You can once again travel to local and international destinations just in time for the holiday season. With airports expected to be a lot busier, you have to know how to travel safely. This checklist will help keep you organised and get you on the plane faster.
While we are not out of the woods with COVID-19 yet and we still have to take all precautionary measures necessary, aeroplanes offer some level of safety due to regular cleaning and constant air filtration. You should also minimise unnecessary exposure until you board.
Here are tips to help you get on your flight faster
1. Check in online and prep your documents at home
- Check the status of your flight and use the online check-in service, which usually opens 24 hours before your flight.
- Print your boarding pass at home or avoid handling paper altogether by adding your electronic boarding pass to your smartphone’s wallet.
- You can also take a photo or screenshot of your boarding pass and have it ready on your cellphone.
2. Plan your time well
- Arrive at the airport on time to avoid long queues.
- Know beforehand what you can and can’t take with you so that you can avoid the rush and anxiety of having to remove items from your baggage at the security check.
3. Know how you’ll get to the airport
- If you’re travelling to the airport by car, make sure you know where to park. Research the parking options online or call ahead. Also, ask about any construction or closed-off areas.
- Compare the costs of parking at the airport with that of using a ride service like Uber. With up to 25% off Uber trips with Vitality Drive, and Vitality Money giving you up to 20% of your Uber spend back in Discovery Miles, you will find that an Uber trip could cost you much less than the parking at the airport or another location.
- Plus, if you opt for Uber, there’s no need to look for parking.
4. Research the airport layout so that you know where you’re going
- Due to COVID-19, certain areas or entrances and exits could be restricted. Call the airport ahead of the time and ask about restrictions inside the building.
- Make sure you know which floors are open and where to go to check in.
5. Make sure your ID, credit card, and boarding pass are easily accessible
- There are two reasons for this:
- You make sure that you don’t leave home without these crucial items.
- You don’t waste time fumbling around for these items when you need them.
6. Get the right suitcase and pack smart
- Check the luggage restrictions for your airline and try to pack everything into a carry-on size bag to avoid the luggage check-in counter.
- Pro tip: Wear your more bulky clothes to avoid checking in a bigger bag.
- Try to have only one bag and a handbag, and clip your handbag to your carry-on bag, so you only have to carry or pull one bag instead of filling up both your hands and arms with multiple bags.
- Pack your laptop and other electronics in an easily accessible spot to get these items safely through security.
- Pack your watch, change, belt, and other items in a separate bag and only take it out and put it on after you have gone through the security check.
7. Skip the queue with priority boarding options
- For a fee, most airlines offer you the ability to skip queues and get priority boarding onto the plane.
- As a client of Discovery Bank with a Black or Purple card, you can even skip the queue at security clearance gates with Discovery Bank Priority Fast Track. Priority Fast Track is now available at OR Tambo International Airport and will be coming to Cape Town International Airport soon.
- Something about the hustle and bustle of the airport can leave you hunting for important documents. Whether you use a priority boarding or standard boarding option, have your boarding pass, Discovery Bank card and your ID ready when you get into the line.
8. Go directly to your gate once you are through security
- You’ll stay up to date on information about your flight and make sure nothing has changed.
- You will also get a sense of how crowded the flight is, and find amenities like restaurants and bathrooms near your boarding gate.
- Boarding early can help you settle in and have everything you need with you while safely storing your bag in the dedicated compartment.
As travel restrictions ease, there are bound to be some uncertainties or possible hiccups. If you follow this checklist, you can avoid possible delays and make your way to the plane faster. And, be polite – your flight is the first part of your holiday, and it should be enjoyable!
This article is meant only as information and should not be taken as financial advice. For tailored financial advice, please contact your financial adviser.
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