Huge queues and canceled flights are adding to stress for holidaymakers this year, with two out of three European airports reporting flight delays and huge security queues. Although Newcastle and Teesside international airports have avoided many problems, families in the North East traveling from London or Manchester have certainly felt the pressure this year, due to understaffing and high demand.
Although both North East airports are currently advising people to arrive at the time requested by their airline, without needing to show up early, some airports are advising holidaymakers to arrive with more time to spare – and there have been reports of some just making it in time for boarding.
Although there is not much you can control over a delayed or canceled flight, you can certainly improve the queuing situation and give yourself more peace of mind. To help you, travel agency, eShore shared their top tips for avoiding waiting in line at the airport for hours.
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Search airlines and airports with expedited options
The best and quickest way to avoid queues at the airport is to get a fast track with your ticket. Several airports across the UK offer fast-track options for passengers, which usually cover airport security, allowing passengers to get through the process quickly. However, in some cases, expedited options are reserved only for passengers holding first or business class tickets.
Some airlines offer the fast-track option for just £5, letting you skip the check-in queue, security queue and boarding queue. Fast-track tickets are often limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out if your departure airport offers skip-the-line tickets here.
Talk to multiple staff members
Communication between airport staff is not always perfect. If you know you paid for a skip-the-line ticket and security tells you otherwise, be sure to consult with at least one other member of staff. Sometimes the validity of these tickets can be overlooked by staff trying to keep everyone in line, so talk to other staff to avoid unnecessary queuing.
Avoid checked baggage
This isn’t always practical for longer vacations, but if you think you can fit most of your essentials into a bag that you can take on your flight, we definitely recommend doing so. Checked baggage means you’ll need to get to the airport earlier, which will add an extra queue to your wait time. Airlines like Ryanair, for example, not only allow you to bring 10kg bags (at an additional cost), but this package also comes with a priority ticket that allows you to skip the line of security.
Fly from smaller airports
If possible, choose smaller regional airports such as Newcastle or Teesside during peak hours. A smaller airport has fewer flights boarding at around the same time, which automatically speeds up queues for security and baggage check.
Prepare all your documents
There are few things more annoying than waiting in a line and the person in front of you starts rummaging through their bags for their travel documents. Don’t be that person. If you are traveling to a country requiring a negative Covid test to enter, make sure you have all your documents ready before arriving at the airport, as they will likely be checked before boarding. The same applies to pre-flight check-in and preparation of all passports and travel documents prior to arrival.
Try twilight recording
If you are traveling before noon with Jet2, you can use Jet2’s dusk check-in service. The free service is available 7 days a week and allows passengers to drop off their baggage between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. the day before their morning flight. Twilight service is available at most regional airports Jet2 flies from, including Newcastle and Manchester. Simply check in online at least 24 hours before your flight, then assign at least one person in your party to drop off up to six bags the day before – and don’t forget boarding passes and passports . You offer a similar service, but only from Birmingham Airport, Gatwick North Terminal and Manchester Terminal 2. Ryanair and EasyJet do not currently offer it.