It’s no secret to anybody. Travelling in the sort of recent past was a lot easier than it is today in many ways.
I have had people aged 60+ tell me more than once how easy it was back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. You just checked your baggage and hopped on a plane. Of course, back then, much fewer people ever got to get on an airplane, so that was definitely a factor. But also, as everyone knows, the events of the past few decades have prompted authorities all around the world to step up security measures, and this means inconveniences and delays for everybody.
The truth is, most people will still travel, despite terrorist threats. This survey shows that most people will not be deterred from travelling by the potential of a terrorist attack. This means it’s still going to be pretty much business as usual for better or worse. It also means we can’t count on any significant reduction in the number of travellers on any given day and security lines are going to stay long.
There are, however, some measures that you can take to lessen the pain of your airport experience:
- Wherever possible, use e-tickets and, more importantly self-service check-in. I have never seen a line for self-service check-in. On the other hand, I have seen two-hour lines for traditional check-in.
- Be savvy about your luggage. Do your best to avoid oversize or overweight luggage. Know your limits. Most people tend to over-pack clothes, for example. A spring scale to weigh your luggage at home right after packing can be a very wise investment, saving you money and time. Ask yourself: do you really want to be that person pulling things out of your luggage at the counter?
- Consider using a reliable luggage shipping service like Send My Bag. These days, a lot of airlines place very severe restrictions on baggage, sometimes having unrealistic weight limits or even charging for that first piece of checked luggage. Combine that with the brutal treatment your luggage receives on most commercial flights. Further combine that with that annoying wait at the carousel at your destination. All in all, I find these to be great value for the money.
- Do NOT be that person among the last few people to check in for your flight. The biggest reason for this is that often cargo holds on flights fill up before those last few customers have managed to check-in. This means, you guessed it, you baggage doesn’t come in with you! This is far and away the #1 reason your bags could get delayed. By law, the airline owes you money if this happens, but is $20 or $25 really worth the hassle?
To sum up, travelling may be difficult, but you can take steps to make it much less so. Be wise and travel smart!