8 Airport Hacks from Travel Tech Founders

This is the first blog in a five-part series focused on Traveling like Travel Startup CEOs and Founders. We’ve interviewed CEOs and founders in the travel vertical to get insights about the hacks they use for travel. Subscribe to our newsletter to get all the updates.

Some of the best travelers are the road warriors who spend so much time in airports that terminal 2 might as well be their living room and Starbucks their kitchen. When I began talking to CEOs in the travel space, it became apparent that these innovators had spent countless hours in airports and had hacks that your everyday traveler can also benefit from. So let's dive in!

Before Getting To the Airport

Packing the proper attire and accessories is vital for a more comfortable flying experience. It also provides incredible time and money savings.

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Always bring an empty reusable water bottle. 

Beau Berman, Tripcents

 

Most airports now have water stations with cold and hot water. Whether you’re using it to stay hydrated or for your instant ramen, bringing your bottle will save you from having to buy wasteful plastic bottles. You also won’t have to keep calling the flight attendants every time you’re thirsty.

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Wear sandals with wool socks. It's not very fashionable, but it maximizes comfort and easy security checkpoint compliance (no shoes).

Benjamin Wallsten, Flyright

To take it a step further, I’d also recommend compression socks to relieve discomfort and reduce the appearance of varicose veins which are caused by long periods of inactivity and sitting.

Pre Security

There are multiple terminals and multiple security lines, but they usually are all connected.  Ask a TSA agent or download one of the apps to see which lines (both pre-check and non-precheck) are shorter.  You may have to walk 10-15 minutes to another terminal but sometimes will save you 30-45 minutes of waiting in line.

Jeffrey Walsh, Nomo Fomo

Lines are usually a good sign if you’re a foodie but not when you’re waiting to go through security. If you’re a frequent traveler, opt for programs like TSA Precheck and Clear to speed things up even more.

Give a smile to the TSA/ Visa officers, not the creepy kinds, but a genuine one and you’ll see the tension melt away. 

Geetika Agrawal, VAWAA

Airports aren’t just stressful for the people traveling through them. Having worked at the airport as a baggage handler, I now know the stresses involved for people behind the scenes of the travel industry. Practice that smile for when you land in your eventual destination.

Post Security

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Choose a credit card with access to priority pass - it's such a nice perk when you travel a lot. You get peace of mind with your stuff, the food is meh, but at least they have drinks. 

Edward Hu, ARRVL

I feel like I leveled up when I got my American Express Platinum card. Beyond priority pass lounges, I was also able to take advantage of Centurion Lounges and $200 in inflight credits to any airline I chose.

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There's cozy room to rest in at Terminal 3 of Heathrow airport. :)

Valentin Dombrovsky, Travelabs

Be on the lookout for meditation, prayer, and yoga rooms. These are great places to get away from the crowds and find your zen before you board your next flight.

If there's no plane yet, don't line up because obviously there's no point. Just chill & relax.

Bibi Jellema, Airguides

Everyone is going to get on the plane. No need to rush :)

After you land

I land and buy a sim card, withdraw money from an ATM (for free w/ Schwab debit card), and get on my way via uber.

Cody Candee, Bounce

Like Cody, I’m a firm believer in local sim cards. If you’re traveling for more than three days, the rates are always better than roaming. The connectivity that local SIMs provide is better too. That's why I created ARRVL packages that supply you with local SIMs and other essentials you need for international travel.

Next week we will be covering  "How travel CEOs spend their first day at a new destination." Subscribe to our blog to stay informed on new trends in travel, brought to you by the people who are innovating it every day.