Even if you only fly a handful of times a year, join the rewards program of any airline you are flying on BEFORE you purchase tickets. They are free to join. Points add up and you may be eligible for bonus points in promotions offered throughout the year. In most cases, companies allow employees to keep airline points and use for personal use. Also, rewards members are usually offered additional perks that can include early boarding, free alcoholic beverages and other amenities.
Your phone, laptop and tablet should all be fully charged when you arrive at the airport along with portable battery chargers (juice sticks) so you can use your devices to help you pass time productively in the airport and on your flight. You won’t need to worry about trying to find an outlet at the airport or worse, paying for the use of a charging station.
This is perhaps the greatest time saver. Many credit cards offer free enrollment in TSA Pre-Check. If you use your American Express card to pay for TSA Pre-Check, the fee is refunded to your card as a benefit on some of their cards. Check-in to your flight online and your boarding pass will have note that you are approved in the TSA Pre-Check program and you will breeze through airport security in a special lane. There is no need to take off your shoes, belt or overcoat. Generally, you will clear the TSA Screening Area in less than 5 minutes.
Layovers lengthen business trips. A two or three hour stop mid-trip can mean spending an extra day on the road. If you miss a connecting flight it can add even another day on the road. It might also result in having a suitcase that didn’t make the transfer leaving you without clothes and essential items.
While the cost of an airline lounge membership might seem lofty, most airline lounges have plenty of free food, beverages, healthy snacks, power outlets and quiet space. Taking advantage of these benefits will more than pay for the membership cost. Spend your time waiting for your flight away the hustle and bustle of everyone else in the waiting area.
If you use eTickets, make sure that you write down or print your confirmation number on your daily calendar or some other place so if you lose your phone or it dies you can easily print a new boarding pass at a kiosk with your confirmation number. Print your itinerary and keep a copy in each of your bags.
Travel is hard on the body. Hotels and airports don’t always have healthy places to eat. Pack some healthy snacks that travel well such as carrots, apples and granola bars.