You have probably heard on the news channel and social media that airports are currently a shit show, that’s the new post pandemic travel. The lines are long and they are short-staffed. Delays are causing havoc and luggage is going missing. This sounds quite terrifying at the start of the trip but it doesn’t have to be. We have tips to help get to your destination without too much chaos.
Post Pandemic travel Trips
Expect machines everywhere
With the short staff, humans have been replaced with machines which can be quite annoying. I had a gruesome experience at the Netherland airport where I missed my connection. I got a flight I met a Swissport employee that gave me 15 euros (a meal was 20 euros just saying) to eat lunch. They told me my next flight number and a gate number. Now, at that moment I didn’t know it would be hard to find another employee so I didn’t ask all the questions (not that she had the answers she didn’t even know when the flight was).
Now I went around the airport looking for other Swissport employees and asked multiple people but apparently, KLM is the only airline that has employees at the airport. I found a Swissport booth but just to my luck, the woman’s shift was ending, and well no one else was replacing her. All lost I sat that the gate for 4 hours and just waited it out to my flight. I tried to get a boarding pass during this time and well the machine couldn’t help me and I couldn’t find a human.
Delays Delays Delays
My delay was a horrific experience some people were buying a ticket to get on the next flight. Even after they bought the ticket it wasn’t showing up on the airline’s system. Imagine that you have confirmation of a ticket but you have to fight to get on the flight.
Before I got on the flight I asked the officer whether my bags were on the flight. Just to my luck the answer I don’t know. What do you do with an I don’t know. I don’t know whether it is new training staff or people got used to having no work there is something strange about the airport procedures at this time.
Know how much weight you are allowed and stick to it
Packing too much can cause unnecessary delays. Now since everything is a machine even the baggage check is a machine. If you are a little over you might have to hand-carry things. So pack according to your needs. If you are going somewhere like Europe packing light will help you out on the streets as well. Taking a 25 kg on cobble streets is not fun (I can tell you from experience) and going up 5 flights of stairs with that is an added hassle. So save yourself and take what is necessary.
Get there early
So with all this confusion happening at the airport, my advice would be if you are going to the airport go early. Security checks are taking long, baggage can take long, and well there are numerous reasons you might not make it to the agate. So arrive early and just eat a burger or something. Once you enter the airport your vacation has begun so might as well start on it early.
Don’t keep short connections
Now prices are high and it can be tempting you just click on that 1.5-hour connection because it is 150 dollars cheaper. But don’t make the same mistake I made. It is not worth it because the chances are you will miss the connection. There are so many delays happening and 1 hour is not enough to make it to the next flight especially if you have never been to the other airport and have no idea where things are. Even if you have been to the other airport there is a chance their procedures have completely changed during the pandemic.
Airports, for example the Istanbul airport is so huge. It might take you 20 minutes to walk from one airport to another. On top of that even if you can make it sometimes if there is a delay they anticipate they might cancel your boarding pass. My first flight was delayed and when people arrived to the connection door even though they made it in time their boarding pass was cancelled and they couldn’t get on the flight.
Another problem with short connections is you might make it but your luggage won’t. Wouldn’t you rather arrive later with your luggage than arrive luggageless?
A good connection in my opinion is at least 3 hours long. Take a book and rest it out at the new place because if you take a short connection who knows you might have to wait a day.
Use your hand carry
Even with the long connection time, you might still not see your luggage for a bit. So pack some clothes in a hand carry. After missing my connection I was put on another flight but my luggage wasn’t. When I arrived in Istanbul I had to go to lost baggage and then my bag came the next day. They sent it to me but it wasted a lot of my time. Furthermore, I had to sit at home waiting for the luggage. Honestly, it is all a hassle especially if you are going for a short time. So keep all important things in your hand carry. But remember everything has to be less than 100 ml and together. Additionally you have to have less than 1000 ml altogether (make sure you don’t put more because you don’t want all your expensive make-up and perfume thrown out at the airport).
At the dollar store, you get small bottles you can put things in. Alternatively, at all Shoppers and I am assuming CVS you get travel-size goods. They are expensive but I find them worth it since they take less space and well if needed can come in the hand carry.
Masks are still mandatory some places
For some countries you need to wear masks at the airport or on the flight so make sure you have one. Every country is different so it really depends.
Fill out forms before hand
Travelling in the post pandemic means different countries have different rules and they keep changing. Make sure you fill out any forms you have to (this saves time). Know whether you need a test or vaccination before hand.
So even though airports can be a hassle when you get to the end destination I promise it is all worth it. So book that flight and happy travels!