Travel hacks | The best tips to ensure you never miss your flight


Travelling is back! With it, sadly, also comes extremely long lines, confusion and general chaos.

Whether it be an international or domestic flight, it’s easy to lull yourself into a false sense of security if you arrive at the airport early.

The scenes at Sydney Airport this week are proof enough. Even if you arrive early, there’s every chance you might miss your long-awaited flight.

To ensure you travel efficiently this Easter, 9Honey Travel has compiled a list of tips and tricks to ensure you never arrive at the gate late again.

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Travelling can be chaotic and stressful if you don’t plan it efficiently. (Getty)

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Try to avoid checked baggage

This one is a no-brainer if you want to shave precious minutes off your time spent during check-in.

Using just carry-on luggage (which usually only makes sense on domestic/interstate flights) is a sure-fire way you can glide through check-in with ease and head straight to the gate.

If you’re flying international, try to keep all your belongings in one bag so check-in is faster, too.

Couples travelling together can also put their items together in a single bag to save time.

Check-in online before arriving at the gate

Checking in online will make your experience at the ticket gate a breeze. Everything is handled already and you just need to print your ticket.

If you can do this at the self-service kiosk, even better.

Checking in online is a sure-fire way to save time at the airport. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Travel to the airport via public transport to avoid traffic

Seasoned travellers know traffic is always at its the worst when you’re running late for a flight.

Check your city’s public transport system. Is there a direct route to the airport via train so you don’t have to deal with road traffic?

If so, this is the best option as you’ll get to the airport quickly and without a fuss. Ubers are not 100 per cent reliable when it comes to heading to the airport, so the safest bet is a train ticket.

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Don’t be afraid to tell staff you’re running late

Airport staff understand catching a flight is stressful. If you are patient and kind, they will mirror it right back.

So, don’t be afraid to let the staff know you’re running late and they can help by directing you to a faster line or taking you though a different security checkpoint.

It is against travel etiquette to chuck a tantrum and blame the airport employees for your lateness, so don’t make this faux pas.

Be nice and you shall receive, otherwise you might be told it’s your own fault.

Weigh your luggage before arriving

If your check-in luggage is a few kilos too heavy, you might waste precious time having to take items out or paying for the extra baggage.

Make sure you weigh your bags before checking in so there’s no unpleasant surprises.

If you’re running late, tell the staff. (Getty)

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Keep jewellery in your handbag before going through security

Security can be an arduous task if you’re asked to walk back and forth through the metal detector.

If you are wearing jewellery which will set it off, take it all off and store it in your carry-on until after you have cleared security.

Same goes for toiletries — make sure it is all in a separate, clear bag you can take out and show the staff without a fuss.

If you’re travelling with kids, arrive an hour earlier

Anyone who has children knows it can take a lifetime to get them ready for any event, let alone an airport trip.

Give yourself at least extra hour if you are bringing along kids.

That way, any unexpected tantrums, spills or slow walking won’t make you late for your flight.

Buy your coffee or lunch after you go through security

It can be tempting to grab a cup of coffee after check-in at an airport, especially if it’s an early flight.

It’s a good idea to wait until you have cleared security before buying food or heading to a café.

Anything can happen (plus there are lines there too!), so enjoy your coffee at the gate.

Grab your coffee after going through security. (Getty)

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Keep all your documents in the same place — passport, cards, tickets

You’ll need to show your passport and ticket multiple times during the check-in and security process, so it’s important to keep them all together in a safe place.

Nothing’s worse than rifling through your carry-on for your passport or documents every time you pass a checkpoint. Buy a little folder or keep them in a compartment in your bag for easy access.

Wear shoes that are easy to slip off

If you’re travelling overseas (or wearing shoes with metal), you’ll need to take them off while going through security.

Don’t waste your time untying and tying up a complicated shoe – wear a pair of slip-ons and keep your closed-in shoes in your carry-on if your feet get cold on the flight.

Try to go through the business-class security line if you are running late

If you are running extremely late and are still waiting in line, alert a member of staff and ask if you can pass through the business-class line at security.

These lines are usually shorter and if you ask nicely, a staff member will usually help you get to the gate on-time.

Don’t fumble around for your passport – store it in an easy place to access. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Book an airport lounge

If you want to arrive early at the airport but hate waiting around at the gate, a fantastic way to motivate yourself to arrive on time is a ticket to an airport lounge.

They usually have breakfast or coffee on hand and it’s a nice way to spend the hours waiting for a flight if you like to check-in with hours to spare.

Print your travel documents

We all know airport Wi-Fi can be spotty and you can never rely on mobile internet — so printing off your documents to have them on-hand can ensure you won’t be stuck if your phone isn’t loading.

It’ll also save you time searching for the e-ticket on your phone if you’re like most people and have a million apps open at once.

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