How to Prevent Getting Lost at the Airport
After several months of historically low air travel, people are slowly starting to fly again. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), on August 16, nearly 863,000 came through their airport checkpoints—making it the highest number of people since March 17. There are still many unknowns regarding the future of commercial airlines and the specifics about COVID-19 transmission in planes, but at this point it’s probably safe to say that no one wants to spend any extra time in the airport. (Though that’s definitely true in non-pandemic times, too.) Because airports can be tricky to navigate, here are a few tips to help prevent you from getting lost.
Airports are a sensory overload for us, as we attempt to navigate terminals full of screaming children, competing Cinnabon and Panda Express aromas, and signs pointing in every direction—all while trying to get on a flight, or out of the airport.
Look at the airport floor plans ahead of time
If you’re trying to get around a place you’re unfamiliar with, you use a map. Most airports provide maps with terminals’ floor plans on their websites, so before you get to the airport, take a few minutes to get familiar with it. You don’t have to memorize it (though taking a screenshot is handy so you don’t have to keep pulling up the website), but knowing whether you have to make a left or right after going through security can help. Plus, you’ll get a look at your food options ahead of time, and can make a game plan for using the restroom.
Use TripIt or airline apps
The TripIt app, which provides interactive airport maps for 90 airports worldwide, has been a favorite of frequent flyers for years. In addition to the maps, it also shows you the fastest way to your gate or the exit—including an estimate of how long it will take. Some airline apps have similar features, which are particularly helpful when you have a short layover before a connecting flight. Because it already has all of your flight information, you don’t even have to plug any information in.
While we all want to get through the airport as fast as possible, get there early enough to give yourself time to get to your gate without having to run through the terminal while fighting to keep your roller bag upright. Flying (especially right now) is stressful enough without adding time constraints.
Was this article helpful?16 Posted by: 👨 Dollie M. Barlow