be home for the weekend, so they book return flights for Fridays. Next best days? Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Airports are usually less crowded those days. And always try to book the first flight out in the morning to avoid the ripple effect of flight delays. The later in the day you fly, the more chance of a delayed flight.

Don’t forget to print your boarding pass at home before you leave for the airport, especially if you’re not checking luggage. More than half of all travelers don’t do this. With boarding pass in hand, you have one less line to stand in and can head straight for the security checkpoint.

Want to zip through security? Make sure you’ve complied with all the rules. Avoid wearing lots of jewelry, heavy belt buckles, underwire bras, and hair clips. They set off the metal detectors. Make sure all liquids adhere to the TSA quantity limit and are in a Ziploc bag. Remove your jacket and shoes, take your cell phone and camera out of your pockets and your laptop out of its case. Most of the holdup at security checkpoints is from people not following the rules and having to be rescreened.

If your carry-on luggage contains items with electrical cords, make sure they’re neatly wound. Lots of tangled cords causes suspicion on the part of the screener, and you’ll be pulled out of line for an inspection of your luggage. Same for wrapped gifts. Pack some wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape, and wrap the gifts once you arrive.

Thanks, Serena! Great tips as always! -- AP

1 comment:

Gareth said...

That's really good one...

Thanks for advices.