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The 9 biggest mistakes to avoid at the airport

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 7 September 2023 | Created: 7 September 2023

Travelling is a wonderful experience, but it can be stressful, especially when dealing with airports. Long queues, security checks, baggage fees, delays and cancellations can all ruin your mood and make you anxious.

Here are the 9 biggest mistakes you might be making at the airport. But don’t worry; there are some simple tips you can follow to avoid stress when flying and start your holiday on a positive note.

1 – Checking in at the airport

Checking in online will save you time and hassle at the airport, as you won’t have to queue at the check-in desk or worry about losing your boarding pass. You can also choose your seat in advance and avoid any surprises.

2 – Ignoring luggage limits and packing rules

Avoid overpacking and check luggage weight and size limits before you leave. This will help you avoid paying extra fees or having to repack at the airport. Also, follow the rules for liquids and gels in your hand luggage, and pack them in a clear plastic bag that you can easily take out at security.

3 – Turning up at the last minute

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, considering traffic, parking, public transport and any possible delays. Aim to arrive at least two hours before your flight for domestic flights and three hours for international flights. This will give you enough time to check in, go through security and relax before boarding. Having a plan will always help you to avoid unnecessary stress.

4 – Wearing the wrong outfit to travel in

Choose loose, breathable clothes that are easy to remove or put on. Avoid wearing belts, jewellery, metal accessories or anything that might set off the metal detector. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as you might have to take them off at security.

5 – Not bringing entertainment with you

Airports can be tedious and expensive, so bring something to keep yourself entertained while you wait for your flight. You can bring a book, a magazine, a tablet or anything else you enjoy.
You can also bring snacks to avoid paying high prices at the airport cafes and shops. Just make sure they comply with the security rules for liquids and gels.

6 – Not keeping calm

Airports can be stressful places, but don’t let that affect your mood or behaviour. Stay calm and courteous with the airport staff, security officers and fellow travellers. They are all doing their best to make your journey smooth and safe. Don’t panic or get angry if you encounter any problems or issues. Instead, try to find a solution or ask for help from someone who can assist you.

7 – Not packing your documents and valuables correctly

Make sure you have all your travel documents ready and accessible, such as your passport, boarding pass, visa, insurance and any other relevant papers. Keep them in a secure place, such as a zipped pocket or a pouch around your neck or waist. Don’t leave them unattended or in plain sight. Also, keep your valuables, such as your money, credit cards, phone and jewellery, in a safe place and don’t flaunt them.

8 – Relying solely on announcements about your flight

Don’t rely on announcements or notifications for your flight information, as they might not be accurate or clear. Instead, check the flight information screens regularly for updates on your flight status, gate number, boarding time and any possible changes or delays. If you have any doubts or questions, ask an airport staff member or go to the information desk.

9 – Not preparing for security checks

Security checks are inevitable and necessary at airports, so be prepared for them and cooperate with the security officers. Have your boarding pass and passport ready to show them when asked. Take your laptop, tablet, liquids and gels from your hand luggage and place them in separate trays. Remove your shoes, belt, jacket and any metal items from your body and put them in another tray. Follow the security officers’ instructions, and don’t make any jokes or comments that might be considered suspicious or offensive.

Once you’ve passed through security and boarded your flight, you can relax and look forward to your holiday destination. Whether travelling within the UK or abroad, AllClear Travel Insurance can provide comprehensive cover for all ages and all pre-existing medical conditions.

With AllClear Travel Insurance, you can travel with confidence and peace of mind.