If you or your employees travel frequently for business, it’s likely that you’ll spend a lot of time in busy airports. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to reduce the stress of airline travel, from making sure you’re well prepared with any travel documents in advance, to taking advantage of quiet airport business lounges before you fly.
Here is our round up of the best airport hacks for frequent business travelers:
1. Print off or save any travel documents well in advance
While it’s no longer always necessary to have hard copies of your travel documents, it can save a lot of time and stress at the airport if you have your reservations or booking references easily to hand at check in. The same applies if you or your staff need visas to enter certain countries.
2. Never check your bags in
Checking in a bag adds extra minutes to your check-in time on departure. It also means you’ll have to wait for it at baggage reclaim at your arrival airport instead of breezing through immigration and straight out the door to your first meeting. If you pack everything into your cabin bag and have it stowed safely onboard with you, you’ll also reduce the risk of losing any luggage.
3. Pay a little extra for seats and priority boarding
People who travel on business tend to only be away for a night or two at a time, meaning they don’t typically need to check any luggage into the hold. Claiming space for bags in an airline’s overhead lockers can be tricky, but an easy solution is to pay for priority boarding.
If your travel policy doesn’t cover business or first-class, make sure you reserve your economy seat in advance instead to ensure you don’t get put in an uncomfortable middle seat or one with limited leg room.
4. Use your AMEX card to gain access to airport lounges around the world
Have an American Express card? Platinum card holders can take advantage of complimentary access to many business lounges at airports across the globe. There are many benefits to having an hour or so in a comfortable airport lounge before your flight, from enjoying a quick bite to eat to having a chat or quick meeting with colleagues or any business partners you may be traveling with.
5. Collect air miles if your travel policy allows it
If you haven’t got a clause in your travel policy that prevents you from collecting air miles, sign up to any frequent flyer programs. As well earning points which allow you to upgrade flights without extra cost to your business, you can use them to gain access to airline lounges or pay for things such as priority boarding.
6. Be savvy at airport security
Getting through security checkpoints at airports can sometimes be slow. To avoid delays or unnecessary stress, make sure you’re ready for your turn through the scanners before you get in line. Place all your liquids in a clear plastic sleeve, remove any laptops or tablets from your bag, empty your pockets, and take off any coats, belts or heavy shoes.
If you’re flying out of certain US airports, you can apply for the TSA PreCheck program that lets low-risk travelers move through security much faster.
7. Invest in a portable power charger
While many airports have dedicated charging zones, it’s not uncommon to arrive and find every plug is taken. To save the worry of your phone running out of juice (especially if you’ve opted for mobile boarding, or are expecting an important client call), purchase a portable power bar so you can charge your electronics while you’re on the go.