20 Little-Known Tricks That Can Be Very Useful in Every Airport
There are special rules in every airport. Many of them are known only to the employees, like where they can eat tasty food for little money, how they can get presents from air companies, and how they can get into the cockpit or get airport assistance.
In this article, Bright Side has collected 20 tricks for making travel an amazing journey. It doesn't matter if you are a tourist or a business person who travels all the time; everyone who comes to the airport should know these tricks.
20. Take your pet with you if you are scared of flying alone.
If you have a special paper from your psychologist that says that you need your pet for emotional support (ESA), some American and European airlines will allow you to take your animal on board. But before the flight, you need to ask the airline for permission.
19. You can take your favorite shampoos and save some space using travel kits.
Travel kits are sold in cosmetics stores: small bottles with wide necks so that you can easily pour liquids and gels into them. This is a great idea if you want to use cosmetics to which you are accustomed instead of either expensive, new varieties or cheap shampoos and soap that are provided in hotels.
18. Cheap tickets, half-full planes, no delays and turbulance — these are night flights.
According to statistics, there are fewer passengers at night, there are almost no travelers with kids, planes are not delayed, and you won't have to waste time in lines. The only exception is charter flights.
Most storms happen in the second part of the day, and the air is fresher at night because there is no sunshine. This is why planes rarely experience turbulence at night.
17. Airport assistance for the disabled, the elderly, and for young travelers.
Some airports offer their own private services, while others have an international network of airport assistance. This service offers assistance, medical help, security, feeding support, and other services for elderly passengers, disabled tourists, and minor children traveling alone. Most of the services are free for disabled people.
16. A connecting flight is twice as many miles and a night at a good hotel.
A connection flight may be way cheaper than a direct flight, and it is awarded more miles. You can even make such flights a separate adventure: if you have more than 8 hours between the flights, you can leave the airport and walk in the city.
Many airline companies offer you a free room in a good hotel if you have a connecting flight (in case if you have a 6-hour gap or more between the flights) and a city tour.
15. Listen to other passengers: there is often a lot of entertainment in airports that not everyone knows about.
Munich's airport has its own brewery, Helsinki's has a few kinds of saunas, and in Amsterdam's, there is a branch of one of the biggest museums of art in the Netherlands.
Some airports, such as Changi Airport in Singapore, are sights themselves. It features a tropical jungle and thousands of butterflies that you can touch, a huge roller coaster for adults, kinetic sculptures, 24/7 cinemas, playrooms for any age, a great swimming pool with a view of the runway, and many other things.
14. Hungry? Choose places where employees eat. It's cheap and tasty.
Check out reviews of other people to find out where the closest cafeteria or a diner is that is visited by the employees. This is where you can find a meal that costs the same as a coffee in the Duty-Free zone. It's much easier to handle jet-lag when you are not hungry.
Some kinds of food can be taken on board; for example, a high-calorie bar, chocolate, or nuts. Carry an empty plastic bottle with you, and after you go through customs check, pour some water in it from a public fountain.
13. Free Wi-Fi is everywhere
There are a few areas in every airport where free Wi-Fi most likely works:
- waiting rooms near Duty-Free stores;
- lounge zones and the area near them (you don't have to enter them);
- cafes and areas near them;
- capsule hotels;
- places marked on this map (here you can find passwords for locked networks).
12. You forgot your phone charger or headphones? Go to "The Lost and Found" to get some for free.
In every airport, there is a place where lost and forgotten things are stored. If nobody returns for a cheap thing in three months, employees can give it to you for free. Headphones, a charger, an umbrella, and other little things that cost very little money can be very useful sometimes.
11. There aren't always enough comforters. Think about comfortable warm clothes
According to the rules, many air companies have one comforter for several passengers. Used comforters are put in special bags and then given to passengers a few more times before they are washed. We recommend that you take a big warm scarf.
Travel in comfortable everyday clothes. The air gets into the plane cabin from below, and its temperature is low, so you shouldn't travel in skirts and shorts if you don't want to catch a cold. Don't wear big or high-heeled shoes. Take warm socks so that your feet can rest during the flight.
10. Choose the best seat using a special website with the schemes of all planes.
Enter your flight data on this website to see the seat map on the flight you are going to take. There is also some other important information. If you need a lot of free space, choose the seats near emergency exists, or at the very beginning (right after business class) or at the very end of the plane. Memorize the number of the seat and choose them when checking in.
9. Every seat has its own advantages. Decide what is important for you.
- Passengers with small children are usually seated in the front of the seating area. This is also where flight attendants start serving food and drinks.
- In the middle, near the wings, the jolting is less. The distance between the seats is bigger near the emergency exits.
- In the back, there is always a line of passengers waiting to get to the restroom. Not all the passengers have the chance to choose the food. However, there is usually more space in overhead compartments and free seats near the windows.
9. Check in your luggage last to be the first who gets it after the flight. Also, fly with "girlish" bags.
The baggage that belongs to women gets more gentle care. Women often carry perfumes, fragile things, and they are ready to make scandals if something in their luggage is broken. You don't have to buy a "girlish" bag, but you can get a bright case.
But even the case won't be as helpful as wrapping film. Save your money: just buy food wrap and wrap it around your luggage before check-in. But don't do it earlier: they can ask you to open your luggage in the customs.
7. If you have too much luggage, put some things on you or divide your stuff with someone else.
The weight of the luggage determines which mover will work with it. If the weight is more than allowed, the employees put a special sticker: an ordinary mover can't lift it alone. Take some of your luggage on board if you don't want to pay extra money.
But keep in mind that different air companies calculate the weight in a different way when you are traveling with someone. Some companies calculate the weights together and it doesn't matter how much every bag weighs. Then, if you have just a few extra pounds and another passenger has a half-empty bag, ask them if you could check-in together.
6. Always carry power strips
If you have several devices, you will need a power strip not only in the airport but also in the hotel because the number of sockets in rooms is limited. Power strips allow you to keep all your devices nearby. A power strip will make you a hero in the airport if you allow other passengers to use it.
Don't forget to get a power bank and fully charge it beforehand. Phone batteries drain very quickly, and this device will allow you to be free to not have to look for a place to charge your phone all the time.
5. Buy a pass to the lounge zone if you have to spend a lot of time in the airport.
Most airports offer passengers to use lounge zones for € 30—50 per night. There are few people, there are food and drinks, good Internet-connection, and many chairs and couches. Sometimes there can even be a shower and special rooms where you can sleep. All these things are free for lounge-zone visitors. If for some reason you have to spend more than 6 hours in the airport, this is a great way to save money and not spend it on food or a hotel room.
4. Take up to 3 oz of liquid on board. Alcohol is allowed, too.
You are allowed to take 3 oz of water, juice, alcohol or any other liquid on board if you put it in 3-oz bottles and place them in a plastic bag. The employees will calculate the volume of liquid: if you have two half-full 3-oz bottles, they will be calculated as 6 oz.
The only exception is baby food. It can be transported in large amounts, but only if you are traveling with a child. Please don't drink your alcohol during the flight, it is prohibited. This rule is quite reasonable: a drunk passenger presents a great danger to other passengers and the crew.
3. Use a GPS-tracker to locate your luggage and protect it from being stolen.
Experienced travelers take a photo of their luggage before they check it in, and some even buy a keychain with a GPS-tracker so that they always know exactly where their luggage is if it gets lost by the air company.
Don't forget to throw away old luggage tags and stickers. Otherwise, a scanner may read the old barcode and send your luggage to a different destination. Also, don't forget about your rights in case your luggage is lost or damaged after you claimed it.
2. Prepare for jet-lag in advance.
Check the local time of your destination and change your schedule according to it. For example, you are flying from New York to Moscow. Your flight is at 2 p.m., and Moscow time is already 9 p.m. After the flight, you need to fall asleep immediately as if you were in Moscow already. If you didn't sleep enough the night before, it will be easy.
The opposite is right, too: don't sleep on the plane, if it's already daytime in your destination. When you arrive, don't sleep before night time, and then everything will be okay.
In both cases, avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and other drinks with energizing effect.
1. Experienced parents know that a ball and ear plugs are the best things for young tourists.
- An inflatable ball can be kept in a pocket. It will be a great help when your kid gets bored. There is a lot of space in the airport, definitely enough for your kid to run and have fun. Say "no" to tablets. They only make kids tired and annoyed.
- Ear plugs for kids are the best way to avoid children crying during takeoff and landing. To make the effect even stronger, use a pacifier or a candy.
- A pillow that will allow the kid to sit or sleep comfortably. Some parents arrange the schedule so that the kid definitely falls asleep on the plane.
Bonus: how to get into the cockpit, get special service, and not spend money on hotels and transfers
- Secret 1: smile and be polite. Airport and airline workers often offer special conditions: you can register your ticket for the next flight for free, they can provide you with an extra meal or take a photo in the cockpit. Some passengers present flight attendants chocolate bars with a smile, and they give them seats in the first class for free (if there are vacant seats, of course).
- Secret 2: take part in questionnaires and make cards for saving miles. Many airline companies allow owners to spend miles on paying for the hotel, transfer, or renting a car. Such cards can also be used to upgrade ticket class for free, get taxi vouchers, discounts for tickets and even special gifts.
What travel tricks do you know? Tell us about them in the comment section below!