You’re running through the airport, waiting in endless security lines, dealing with your baggage, rushing yet again to the gate – if only you’d arrived two hours early!!!
And airports know that. Along with lots of other secrets they’re not telling you… but hey, I will!
1. Airport agents might be watching you all the way from the security check to your gate.
Some hubs have facial recognition scanners
that can easily track you.
They’re equipped with special software that
compares passengers’ faces with their IDs.
2. Airports make lounges look like something luxurious and unavailable for regular travelers.
And so many people fall for this image.
In reality, one of your credit cards is likely to provide you with the convenience of resting in an airport lounge.
Just pop in and ask – who knows, you might find yourself waiting for your flight in a calm place with free food and drinks!
3. Beware of airport taxis – they can charge you twice the actual price of the ride.
If the situation allows, use online taxi apps to order a car.
If you can’t, then make sure to find out the rate in advance.
By the way, if you pre-order a taxi, always ask about the charging policy on delays.
Otherwise, you might be in for a very unpleasant surprise.
4. Buying bottled water at the airport can easily make you bankrupt.
There’s one thing every traveler should know:
there is free water at most hubs.
Just bring an empty water bottle through the
security check and find a water refill station
– they’re usually near the restrooms.
If you can’t find one, there must be at least a water fountain.
5. You’ll find the most comfortable seats next
to the airport’s shopping area, and that’s for a reason.
This is how retailers lure you into their stores.
Imagine sitting there, looking at shop windows.
You’re bound to notice something you really,
6. You may have an opportunity to check your
carry-on luggage for free at the gate.
Be attentive and listen for messages announcing that a full flight is expected.
That usually means there will be a shortage of overhead bin space, and the airline will offer complimentary checked bags.
7. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays and
And if, for some reason, you want to buy the most expensive ticket, opt for a Friday, Saturday,
or Sunday (and no wonder, with everyone moving around on the weekend).
If you can afford flexible dates, look for midweek options.
8. If you’re sneaky enough and understand the airport logistics, you can be the first to get your checked bag upon arrival.
All you need to do is to check it later than other passengers.
Bags that are loaded last usually appear first on the baggage carousel.
9. Even though duty-free shops have a reputation for being cheaper than stores in the city, it’s not always true.
For example, sweets, beverages, and perfumes
are likely to cost more at the airport.
And be careful with what you buy in a duty-free shop if you have a connecting flight.
Some airports don’t allow you to carry liquids
over 3.4 oz through your layover destination,
even if they’re from duty-free and in sealed bags!
10. Even if your flight doesn’t offer a hot meal or snacks, it might still be cheaper to eat on board than at the airport.
especially if you have the airline’s credit card.
In this case, you can get up to a 25% discount
on drinks and food you buy in the air.
11. Airports and airlines manipulate estimated arrival times.
When your pilot announces the total flying time, it often differs from the arrival time you saw when you were booking the flight.
It’s easy to explain: the arrival time includes some wiggle room for potential small delays,
taxiing from the runway, and so on.
12. Arriving at the airport 2 hours before your flight isn’t really necessary.
Of course, there are ginormous hectic transportation hubs where even 2 hours might not be enough.
But in most cases, this airport recommendation is just an ingenious plan to make you spend more money on shopping, eating, and drinking.
After you pass all the security checks and passport control, you have “the golden hour” ahead.
That’s 60 minutes during which you’re most
likely to open your wallet to buy a coffee and sandwich, get a book to read, or even spend a hefty sum on a new perfume.
13. A celebrity chef restaurant at the airport might not be as good as it would be if you visited the real thing.
Not chefs themselves but special restaurant
companies are responsible for airport outlets.
One of the reasons is extremely strict security
that surrounds airport deliveries, including food.
You still may have a nice meal, but it won’t be the same.
14. A nice conversation with a security agent might not be what it seems.
It’s not that they don’t find you fascinating – but getting all chatty could be a special technique that checks your behavior.
It’s their way to make sure you aren’t a suspicious character.
15. Airports could be selling your lost luggage right now!
Wait, I’m not saying there’s no chance for you to get back your suitcase that’s ended up in a different destination.
But just as likely, you might not see it again.
Then an airport has all the rights to sell your misplaced belongings at an auction.
Most hubs hold an annual lost luggage sale.
After paying an entry fee, you can bid on electronics, clothes, bags, and whatnot.
Some auctions are “blind” – you pay for a bag without knowing what’s inside.
16. If you have an opportunity, don’t exchange cash at the airport – you’ll never get a good rate there.
Anyone who’s forgotten to buy some currency
beforehand can instead order it online and collect it at the airport.
Some services only need a several hours’ notice for such an order.
Or it might be even better to use an ATM to
withdraw some cash at your final destination.
17. Some airports have shortcuts, but few people know about them.
It’s a good idea to research the airport map before your flight and look for all available
It’ll come in handy when you’re rushing to
the furthest terminal.
By the way, in the biggest airports, the distance from check-in to departure can be more than half a mile long!
18. A medical study found out the connection between living near an airport and an increased risk of heart problems.
Surprisingly, it’s the result of noise pollution!
Apparently, if you’re exposed to high noise levels, especially at night, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure.
19. Another problem with airports is bad air quality.
All those road machines and heavy air traffic result in all kinds of nasty chemicals getting into the air you breathe.
For example, the air over the busiest airports regularly breaches the limits for nitrogen dioxide pollutants.
20. If you have a long layover but are unwilling to spend it shuffling from one store to another, you could have a better option!
Many airports have places for a quiet retreat, for example, yoga studios or even gyms with
But they’re typically hidden away – otherwise,
they’ll get packed with travelers.
Look for such places away from busy terminals, where most passengers won’t find them.
Usually, only frequent flyers take advantage of these spots.
If you’re lucky, you might even find a private bedroom at a reasonable price!