What’s your airport routine?

Being a frequent flyer, I have the opportunity to travel through the airport on a regular basis so much so that I think I have somehow subsided into my very own airport routine which I seem to execute without fail, without even thinking about it!

It all begins as soon as arrive at the terminal, which in my case is usually three hours before departure. I like to be punctual for any sort of meeting or occasion in my diary and also hate when I have to rush.

It’s straight to that check-in desk for me. I am someone who likes to drop off my luggage and receive my boarding pass as soon as possible. Only then will it feel like I am actually almost at the start of my holiday.












If I rocked up at the airport alone, then why waste time landside when you can make good use of all the delights that await beyond security. If I arrived with someone who is not travelling, then of course I would treat them to a coffee or something quick before it’s time to wave goodbye and go through.

Let’s face it, no-one likes passing through the security checkpoints at the airport. More often than not the queues can be lengthy and the staff aren’t always the friendliest. But it something that all passengers and those working at the airport have to go through, so there is no need to complain. Make sure all liquids and make up are 100ml, and these should be placed into a transparent bag. If you have your laptop with you, it’s best to take this out of the case, and some instances you may be required to remove your shoes. Just make sure you are prepared and don’t argue with the security staff then you’ll be through in no time at all.

The departures area is always something exciting. You can wander around the duty-free shops and perhaps pick up that pair of Ray Bans you’ve always wanted, grab a bite to eat or just find a seat, plug yourself into your music and watch as passengers roam around.










If I were eligible to use one of the lounges, then I would; albeit for a little while. Otherwise it’s quite nice just to wander round.
I personally have browse through the shops, even if it is just for my mum or dad. Although I’ll admit if I buy something for them, then it is only fair to treat myself as well, right? Seeing as the food onboard a flight is usually somewhat edible, I tend only to grab a light snack at the airport. None of that fancy stuff for me. Being no surprise, I’ll also pick up a travel magazine, a bottle of water and some sweets from the newsagents before it’s time to make my way to the departure gate.

Depending upon the length of the flight, I may decide use to walk on the moving walkway, defeats the object doesn’t it? Well, the last thing I want is to do as little walking as possible before sitting down for 11 hours or so.












Now, I will be the first to admit I am sometimes that infamous “eagle eye” who loves to find a seat by the gate and watch events unfold. By this, I mean witness passengers literally sprint to the gate thinking that their flight is closing although the gate isn’t even open! Better still, it is always nice to chat to some of your fellow passengers, you never know who you may be sitting next to on the flight. I’ve experienced both the over-friendly, friendly and then the somewhat “disinterested” seat companions. I always try to make a conversation and if it works great, but if it doesn’t nothing is lost.












One thing that annoys me the most is people forming a line at the gate waiting to board the aircraft. Nowadays airlines tend to board passengers in cabins and then sometimes in seat rows. There is really no need for you to queue up beforehand… it is not like someone else is going to take your seat or the aircraft will depart without you, is it? Just make sure you make it to the gate in plenty of time and you’ll be fine.





When it is finally my time to get onboard, I will tend to have everything I need out for the early stages of the flight in the front part of my carry-on. I can then get this out and organise it into the seat compartment as soon as I am seated. This usually consists of the USB cable to charge my phone, sweets and a bottle of good old H20.

So that’s my typical airport routine that I’ve used for as long as I can remember. Now it’s over to you.

What does your airport routine look like? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Wow 3 hours ahead is brutal. I guess I’m blessed or cursed to be based in Kansas City in the USA. We have an outdated airport with security at individual gates. The lines can be long but usually you can get through in a few minutes. Since the gates are airside and small with limited seating I don’t get there too early. Usually I like to get there about an hour before boarding. I like to park in the nearby “circle” parking that is somewhat close to the terminals to avoid riding yet another shuttle bus with no suspension and filthy cloth seats.
    Once I’m at check-in (usually on American) I drop my check bag and reprint boarding passes. Then I’ll wonder around the terminal. There are no longer any lounges at KC due to the gate and TSA situation. AA closed the last lounge a couple years ago. There are a few restaurants and shops but not much. I will use one of the decent bathrooms about 30 minutes before boarding and then go through security. The limited bathrooms airside are tiny and usually with a line of passengers waiting. I will go through security if it looks busy at an earlier time.
    At other large airports I like to get there about 2 hours before or so. Maybe 3 if it’s a giant hub like LHR or CDG. I will follow your routine basically. I do have USA Precheck so that’s helpful for cutting down on security most times domestically. I enjoy duty free shops but buy little. Usually the price isn’t that great to me. I’ve been on a search for the airplane Kinder eggs lately but keep missing them. They are illegal to bring into the USA so I assume I’d have to eat them before arrival. I have some United passes and I have American lounge access. In addition I like to fly business on overseas trips which sometimes give lounge access. I will usually spend some decent time in the lounge for business calls, food, etc. I like lounges that view the tarmac mostly so I can get some cool airplane photos. I love watching the planes. People watching can be good at times. I find Southwest flyers that are flying on other airlines the best. They like to brag to others about how they almost always fly Southwest and hate other airlines and how Southwest is so much cheaper, etc. etc.

  2. I’m quite an organised flyer. I’m a little like you Ben, in that I don’t like to rush, so tend to arrive early. I’m not usually there 3 hours before, but i would rather spend 3 hours in the airport lounge than in peak hour traffic so if I have a 6.30pm flight, I’d usually get there mid afternoon.

    Most of the time I only have carry on luggage and I ensure I wear slip on shoes in case I’m asked to remove them for security.

    I am a bit of a people watcher and there’s no better place to do this than an airport. I always find myself wonder where people are off to.

    Like you, I like to get airline as soon as possible. It’s more relaxing once all the formalities are completed. I generally just go to the lounge and snare a position offering runway views and relax.

    Almost every flight, I am seated in row 1. I do like to board relatively early, but I also like to get off the plane quickly too.

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