It’s no mystery that I am in airports often. There’s plenty written out there about how to travel with a family, or for a long stretch, or for business. But how about some just all around useful reminders? Honestly, everyone can use a little airport advice, myself included. Here’s a few tips I’ve gleaned on how to not be “that person” in the terminal the next time you fly.
- Do. Not. Bring. Water. Through. Security. Seriously, it is 2015 — you think humanity would know this by now. If, by chance, this is your first time in an airport, it is posted approximately 17 times and yelled at you by TSA while you stand in line for eternity. You will hold everyone up. Everyone will hate you. Don’t bring it. Invest in a Vapur bottle (not the first time I’ve promoted this gem) and make sure it’s empty before you even get to the airport.
- Streamline your “plane outfit”. I wear almost the same exact thing every time I travel. It’s comfy and includes some staple wardrobe items no matter where I’m going (leggings, tank, sports bra, oversized sweater). Notice that this outfit doesn’t include pockets, belts, sunglasses, costume jewelry, or lace up sandals that will slow me down. In the security line it’s “get realively naked quickly and MOVE.”
- Dudes, specifically. Your coat or briefcase or duffle bag go under your seat. Just like everyone else. So God made you 6 feet tall. Wonderful. Your coat still doesn’t deserve overhead space. Stop being a turd. You’re the reason people with carry on’s have to check their bags because the plane is out of space. Rude.
- If you go to the bar, your carry-on dog (or any pet) does NOT get its own seat. Yes, this has actually happened. I was told I couldn’t have a seat because Bowser needed to rest there in his carrier. Airport bars are prime, LIMITED real estate. In fact, I am sitting at one right now as I write this, sipping a Star Hill. Read, blog, chat, drink, whatever. But don’t take up space that other people can use with your pets or luggage. Flight anxiety is a real thing. Beer helps ease it.
- If you have a middle or window seat, TRY to hold it. If this is a 90 minute flight and you ask your row to move so you can pee, you better be buying your seat mate beers to justify breaking the seal and having a bladder the size of a Skittle.
- If you have the middle, you get both arm rests. Window and aisle sitters, stop being inconsiderate.
- Similar to the airport bar, your luggage does not get its own seat at a crowded airport gate waiting area.
- Do NOT be rude to your flight attendants. They are not servants.
- Walk left, stand right. This goes for ALL public transportation like escalators and moving sidewalks. It’s not just a DC thing. At least, it shouldn’t be.
- When you get on an airport shuttle, move to the middle of the shuttle car. I didn’t even have to pass Physics (or whatever science class this would be) to understand that all 30 people cannot possibly fit two inches in front of the doorway.
- Pro Tip: if you’ve already checked in (which most of us have via some smartphone app because #Millenials) then you don’t need to be dropped off at your airline door tag. You can get to security faster by just making sure you’re in the right terminal and going through any airline door (at every airport I’ve traveled through in America, at least).
- Pro Tip #2: get picked up at departures. There is way less crowding, especially for flights that get in late at night when virtually no flights are going out. Hasta la Vista, security man telling you to “pull up” every time you loop around.
There ya go… Your airport game is moving closer to expert level. Now go take advantage of some awesome fare deals.