Summer is just around the corner, which means school’s almost out, the sun’s starting to blaze, and everyone’s firing up their BBQs. It also means more travelers setting out on their next adventure. If you’re flying, summer often means busier airports too. According to the TSA, 708 million passengers—nearly 41 million more than in 2014—were screened at U.S. airports in 2015, but only two percent of travelers had to wait more than 20 minutes to get through airport security. However, travelers and airline officials have complained recently of waits as long as two hours in some cities. It’s no surprise, since experts predicted that 2016 is shaping up to be much worse, filled with those weaving, seemingly-endless lines at many security check points.
Because Hotwire is all about helping to make spontaneous travel attainable, the popular online booking site doesn’t want long lines at the airport to keep anyone from traveling this summer. And with Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, Hotwire polled their community of travel geeks for some tips on surviving the TSA slowdowns, and found there is a way—actually several ways—to help you get through security without losing it.
Think of this as a “choose your own adventure” based on how you travel.
- Connected traveler: Download you airline’s app so you can check in remotely, check boarding info, and get Wi-Fi on your flight. While you’re at it, download your favorite movies, TV shows, and albums to keep you entertained. Feeling the need to vent? Snap a pic of the line you’re in and tweet it to #IHateTheWait. It might pass a little time, and give you some satisfaction.
- Type-A Planner: Are lists your thing? If so, use the time you have in airport lines to jot down a list of what you need to buy once you land. If you’re like us, you probably forget something no matter how many times you checked your bag.
- Observer: It’s no secret that airports offer some the best people watching around. Maybe you’ll scout an amazing snack that you suddenly can’t live without? Or discover a cool travel gadget or hack? Perhaps you’ll spot someone reading a new book that looks really interesting? The possibilities are endless.
- Last-minute traveler: If you’re a spontaneous traveler, you probably booked your trip last minute and haven’t done any research on your destination yet. While you wait in line, connect your phone to the airport Wi-Fi and find things to do, people to see, and places to go once you get there.
- Multi-tasker: While you’re waiting in lines at the airport, call your grandmother, cousin, childhood best friend, or anyone else you’ve been meaning to reconnect with. They’ll get your full attention. You packed a book or magazine, right? Get some reading in while you wait. Have email to catch up on? Scroll through it and answer what’s most urgent. Also, make sure you’re OOO alert is all set up.
No matter what type of traveler you are, Hotwire hopes these suggestions will help you to make the most of your travel time, navigate airport lines like a pro, and be ready for any adventure that comes your way. Maybe it’s even time for a happier hashtag…#TheWaitWasGreat? Nah, that’s probably pushing it.