5 common mistakes travellers make at the airport

Travelling is an enriching and exciting experience. Picture: Pexels/Marina Hinic

Travelling is an enriching and exciting experience. Picture: Pexels/Marina Hinic

Published Jun 7, 2024


Travelling is an enriching and exciting experience that helps to develop a broader perspective of the world, meet new people and create unforgettable memories.

Doing it by plane enhances all this due to the speed at which one can radically change the scenery, something that was unthinkable several years ago, when the first airlines were created, some of which are still in operation today.

But the whole experience can be cut short if one does not consider some basic issues to go through the first stage of a trip: the airport.

Below, we have compiled the five most common mistakes that people tend to make at airports and how to avoid them.

Checking in online will save you time and hassle at the airport. Picture: Pexels/Thinkscotty

Checking in at the airport

Checking in online will save you time and hassle at the airport, as you won’t have to queue at the check-in desk or worry about losing your boarding pass. You can also choose your seat in advance and avoid any surprises.

Not packing properly

One of the worst mistakes you can make when going through security is packing the items you will need in a place that is not readily accessible.

Keep your boarding pass, identity document, passport, and phone in your pocket or an outer compartment of your bag so you can easily grab them when needed.

Put all travel documents in one small bag and keep that on you at all times. Then, you will avoid having to look for your documents among your belongings when security wants to see them, which can happen several times.

Thinking that an airline will never lose your luggage

Let's hope it doesn’t happen - but there is always a chance it will, and if it does, you will be glad you planned ahead. Place your phone number and address inside the bag so an airline can easily contact you.

Also, place a colourful ribbon or identifiable tag on your bag to prevent it from being mistakenly snatched by someone else in a hurry.

I have seen several passengers rush back to the gate embarrassed after grabbing the wrong bag.

Pack strategically. Picture: Pexels/Victorfreistas

Turning up at the last minute

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, consider traffic, parking, public transport and possible delays. Aim to arrive at least two hours before your flight for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

This will give you enough time to check in, go through security and relax before boarding. Having a plan will always help you to avoid unnecessary stress.

Not checking the flight status

Flight schedules can change due to weather conditions, technical problems, or other reasons. You must check the status of your flight before heading to the airport to avoid unnecessary delays or cancellations.

This can be done on the website of your airline (they usually have an element in the menu called “Your Flight Status”) or on the departure airport’s website.