ADVERTORIAL • December 2018
Who wants to start their dream holiday or business trip with a queue? Try these travel hacks to avoid wasting precious time standing in line
You’ve landed and you’re raring to go, but you need to collect the hire car. Sign up to Avis Preferred and you’ll reap the rewards (literally - when you join, you’ll receive 1000 bonus Avios to use on your first rental). As a member you’ll also benefit from fast-track service at the counter, pre-prepared paperwork, and cars - the newest models, of course - will be located in the most convenient spaces in the car park. The best bit? At certain locations, you can bypass the counter altogether - your keys and paperwork will be waiting for you in the vehicle. If that doesn’t get you revved up, we don’t know what will.
We all know that security queues in USA airports can be well, a little long. So if you are heading Stateside, you’ll be pleased to learn that British Airways has signed up to the TSA PreCheck programme, meaning that once travellers are accepted under the USA government scheme, they can use dedicated TSA PreCheck Lanes. No need to remove shoes, light jackets or belts, and laptops and compliant liquids can remain in hand luggage, making that all-important trip through security ever more streamlined.
There are many trip-transforming perks to downloading the British Airways app onto your mobile, iPad or Apple Watch. However, for the time-poor, one main advantage is that if you’re travelling solo (one-way or return), have already reserved your seat and are carrying hand baggage only, you can check in with only three taps. No need to use the airport kiosk or wait your turn at the check-in desk. Just head straight to security, get your bag checked and you’re onto the plane.
Bored with boarding? British Airways has introduced a new group boarding system across the network to reduce congestion and minimise the time it takes to get onto the aircraft. Passengers are allocated a group number based on their ‘boarding priority’, and are then called to board in number order. As an Executive Club member, your priority boarding will be reflected in the number. Fear not, if you arrive after your group’s been called, you can still use the priority boarding lane to go through at your leisure.
There’s a wealth of five-star boutiques in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and who doesn’t love a duty-free deal on luxury goods? But retail therapy is no fun if you’re tight on time. Enter Heathrow Boutique’s personal shopping service. Register 48 hours before you travel to discuss what you’re looking for, your budget and - crucially - how long you have available. Your personal shopper will then meet you airside, ready to whisk you round the tax-free shops. Successful airport shopping? It’s in the bag.
Nothing like a queue at the hotel’s reception desk to burst that just-arrived-in-a-new-country bubble. Guest registration and check-in can be tedious, which is why digital self-service in hotels is a bonus. Download the Hyatt Hotels app, for example, and you’ll be able to check-in and check-out via the app, keep track of what room charges have been added during your stay, plus connect your reservation with Apply Pay. You can even save time by wielding the app to request items to come to your room. Handy.
If you’re a premium British Airways customer and you haven’t yet uncovered the joys of The First Wing at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, then it’s time you did. Every aspect of this beautifully-designed hub - all oak marquetry, bespoke leather banquettes and glass chandeliers - is designed to make the start of your journey flawless. Amongst its many assets (a dedicated premium team, extra privacy, enhanced space) is its timesaving potential, with its own check-in area, spacious security channel, and a direct route to the Galleries First lounge and the Concorde Room.
To enjoy fast-track service, exclusive cars and a whole host of member benefits when picking up your next rental car, sign up to Avis Preferred here