Airports are complicated, especially for traveling newbie. All those terminals and check-in points can be pretty overwhelming. To make it easier for you to get around airport more effectively, we have given a few tips here you can use to avoid getting lost during your next air travel.
1. Get to the airport early
If you are a first-time air traveler, make sure you allow some extra time to acquaint yourself with the check in process. For a domestic flight, arriving at the airport 2 hours earlier or more is a great idea. For international flights, be at the airport at least 3 hours earlier. Arriving in good time makes sure you go through the process effectively and will not miss your flight even if there are long queues.
2. Follow airport signs
The airport is designed to make it easier for users to identify different check-in points, gates, waiting areas, shops and so forth. Architectural and interior designs of an airport can be different, but the basic principles of way-finding are upheld everywhere. The tile patterns, placement of ticket counters, security checkpoints, gates, and signage are chosen in such a way to push you to the next check in point almost naturally.
For instance, the way-finding signs are dull and plain, so that they can stand out from the neon fancy glitters of advertising. They are placed at key decision points to help you figure out easily which direction you need to take.
3. Find your gate from your boarding pass
You boarding pass has the details of the gate. Another option is to check the electronic displays bordering the gates. Your gate corresponds to your flight number. Get inside, find a seat and wait as you listen to any announcements regarding your flight status.
4. Avoid some nuisances that can cause anxiety and delays
It is easier to find your way around a new place when your mind is not preoccupied with other things. This is why you need to plan carefully, giving convenience key consideration. Book and pay for your tickets earlier via the internet. This way, you save time at the ticketing counters, and money since early booking attracts some discounts.
Besides, early booking gives enough time to note the flight information, departure time and other details so you can plan properly. Do not pack excess items or things you are not allowed to carry at the airport. Put your identification documents and boarding pass at a convenient place. This kind of organization will make things easier for you at the checkpoints.
5. Use technology or physical airport maps
You can study the airport beforehand and master a few points using a physical map. This will give an idea of where to begin especially if you are totally new to this airport. However, technology makes it easier for you to navigate different airports since you do not have to carry such directions in your mind. For instance, with applications like Bing Airport Maps, you can find your way around different airports conveniently.
The maps show the directions from the entry to the boarding gate and give relevant information about terminals and gates, currency exchange, ticket counter location, baggage claims, parking lots, restaurants, and cafes, among others. You can also search airports through Google maps. Find out if the mapping application you intend to use has the airport you are using, beforehand.
6. Try expedited arrivals services
Sometimes, you don't have the time to find directions in an airport on your own. You could be traveling for business purposes and your focus is in arriving at your destination within the shortest time possible. In this case, you cannot wait for hours to clear immigration and customs before connecting your next flight. You could also be traveling with your children, making it overwhelming to wind through airport terminals and the hectic process involved.
Expedited arrivals come in handy to fast-track the process for you. The providers have experienced staff to help with your luggage, ensure fast immigration and customs clearance, safe transportation or terminal transfers, among others. Easy airport transfers and quick customs or immigration clearance is the dream of every traveler either going for business, leisure, or studying abroad.
7. Ask for help
If you cannot find the right gate or so, do not wander about the airport and waste time. You can always ask for help. Security guards or any other worker on-site can be of help when you have no time to figure out the direction on your own.
Airports are just like mini-cities. With large acreage and high human traffic, it can be daunting for a newbie to find their way around without help. Use the above tips to make your next air travel convenient no matter the size of the airport you are traversing.