Q: Do you have any tips to make crowded airports less hellish? I have a number of flights coming up, including one on the day before Thanksgiving, and I loathe crowds. Just thinking about being in all of those airports with all of those people is raising my blood pressure.
A: Sure. First, get there early, even though being in a crowded airport is no fun. If you don't, you might encounter a nasty line and miss your flight, which would mean even more time at the airport, plus the joy of having to rebook your flight.
Second, fully charge every electronic device you're carrying and bring every charger you might possibly need in your carry-on. If you get delayed, you'll be glad to have them. One traveler I know carries a small power strip -- at older airports where outlets are scarce, it comes in awfully handy.
Finally, do anything you can to make things physically more comfortable for yourself. If your roll-aboard bag has a bad wheel, for example, get it fixed or replace it now. If you're taking a number of trips on one particular airline, you could even consider joining its airport club lounge. Annual memberships aren't cheap, but if you'll use it and really hate crowds, it might be worth it. Or you could just buy a day pass to use in case of a particularly crowded airport or long layover. Incidentally, if anyone out there needs holiday gift ideas for a frequent flier, day passes to their favorite airline's club are fantastic. If you really want to splurge, buy them an annual membership.travel
Email travel-etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.