March break just passed and summer vacation is on its way. If you had problems in the airport during March break and/or if you are travelling during the summer, I would
strongly recommend reading this ingenious guide to airports. An average trip
consists of getting to the airport three hours before your flight, waiting in
line to check your bags/get boarding passes, go through customs (if travelling
to the US), go through security and then go sit by the gate until your flight
leaves and the whole time you are surrounded by screaming babies and lines.
Through my life I have learned a thing or two about airports and how to beat
the system so if you ever are going to travel refer to this and I promise you
The first steps start before you leave for the airport. Months before your trip, apply for a
nexus card. This card allows you to go through customs in a breeze when
travelling to the US. With a flash of the card and an eyeball scan later you
are through. When you are at home and have booked you flight/planned your trip
make sure too print your boarding passes at home. This is necessary for saving
time so you could spend the saved time in the Tim Hortons line. I would tell
you to bring a travel mug but coffee is over the liquid limit at security. Once
you have your tickets printed, it’s packing time. Unless you are going on a big
trip, another travel tip is pack carry on only. This saves time in that line
filled with idiots checking a bag for a three day trip. When I walk by those
people I find it impossible to feel sorry. All they had to do was think and
plan for a few minutes.
One big part of the travel experience is the transportation, one rule to follow is never do the park n’ fly. It should be called park and wait. The lines there are terrible
and the last thing you want to do after your trip is shuttle to a cold car. My
tip here is either cab to the airport or valet park. Both options are much more
convenient than park n’ wait. I know it would be pricier but in the end it is
100% worth it.
Finally, it’s travel day and you are at the airport with your boarding passes in hand, carryon luggage over the shoulder, and your nexus and passport in your pocket. It’s now time to walk by that huge line of people who didn’t print their tickets at home
and are checking luggage. You saved yourself a large portion of the line
waiting you must do during the airport experience. Next stop: customs. Flash
your nexus card at the machines and it will scan your eyeball and you just
saved another huge chuck of time.
We have now arrived at security. I like to pick lines based on OYF:
old, young, and flashy. At all costs avoid the grandparents travelling to
Florida, the screaming babies and anybody who’s got a lot of gear. Avoid people
with lots of jewelry, excess bags, and lots of layers. Prior to your turn to go
through, remove your belt, watch, and change and put them in the small bins, also
take all your electronics out and put them in the big bins. You will also need
one more bin for shoes and jackets/sweatshirts. I promise, you do not want to
be the person who takes everything out last minute. People WILL hate you. Don’t
slow down the process.
Once you are finally through security its Tim time. Get out your quickpay Tim card to save time at the cash, get your food and drink and go wait relaxed at the gate, and
please don’t too excited when they call your flight. First call is always for
small children and frequent flyers. Once the call is made for everybody, I
strongly recommend getting on the plane as quickly as possible so you can put
your things in the overhead cabin first, sit down right away so you can snag
the armrest and you wont have to climb over people to get to your seat. If you
follow this method you are sure to have a far less stressful experience.
Obviously there are factors out of control to make the trip more pleasurable or less. If you have the privilege of travelling with a Super Elite frequent flyer, you have
access with them to all of the skip the line sections and the Maple Leaf
Lounge. Even though it is against my morels, sometimes you have to check a bag
if you are travelling for an extended period of time or you need to check an
oversized object. Depending on the time of travel the airport may be busy or
not. There are things that we just cant control, but take control of what we
can so we can beat the system and improve our travelling experience.