The holiday season is upon us. Even if you’re not the one in charge yet – the captain – there’s still a good chance you’ll find yourself at an airport in the coming months. Even pilots use airports when they’re not flying. So here are some holiday airport tips to make your airport experience more productive, enjoyable, and stress-free.  

Always Print Your Boarding Pass at Home

Nobody likes waiting in lines. The more line waiting you can eliminate at the airport the better your experience will be.  If you’re not checking bags and want to save some time print your boarding pass at home. Some airlines allow you to use an app on your phone as well.   

Set Your Alarm

Set an alarm on your phone to go off at your boarding time.  It’s easy to get distracted in the departure lounge. You also don’t want to become obsessed with watching the clock – that just causing unneeded stress. Simply set your alarm and rest assured you’ll know when it’s time to go queue up in the boarding line.  

Keep the Kids Busy

If you’re traveling with little ones, the secret to avoiding meltdowns is keeping them busy.  If they have a game console make sure it’s fully charged. Bring back up items too like paper and pens so they can draw.  Have a few airport-friendly games that you can play with them, like word games.   

Get Some Work Done

Take advantage of the airport WiFi and get some work done.  There are plenty of quiet corners in airport lounges so you can focus. You can also catch up on the news, your favorite magazine, or get lost in a good book.  


Everyone loves duty free shopping. Duty-free is another way to say “tax-free.” Alcohol and cigarettes are favorites because they’re heavily taxed outside of duty-free shops. Grab a nice bottle of Whiskey for your father-in-law or some luxury perfume for mom. Don’t forget the souvenirs for the kids.

Don’t Que At the Gate

If you have a reserved seat there’s no need to stand in line. Keep relaxing in a comfortable seat nearby until the crowd has boarded. Your seat will be waiting for you. And the plane will not leave without you until they have at least called out your name. But don’t wait that long.  

Business Class Upgrade Trick

If you wait until the “flight closing” announcement before boarding you might be able to get a seat upgrade. As you’re making your way through business class, on your way to your economy seat, you may find some empty business class seats. If you want to be sneaky, just sit in one.  If you’re lucky and have no shame, you won’t get questioned and you’ll be flying first class.

Be Nice

Really the secret to traveling is attitude. People are stressed when they travel and not at their best. If you can be that traveler that lets things roll off your back and have empathy, you’re going to have a good airport experience. You might also influence others to be nice and create a snowball effect. Happy Holidays!

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