9 Tips for Avoiding Hassle at the Airport

Dreading airport security?

9 Tips for Avoiding Hassle at the Airport

Increased airport security may be necessary after 9/11 but it’s without question, one of the biggest hassles we have to go through, though parking and checking-in can be equally irritating.

If you’re going on vacation the last thing you need at the airport is any kind of hassle that may spoil the experience. The following pointers should give you a good idea on do’s and don’ts at the airport and how to get through airport security smoothly:

1. Check-in the day before

If you want to start your vacation on the right foot and avoid unnecessary hassle at the airport you will want to do the check-in ahead of time. You can check-in at least 24 hours before your flight though there is normally a fee for this.

When checking-in online you can also choose your plane seat and print your flight tickets, which will also save  you some hassle.

2. Arrive early at the airport

If you have checked-in online already, you will still want to make sure you get to the airport at least 2-3 hours for an international flight and 1.5 hours for a domestic flight.

Increased airport security is the reason why you’ll want to get to the airport well in advance because security lines can be truly memorable at some of the larger airports.

3. Get updates on your flight

Flights being delayed and passengers waiting at the airport lounges may be a typical picture at most airports around the world, but if you can avoid the hassle of waiting at the airport lounge because your flight had been delayed (or cancel), why wouldn’t you?

This is why one of the 9 tips for avoiding hassle at the airport is to know whether your flight will be delayed or not. It's a good idea to check the status of your flight a few hours before it’s scheduled to depart just in case your flight has been delayed for a few hours or cancelled completely.

4. Expect the unexpected

Most of us expect to breeze through airport security without hassles when going through the TSA checkpoints. However, the TSA checkpoint is the one area at the airport that passengers haven’t got much control over, which is why anything can happen even if you follow the TSA guidelines.

It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s within the TSA agents’ right to stop you to one side, question you, and pat you down without giving you a reason.

5. Hold your nerve

One of the most important 9 tips for avoiding hassle at the airport is to never get into an argument with a TSA agent. If you travel a lot (even if you don’t) you will be bound to experience the painful feeling of being stopped or screened by a TSA agent. The worse thing you can do at that point is to become agitated or argumentative because the TSA officer has singled you out (remember TSA agents can and will do pretty much as they please).

If the TSA officer is being awkward, do your very best to keep cool, bite your tongue, and be polite. Even if it feels unfair or outright outrageous, you have to remember that feelings don’t matter much to TSA officers who would happily take you up for further screening in a blink of an eye.

6. Beware of your luggage

Losing sight of your luggage is something that can happen even to the most weary travelers. No matter how it happens, becoming separated from your luggage is truly one of the worse experiences at the airport especially when someone's nicked your luggage.

However, nowadays there is a higher chance of unattended luggage being removed by the airport security staff let alone by a petty-thief. This is why you want to keep close to your belongings at all times since airport staff are notoriously slow on releasing seized luggage, and that can mean losing your flight!

7. Get TSA-approved baggage locks

Finding out that a TSA officer had to cut open your luggage or destroy your lock to conduct a search is one of the most irritating things ever!

This is why buying a TSA-approved lock for your luggage is one of the best 9 tips for avoiding hassle at the airport because these locks can be opened by the TSA officers. Best of all, you can make a claim if TSA agents happen to misplace your lock.

8. Check the TSA website

TSA officers are responsible for screening passengers and NOT airports, and with airport security policies ever changing it’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking the TSA website before your flight.

You will be able to read the latest updates on prohibited items, carry-on items, and other bits of information such as screening procedures by TSA officers, full-body scanners, etc.

9. Don’t fly

Sorry to say it folks but the good old days of hassle-free flying are long gone! Getting through airport security will never be the same after 9/11 nor the joyful experience of being at the airport terminal.

The worse thing of all is that security at airports is not ceasing to increase, and this is putting more and more people off flying. In fact, if you are put off flying by now, you may find consolation in knowing that car travel and train travel are there for the taking.

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