1.Curbside check-in luggage service.
Curbside check-in is a convenient way to check in for your flight, get your seat assignment and boarding pass and check your bags at the airport. This service is only available for domestic travel.
It’s not available for all the airlines at all the airports. Some charge a fee on top of checked baggage fees. A gratuity is always welcomed. You do have to give the luggage to curbside staffer at least 45min to 90min prior to your flight departure time, depending on where you’re traveling to. If you’re running late, or there is a long line at the check-in counter, this will help. Because there is another line waiting for you next…
2. TSA pre-check/Global Entry
We all know the TSA security line seems to be only getting worse. If you don’t want to take off your jackets, shoes, and belts, and remove laptops and devices from your bags, then, pay to get TSA Pre-check. It’s a screening process done in advance. There is an $85 fee 5 years of service. Not all airlines participate in TSA Pre✓®, but majority do. You have to provide your Known Traveler Number to the airline when you do your online check in, or add it to your member profile for the airline’s loyalty program. This will flag the boarding pass that you have TSA Pre✓®, and you can go to a shorter line and get to your boarding gate much faster. To apply, visit here.
Or, the better deal is to apply for Global Entry. Global Entry allows you to skip the long lines waiting for you (yet again) at immigration and customs when you return from an international trip. With Global Entry, you will have TSA pre-check included as well. Currently, it costs $100 for 5yrs. You go through an application process online here. You will also have to go to a nearest enrollment center for an in person interview and finger printing. This process can take a few months, so prepare early for your upcoming trips. If you travel mostly domestic, you can just do TSA Pre✓® I recommend Global Entry for both domestic and international travel. Each member of your family has to apply, even children.
3. Priority boarding
Unless you’re flying first or business class, or have top tier status with an airline loyalty program, you will again wait in line to board the flight. It’s nice to board first so there will be room for your carry on luggage in overhead bins, or just to sit early. Many airlines now have the option to let you pay to have priority boarding during your online check in process. Prices range from $10 – $50. Some airlines still allow families with small children to board first, complimentary.
I’ve always heard people complain that security lines and airlines are making travel not fun anymore. Well, hopefully, these ideas will make the process of getting on the plane and get to your destinations faster and easier.