Even frequent fliers get fed up with airports, but there are ways to make your experience a little brighter. When you can’t get to a luxury hotel—and have to stay put at the airport—trying to find ways to keep you busy is an adventure. Restaurants and specialty visitor shops get dull really quick. With a little creativity and a Wi-Fi connection, however, your waiting time will be a breeze. Here are a few tips that can help transform an airport nightmare into a more pleasant experience:
Throughout 2012 LateDeparture shared some interesting airport stories and news via our blog but this year we want to give our readers the chance to really experience the airports as a destination in their own right. Our founder and Chief Blogger, Tom, has developed a world-first trip in conjunction with OutTrippin.com that visits 4 of the best airports in the world in 48 hours and we wanted you to be the first to know about it.
Whenever there seems to be a delay or disruption or problem during a flight, we keep coming back to the same idea: what can the airlines do to make life easier for passengers?
Well, today we’re going to take a look at the flipside of this: What can passengers do to make life easier for other passengers?
Whoa! Hang on. You mean, I, THE PASSENGER, actually have to DO something other than COMPLAIN about long security lines, poor service, crying babies, and endlessly waiting on runways?
Well, you don’t HAVE to do anything. But, if you’ve recently been inspired by the Olympics and can’t swim or throw a javelin but really want to do your part to bring this world a little closer together, here are a few tips to consider:
- When you’re going through security, PLAN AHEAD. Don’t act surprised when they ask you to remove your laptop from its bag, or take off your shoes. You know the routine. Be a boyscout. Be prepared. There will always be security rules you don’t agree with. But your cooperation with the rules will make the lines shorter.
- Quit creating personal turbulence. Look behind you to see if the person behind you just place a beverage on their tray or is trying to stack a row of quarters before slamming your seat back into their lap. Pretend the person seated in front of you is Oprah, or Gwenth Paltrow. Would you really be so quick to slam your tray table into place knowing you might cause discomfort to such beautiful, dignified women?
- Plan your pee breaks accordingly. Unless you have just acquired a new human endoskelton in a dramatic mind/body swap experiment, you should’ve spent enough time with your body to know how your bladder works. Don’t suck down six grande lattes and then insist on the window seat.
- Be willing to lend a hand whenever possible. If you see someone struggling to get their bag in the overhead bin, give them a hand. If a kid is screaming during your red eye flight, offer to take them to the back of the plane and lock them in the lavatory. If Lindsay Lohan is on your flight and trying to score some coke, offer to make the transaction for her so she doesn’t end up on the tabloids again and ruin her chances at an Oscar.
It’s the little things that count.
Flying, like anything else worth doing, is a group effort. It takes thousands upon thousands of individuals to get these big giant planes off the ground and people shuttled from city to city across the globe. And yes, while it is someone else’s job to fly the plane, I think we need to begin to take a little more responsibility outside of the cockpit.
Let’s face it. We all want a better travel experience, and we’re all in this together. So let’s all do our part.
Jeff Michaels is the author of Please Hug Me—I’ve Been Delayed: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive the Not-so-Friendly Skies. www.beendelayed.com
Traveling with children can be stressful – even more so if you are traveling with a baby. Babies have a lot of needs, and they can become distracted or fussy easily.
The start of the 2012 London Olympics is only a month away and it’s probably fair to say that if you’re only just thought about planning a trip to the games, you’re definitely a last-minute-person. However, to think that planning late always means paying outrageous prices is not necessarily correct. Our friends over at Budgetplaces.com have kindly put together a selection of ten affordable accommodation options in London that are still available during the Olympics. Combine this with a last minute flight and one of our tips on how to make most of your airport experience and you’re on to win a medal yourself!
1. Mary Rose Inn Hotel
Starting at $34.04 nightly, this charming two-star hotel is located in the center of the village of Saint Mary Cray in the London Borough of Bromley. The beautiful 16th century building provides guests with 45 comfortable rooms and is located only 25 minutes away for the city’s top sites including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Oxford Street. Find out more.
2. Piccadilly Stop Guesthouse
Starting at $61.89 nightly, the stylish Piccadilly Stop Guesthouse offers chic and cozy guest rooms in the trendy district of Soho, Central London. Only a short distance away major attractions like Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus, this affordable guesthouse provides travelers with value and quality accommodations, along with a kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Find out more.
Starting at $61.89 nightly, Studios2let boasts 145 attractive studio apartments right in Bloomsbury, Central London. Along with cozy accommodations, travelers will enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a well-equipped kitchenette and more. Find out more.
4. Chelsea Guest House
Starting at $41.95 nightly, travelers can shack up in this contemporary pad in London’s most prestigious neighborhood. The very exclusive Chelsea Guest House is a quick jaunt from London’s greatest museums including the National History Museum. Return home and relax with the Chelsea Guest House’s free Wi-Fi, in room kitchen, and plush bedding. With rooms comparable to topline hotels, guests receive a very personal experience without compromising luxury. Find out more.
5. Britain’s B&B
Starting at $56.58 nightly, Britain’s B&B is only three miles away from the Olympic Stadium. The family owned B&B is sure to provide foreigners as well as those traveling in from around the UK a wonderful, welcoming, and warm experience. In addition, the cozy B&B offers great amenities such as Wi-Fi, laundry/washing facilities, and a kitchen. This English style B&B is only available to Budgetplaces.com. Find out more.
6. Ascot Hotel
Starting at $42.43 nightly, Ascot Hotel boasts exceptional modern quality and décor in the heart of London. The Hotel runs its very own ethnic restaurant, and is known for its clean, impeccable, and simply warm service. Visitors of Ascot Hotel are sure to receive both a wonderfully unique stay within steps of all London has to offer. Find out more.
7. Romanos Hotel
Starting at $64.43 nightly, Romanos Hotel offers bright airy rooms in London’s premiere Pimlico district. Travelers can pop over to London’s best attractions including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament or can relax by the beautiful River Thames, which is only 500 meters away! Find out more.
8. St. Johns B&B
Starting at $47.15 nightly, St. Johns B&B is the perfect picture of cozy elegance. The Victorian house is located in the quaint and darling High gate Village that is home to Old English restaurants and pubs including their own bar and restaurant. London city life seekers are close to public transport including buses and trains. Find out more.
9. Olympic House B&B
Starting at $51.07 nightly, Olympic House B&B is not only a short walk away from the Olympic Park but also O2 Arena. The Arena is home to the “football” team, top of the line concerts, and Live TV show events like the London hit X Factor. If you are not already overloaded with entertainment, getting from this clean and comfy digs to central London is just an easy Tube ride away. Find out more.
10. High Street Guest House
Starting at $56.58 nightly, the charming High Street Guest House is ideal for visiting London. Travelers can easily pop over to the renowned Tate Museum, London Zoo, St. Paul’s Cathedral, or grab tea at the endless nearby cafes. High Street Guest House is a warm comfortable home base for worldwide travelers providing amenities like free Wi-Fi, baggage storage, and no charge for children under five. Find out more.
Picture this: you’ve followed our guides and had a great time at your departure airport and your flight was on time. Then you get to your destination and realise you have absolutely no idea how to get into the city. Rings a bell? There’s now a website that can help you out: Cityhook
It was this time of the year again when the World’s Best Airports are named at the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards. Last Year Hong Kong won the trophy, this year it was South Korea’s Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN). It’s boring as the overall winner always seems to be either Hong Kong (HKG), Singapore (SIN) or, well, Incheon. At least this was true over the past years.
The Netherland’s largest airport, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS) surely likes to innovate through new passenger offerings – remember that awesome banner vending machine for example? Today it informed us of a newly launched multimedia bus tour that provides a behind-the-scenes look of the airport.
This time last year, we provided you with ideas how you can make your Easter break more pleasurable. This year we want to see what has changed in the 12 months and review our then given expert advice. The key two sentences definitely still hold true: Airports across the globe will be filled with eager travellers. Many of the airports will reach or even exceed their capacity resulting in long queues and departure delays. This year there’s one more element beside under-capacity: strikes. As reported in our weekly news round-up on Sunday, Stansted airport’s baggage handlers are threatening with strikes over Easter. This is a guarantee for additional stress at the airport. But don’t panic, we’re here to help!