It’s happening again. You’re standing in the TSA security line, and those jerks up front don’t know what to do. They brought the wrong kind of bags. They tried to bring a water bottle on the flight. They won’t take their shoes off. Don’t they know they’re holding us up!
If you don’t want to be that person, it’s good to learn the tricks that can make air travel better. It’s more than just knowing what to put in that grey x-ray box. There are tons of great shortcuts that can make your flight better. Here are my favorite 8 rule-bending travel hacks that help you fly like a boss:
1. TSA Precheck
The worst part about air travel is those terrible security lines. People don’t know what they’re doing. You’re always the one they “randomly” select for that special pat-down. If you want to keep from choking yourself in line, try TSA precheck. For a small fee and a background check, you can skip the lines and you won’t have to take off your shoes or take out your laptop.
2. Great Photos Without Packing Your DSLR
Your fancy camera is really expensive. You’ve got the best lenses so you can zoom right up your aunt’s nostrils if you want to (but you don’t– ew). But, do you want to take the chance it’ll get damaged? Do you want to pack all that in your already stuffed carry-on?
If not, check out a lens kit that can upgrade your phone’s camera so you can get great photos without endangering your expensive camera.
3. Carry A Portable Phone Battery
Yeah. We know that airports have charging stations or outlets. But they’re always full. If you don’t want to stand next to a bunch of people while your phone charges, carry a portable battery like this one from PowerOTG.
Not only will it keep you away from charging stations, you also don’t need to pull out your power cord. If you have a wireless charging compatible phone, you can just set it on top of the charger to get that juice flowing.
4. Forgot Something: Check Lost And Found
Sometimes you forget something small that makes a big deal in your travel. It might be a chord or a charger or something else small. Airline employees tell us that the lost and found department typically has a 90 day policy, after which items are up for grabs. If you’ve forgotten something, be honest and ask for it. They might just give it to you. Free.
5. Bring An Empty Water Bottle
You probably know that you can’t bring an open water bottle through security. They seem to think your twelve ounces of H2O are a serious threat to airport security. Whatever.
If you want to have water without buying an expensive bottle after you pass security, bring an empty bottle with you. Once you get through the line, fill it up at a bathroom or water fountain. Then bask in your triumph. “Ha Ha! Foiled you again TSA.”
6. Ask For The Whole Drink
Those small glasses of sprite are worthless. They pack it full of ice, so you get about two sips before the ice rumbles down your shirt onto your lap. Ugh.
If you want to get a real drink, ask your flight attendant for the whole container, whether a can or a water bottle. They’ll usually give it to you. Drink from the can, and you won’t have to worry about the ice, either. Just don’t get up to go to the bathroom when the beverage cart is rolling!
7. Flight Canceled: Don’t Wait In Line
When your flight is canceled or overbooked, your airline will tell you to get in line with the nearest agent. If you don’t want to get crushed by the stampede, there’s an easy way to get to the front of the line. Call customer service.
Your customer service rep can do anything that the airport attendants can do. Instead of waiting in an awful line next to the stinky guy in sweatpants, head to the bar with your phone. You’ll get faster service and you don’t have to wait in line.
8. Snake A Luggage Cart
Renting a luggage card can be pretty expensive for what you get. Airports will charge up to $5 for a rental. So, if you see one that’s been left behind, grab it. Easy enough, right? You’ll get the cart for free. Plus, when you return the cart you can get the security deposit back. Free money makes every flight better.
Airline travel can be a huge pain. Long lines, strange people, and uncomfortable seats. But you don’t have to get the worst of it. If you follow these rule-bending tips, you can fly like a pro.