1- Get TSA Pre-check, trust me it is worth the $85 & is good for 5 years. If only to not have to take your shoes off and walk on the nasty airport floors.
2- Bring an empty water bottle, save money by filling up after you get through security
3- Don’t try to be the first one on the plane when they start boarding, you have time to walk around, and if you pack light you don’t have to worry about having enough space to fit your enormous luggage into the overhead bins.
4- Bring sunglasses, and a sweater if you are planning a late night layover. This was so useful when trying to sleep in a chair at the airport, at least for me. I’m not one that really enjoys having other people watch me sleep.
5- The one time I paid for a 2 hour nap in my 26 hours of airports and flying to Jordan was totally worth it. It was a hotel like place in the Atlanta airport, and I wanted to sleep so bad that even the bathroom floor was starting to look comfortable (ew). The beds were comfortable, the room was quite and had a white noise maker, it had a place for charging electronic devices, and felt like I had just checked into heaven. I slept like a rock and the ladies came and made sure I was awake so as to not miss my next connection.
6-Don’t eat a big meal at the airport, right before getting on the flight. Just bring snacks or pre-packaged stuff, its safer, as far as gambling on if you will get food poisoning or if the food is going to agree with you or not. I also don’t like to eat a huge meal right before I am going to be stuck in a chair, belted down, for 6-24 hours in planes — what if you get gas?
7- In summer months I bring an accordion fan on the plane with me. Especially if you are in humid hot environments there is always that period of time right before take off that they turn off the air and everyone on the plane melts & the smell of body odor is quite potent. In winter, spring, summer, fall I always bring a sweater or my small blanket with me because the airplane blankets are not warm at all, and once you get to the higher altitudes, the plane always gets sooooo cold.
8- Don’t say bomb at the airport (not funny), don’t shove other people just to get in line first, don’t tell the flight attendants how important you are etc… they likely have a lot of ‘important people’ trying to upgrade for free, take your computers/belts/shoes etc….. off BEFORE you get to the conveyor belt – you hold up the line of people behind you. And just a tip, wear shoes that you can easily slip on and slip off. Please empty your water bottles before going through security, and empty your pockets completely before going through the scanner.
9- When you see parent struggling, don’t act like they have some sort of disease because they have children in an airport. Its ok to offer help to get them through security smoothly.
10- When you have gone through the scanner and have been cleared by security, take your things quickly and MOVE AWAY FROM THE CONVEYOR BELT AND LINE OF TRAFFIC– realize there are other people behind you who also need to put their shoes & belts on and also grab their ample amount of luggage. You never know who is late for a flight.