How to spend less time queuing at the airport: Top tips to speed up your journey

A much-referenced report from 2011 states that negotiating airports is ‘more stressful than moving home – but with a little pre-planning and know-how, you can easily make it a breeze.

Here are our top tips to fast-forward your trip through the terminal and get that holiday started…

1) Meet and greet parking

Arrive-and-fly parking... meet and greet is the ultimate service

Arrive-and-fly parking… meet and greet is the ultimate service

Using public transport to reach the airport is likely to increase the amount of time spent getting from home to boarding gate – the number of Gatwick Express services arriving on time from September 18 2015 – October 15 2016 fell to a low of 26.6%!

How to speed up your progress: Don’t let unreliable trains derail your trip; swapping tracks for Tarmac and using pre-booked airport parking is another great way to save time and money. For those who want to really slash time spent getting to their flight seat, meet and greet parking makes the ultimate solution. Simply drive straight to the terminal doors, or nearby drop-off zone, before letting a fully qualified chauffeur park your car while you head for the departure gate.

Get a quote for meet and greet airport parking here 

2) Baggage trolleys… plan ahead

Baggage trolley bugs can affect the family

Don’t be left dragging multiple suitcases

With some airports charging for baggage trolleys and others providing them free, passengers can be left scrabbling for change at the terminal doors. Don’t be left dragging multiple suitcases – we’ve got the information to ensure you’re fully prepared for a swift getaway.

How to speed up your progress: Turning up at the airport only to find you’ve got no cash to feed the baggage trolley dispenser can cost valuable time as you scrabble for shrapnel in pockets and handbags – so beat the panic with our guide to luggage trolley hire ‘requirements’ right here. From price to payment methods, the information you need is here.

Stay on the case and don’t leave home without the correct change for a luggage trolley

Stay on the case and don’t leave home without the correct change for a luggage trolley

3) Beat the check-in queues:

pexels-photo-54380

Don’t get stuck in angry queues

Stepping through the terminal doors to be met by the wrong end of a check-in queue is something we’ve all experienced, but jumping on the tail of this angry snake can be avoided. Here are the options to help accelerate your progress.

How to speed up your progress: Consider the following tips to beat the check-in queues…

Pick your flight time: Airports are generally at their busiest over weekends – with weekdays between 11am and 4pm the quietest periods. If possible, book departure times that fit in with checking in between these hours. Along with saving time – there’s a good chance you’ll be cutting the amount you spend, too! Lower demand means cheaper fares.

Online/mobile check-in: Most airlines now offer online, mobile or apps for passengers wanting to dodge the queues by checking in before they leave home. This can be completed in advance of departure day – the likes of easyJet and Monarch allow you to do the deed up to 28 days before travel. Checking in like this can also save cash as well as time, with certain budget airlines charging passengers to do this at the airport. It’s also possible to get in early and reserve the best seats on many systems. Once booked in, simply arrive at the airport, side-step the queue and deposit your luggage in the nearest bag-drop facility. Google your carrier for online or mobile check-in details.

4) Fast-track security

run

Fast-track and save the rush for the beach

Heightened security restrictions mean just one thing – longer queues. Research from the Department for Transport in 2015, revealed queuing to pass security was the least satisfying aspect of the whole screening process. However, it’s not all bad news for the impatient traveller – help is at hand in most airports.

Speed up your progress: Cut your time spent queuing at security by booking a low-cost place in the your airport’s fast-track security lane. These cost around £3-5 and will typically cut queuing time to around 5 minutes. Book online here to get cheaper access.

Book your airport fast-track security pass here

Simply click the tab for your airport here

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport
Security FastTrack
How much: £7 per person
Book it here

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Security Fast Track
How much: £5 per person
Book here


Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport
FastTRACK
How much: £4.49 per person
Book here

Bournemouth Airport

Bournemouth Airport
Fast Track
How much: £3.50 per person
Book it here


Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport
Fast Track
How much: £3.95 per person
Book it here


Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport
Fast Track
How much: Comes with your airline ticket from participating airlines
Find out if you qualify here


Luton Airport

Luton Airport
Priority Lane
How much: £3.00 online – £5.00 at terminal per person
Book it here


Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport
Use the airport’s fast-track system to speed up your progress.
How much: £5.00
Book it here


Leeds-Bradford Airport

Leeds-Bradford Airport
Fast Track
How much: £4.00 per person
Book it here


Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport
Express Lane
How much: £3.75 (online) per person
Book it here


East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport
Express Lane
How much: £4.00 per person
Book it here


Southampton Airport

Southampton Airport
Priority Security
How much: £3.50 per person
Book it here


Aberdeen Airport

Aberdeen Airport
Priority security
How much: £4 per person
Book it here


Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport
Priority Security
How much: £4 per person
Book it here


Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport
FastTrack
How much: £4 online – £5 at terminal per person
Book it here


Exeter Airport

Exeter Airport
Fast-Track
How much: £3.50
Get more information here

Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport
Security Fast Track
How much: £3.00 per person
Book it here

More to follow...

Look out for more services as they arrive


Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport
Premium Passport Control has just been launched. It’s open to arrivals only and can help speed up your journey from plane to baggage reclaim. Book ahead and be one of just 50 passengers using the service each hour – ensuring you’ll breeze through. It’s over 18s only, so families are left in the queue. Service must be booked 24 hours in advance.
How much: £12.50 per person – the UK’s most expensive.
Book here

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Security Fast Track
How much: £5 per person
Book here


Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport
FastTRACK
How much: £4.49 per person
Book here

Bournemouth Airport

Bournemouth Airport
Fast Track
How much: £3.50 per person
Book it here


Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport
Fast Track
How much: £3.95 per person
Book it here


Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport
Fast Track
How much: Comes with your airline ticket from participating airlines
Find out if you qualify here


Luton Airport

Luton Airport
Priority Lane
How much: £3.00 online – £5.00 at terminal per person
Book it here


Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport
Security Fast Track
How much: £3.00 per person
Book it here


Leeds-Bradford Airport

Leeds-Bradford Airport
Fast Track
How much: £4.00 per person
Book it here


Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport
Express Lane
How much: £3.75 (online) per person
Book it here


East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport
Express Lane
How much: £4 per person
Book it here


Southampton Airport

Southampton Airport
Priority Security
How much: £3.50 per person
Book it here


Aberdeen Airport

Aberdeen Airport
Priority security
How much: £4 per person
Book it here


Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport
Priority Security
How much: £4 per person
Book it here


Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport
FastTrack
How much: £5 online
Book it here


Exeter Airport

Exeter Airport
Fast-Track
How much: £3.50
Get more information here


5) Use the E-gates

Check for this biometric symbol on your passport

Using ePassport gates will speed up the time spent waiting in border control, across the UK and Europe. E-gates are the modern border patrol officer; using facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph registered on your ePassport to verify your identity.  If you have a biometric passport (all passports issued in the UK are now biometric), are over 18 and are a UK or EU citizen, then you are free to use these hasty self-service barriers. How do I know if my passport is biometric I hear you ask? You’ll see the above squared symbol on the front cover of your passport.

How to speed up your progress: Using E-gates is simple

Open your passport to the photo page.

Place the photo page down onto the reader and keep it steady.

Look at the screen in front of you and wait until it turns green.

Proceed through the gate.

Remember to remove the passport from its cover, as well as removing your sunglasses, hat and scarf.

6) Browse the menu before you leave home

menu

Plan ahead with your airport meals

Fuelling-up before you fly is essential, but the huge amount of eateries in UK airport terminals can result in wasted time when choosing what’s right for you and your party. Read on to find a solution for you dietary dilemnas.

How to speed up your progress: Pick your table ahead of travelling with our UK-wide guide to airport restaurants.

Simply click here and make your choice.


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