How to Arrive at the Airport in Time for your Flight and Still Talking to your Travelling Companion!
If your family, is anything like my family then travelling to the airport equals heightened levels of stress.
For me it begins with a discussion over the time we need to arrive at the airport. I like to arrive at least three hours before the flight departure time. This leaves time for delays, and if there are no delays, time to browse duty free. My husband would prefer to spend as little time as possible pre-flight at the airport. The most I can usually do is to persuade him to arrive for a standard two hour check-in.
The next step is a discussion on the mode of transport we should use. Do we take the car and park at the airport? Do we stay overnight in an airport hotel? Should we let the train take the strain? A taxi which can drop us at the airport terminal with no lifting and carrying of heavy suitcases could be a good idea.
My husband invariably get his way on this, his preference is always to drive to the airport. He prefers the flexibility of being able to leave when we are packed and ready and to not have to worry about flight delays affecting the homebound journey arrangements.
We usually book an off airport car park which provides a courtesy coach to the airport terminal. This nearly always works out cheaper than booking the on airport car park. I always pre-book, it is definitely a great deal cheaper than just turning up at a car park barrier. You are a bit of a sitting duck for a higher cost if you do that!
Below are my top 5 tips on how to achieve a stress free journey to the airport (and arrive at your destination still talking to your companion):
1. Make sure you know what the statutory check-in time is for the airline you are travelling with. Contrary to popular belief, check in opens two hours ahead of flight time for UK domestic flights, three hours ahead for European flights and four hours for international flights.
2. Agree with your companion the transport method you will use to travel to and from the airport. If you are travelling by rail you should check out the cost of tickets online, often you can make savings by booking early. If you are travelling by car, I strongly recommend you pre-book your parking, it is much cheaper. If you are taking a taxi, shop around by calling a few companies for fares, you may be surprised at how these can vary.
3. Depending on the mode of transport calculate the departure time from your home address.
4. On the day of travel, make sure alarm clocks are set and bags are packed. I prefer to have my suitcases packed the night before if it is an early morning flight. Don’t forget your passport, travel tickets, insurance documents and travel money.
5. As we nearly always travel by car, we pre-agree the time we are going to leave the house so that we will arrive at the airport 3 hours ahead of the flight time. If there are no delays, I usually try and lose my husband and children for a spot of relaxing pre-departure shopping!
About the author: This article was written by Debbie Pearce for FHR Airport Hotels and Car Parks.