Which? Holiday gives tips for a better tripOur helps takes the stress out of airports

17 July 2008

Holidays should be about rest and relaxation but the thought of being at an airport has many holidaymakers breaking out in a cold sweat. 

However, there are several things you can do before you reach the airport to ensure your holiday starts stress-free.

Travel tips

To make sure your trip gets off to the best start, follow our travel tips:

  • check ticket details at the time of booking – you could get turned away at check in if any of the details are incorrect, for example, passenger names, time of flight and date of flight
  • people flying to Spain or the USA should remember to complete Advanced Passenger Details before flying.  With some airlines, this has to be done before you arrive at the airport
  • check hand and hold luggage allowances – airlines all have baggage restrictions, but these differ between companies.  Make sure you do not go over weight or size restrictions on your luggage
  • ensure you are not carrying sharp objects in your hand luggage, such as scissors, as these are considered a security risk
  • book airport parking in advance – by booking ahead you can save almost half the airport daily parking charge.
  • check-in online – if you have just hand luggage, go to the airline's website and check in.  This way you can go straight to the security gate and avoid some of the queues
  • allow enough time to go through security – some passengers queued for 40 minutes to reach the security scanners last summer at Gatwick.  The best way of coping with these queues is to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.
  • label luggage correctly – although there is no foolproof method for preventing luggage from going astray, always ensure your suitcase is labelled inside and out.  Include name, address and mobile phone details, and also information about your destination airport
  • for a quiet relaxing wait, book into an airport lounge.  Prices range from £12 to £19, and snacks and drinks are included in the price.

Airports

Which? Holiday editor Lorna Cowan said: ‘Airports can be stressful places at anytime of the year, but with passenger numbers significantly increasing during school holidays, the next few months will be particularly exasperating.

‘The key to surviving the airport experience, and starting your holiday on a high, is preparation.  A few small steps can make all the difference between a relaxing trip or complete holiday hell.’