How to avoid airport stress: stay calm, plan ahead and relax in airport lounges
30/06/11 in Travel |
You’ve squashed a week’s worth of your belongings into a suitcase, rushed to the airport in the middle of the night, and as you arrive, the screen flashes ‘Delayed’ or worse still ‘Cancelled’. Enough to make you feel stressed and ready more than ever for that holiday? Airport travel can certainly be stressful, so our recent poll tells us.
How many people feel stressed at the airport?
CPP looked into the issues of the stresses associated with airport travel and found out some interesting things about what Brits think about departing from airports for the annual trip away.
From the 2,005 people surveyed, 42 per cent said airports make them feel stressed and close to a quarter (23%) find the prospect of getting on to their flight as stress inducing if not more stressful than moving house! The problem has become so common that one in ten of us are now avoiding flying altogether as a result.
What’s even more interesting is that 2.9 million people have missed a flight in the past, with 20 per cent of us having had to run to the gate to catch a flight with just minutes to spare.
Why are airports so stressful?
So, why is airport travel so stressful? We worked with psychologist, David Moxon to investigate this further. He told us that it’s no surprise that airports can be stressful places; there’s potential for many different things to happen (and all outside of our control) which, when combined, make them particularly stressful places.
What’s more, if you’re on the way to the airport worried about whether you’ve remembered your passports, or if you really did lock the front door, you will consequently feel a little bit more stressed at the airport because you’re already harbouring all these anxieties. This is known as the ‘accumulation effect’ so the airport experience will just make these stressful feelings come to a head.
What can you do to avoid stress?
So, if reading all of this makes you feel a little bit stressed about your next trip to the airport, what can we do to feel less anxious about the whole experience? It’s all in the planning and about trying to remain calm, relaxed and in control as much as possible. 40% of those polled said having a quiet environment or access to a lounge (35%) would improve the experience of airport travel. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the airport soon to go somewhere nice, take a look at our top tips for avoiding airport stress:
1. Choose your airport carefully. Bigger airports tend to be busier which can mean higher stress levels. So consider flying to a smaller, local airport to reduce transfer times and hassle.
2. Do as much as you can online beforehand. Many airlines now allow travellers to check in online up to forty eight hours beforehand, which can really reduce the amount of time spent queuing when you arrive at the airport. If you do choose this option, remember to print off your boarding pass.
3. Minimise parking time. Airport car-parks are huge and navigating them can be tricky, so consider dropping off all your passengers at check in and having one person park the car to avoid unnecessary stress.
4. Check in minimal luggage. With airlines increasingly charging for checked-in luggage, you can avoid queues and save cash by taking carry-on luggage where possible, especially for short breaks. This means you can go straight through to security and save time on the other side.
5. Opt for fast-track security. Some larger airports now allow passengers to pay for the opportunity to fast-track through the security gates. This can speed up the airport process and give you more time relaxing on the other side.
6. Take advantage of airport lounges. Airport lounges are a great way to relax and get that holiday feeling before boarding the plane – you’ll be guaranteed a seat and get complimentary snacks. CPP’s Airport Angel AirText service will even text you when your flight is boarding to ensure you get there on time.
7. Have a boarding strategy. If you have pre-booked seats it may be worth boarding last, meaning you can spend longer in the lounge and less time queuing at the gate. If you haven’t got pre-booked seats, think about getting priority boarding or leaving a little more time at gate to get to the front of the queue.
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