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Airport tips for balanced business and private trips

Flying revolutionised traveling, made the world smaller and our lives easier. Unless you are a frequent flyer, some of the airport rules and rituals might be still unclear. I am experienced in this after visiting many airports in three continents. But I also know that an airport visit can be an adventure.

When I lived in Finland I had to once wait at the security check for the police at the airport in Helsinki while flying to Germany. I had a pepper spray with me, a present I got from my boyfriend so I feel safer during long and dark Finnish afternoons and evenings – something totally acceptable in Germany, but considered a weapon in Finland. Long story short, the police took it away from me and my pepper spray had to be destroyed. Luckily I caught my flight!

To help you avoid stress and unpleasant situations, I prepared 5 top tips on how to get easily to the airplane from the moment you buy a ticket to the moment you leave the plane. The tips will save you time and let you relax during your business or private trip. The hints I prepared base on the European standard procedures.

1. Buy smart

Before buying a ticket check your flight options on one of the comparison portals to get the best price. I always use the Sky Scanner app. Don’t let the airlines or tourist offices pay you more than needed.

My tip: If you work in a corporation, double check with your company their flight policies and rates.

2. Plan your flight

Check in advance whether your travel documents, such as ID card, passport or visa are still valid and inquire if any additional documents are needed. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises while checking in at the airport. You should also get familiar with your airline’s luggage policy, e.g. how many bags are you allowed to carry with you on board. Here we shared hints on how to pack your luggage light.

My tip: From my experience: If the airline says one bag per person it relates to the suitcase or bag pack and means that you can take with you a small handbag as well (see the photo below :)).

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3. Save time and go zero-waste

You can always save time and be paperless by checking in online prior your flight. It’s easy – fill in your flight and personal data on the website of your airline (usually the tab is called online check-in) and you will receive your boarding pass via email, sms or you can add it to your Wallet app. If you are traveling with your co-worker or friend and after online check in you received different seats just ask kindly a staff member at the gate if they can check in the system if you can sit together. Usually it’s possible if the flight is not fully booked. It’s just the matter of asking.

My tip: If the airport is huge taking lifts instead of moving stairs always saves you time.

4. Get ready for the security check

While waiting in line for security check use the time to prepare for it. Remember to take out laptops, iPads and any electronics devices and make sure that liquids and gels are in small containers (max. 100ml) and are placed in a transparent plastic bag. The total capacity of your liquids cannot extend 1l. Baby food and liquid medicine are also allowed but must be shown separately to the security agent. Before going through a scanner empty your pockets and take off your belt and jacket or coat.

My tip: On the vast majority of airports there is no need to take off your jewellery. Skip this step if you were not explicitly asked to do so.

5. Know your rights and responsibilities

  • Place your hand luggage under your seat or in the panel above your head.
  • You are allowed to use electronic devices through entire flight in the flight mode.
  • By take off and landing: Have your table folded, the window blind open and the seat in the up right position.
  • Even if your airline does not offer complimentary meals of drinks you can always ask a crew staff for a glass of water. The crew should also have painkillers and some blankets.
  • After landing – don’t stand up before the seat belt sign is switched off.

My tip: If you are unsure about any policies or your rights as passenger, ask directly a crew member – they are there to help you.

Do you have any other tips for an easy and balanced flight?

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