We think... • July 2016

These are the ultimate airport travel tips

If you’re one of the many people heading to the airport this summer, it’s time to get prepped. The Club enlists the help of airport experts and seasoned travellers for help to make your journey smoother and more rewarding

Pic 1

Fast food

Says who? Ben Crowley, head of food and beverage, Heathrow
Expert tip: Need to grab a quick bite at the airport? Every restaurant at Heathrow has a special menu of dishes that are ready within 15 minutes. Just look for the symbol.
Club bonus tip: Prefer to grab and go? Every restaurant at Terminal 5 (including Fortnum & Mason and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food) offers a takeaway picnic option for you to enjoy on board.

Pic 2

A speedy shortcut

Says who? Martin Thomas, BA’s product brands and customer experience
Expert tip: 
If you’re arriving at Heathrow from the London Underground or Heathrow Express there’s a quicker way to the Fast Track security lanes, accessible behind the B bank of desks at the northern end of Terminal 5.
Club bonus tip: Find the quickest way around Heathrow with these interactive maps. They cover everything from roads and car parks to shops and departure gates.

Pic 3

Doing it for the kids

Says who? Janine Clements, mummy blogger (@mummytweets)
Expert tip: 
Keep your children occupied with cleverly packed hand luggage featuring kids’ magazines, activity books, magnetic games and even mini Play-Doh sets. Buy yourself some quiet time by wrapping up their existing toys so they have something to open. If you don’t have access to a lounge, consider buying a pass in advance. Some have soft-play facilities as well as games, films and food included in the price.
Club bonus tip: Flying from Terminal 5? There’s a soft-play climbing area (open 8.30am-7pm) near Gate A7. For other kids’ areas at Heathrow, click here.

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Spaced out

Says who? Squash Falconer, adventurer (@squashfalconer)
Expert tip: 
If I’m about to get on a long-haul flight I avoid sitting still at the airport. I find a small space and do exercises, including yoga and stretching. They’re simple, don’t create a sweat, and keep my body and mind feeling great.
Club bonus tip: If your flight at Heathrow leaves from T5B or 5C, take the transit shuttle to the satellite buildings as soon as you can. You’ll find fewer crowds and more space to stretch out.

Pic 5

Pass go

Says who? James Godfrey, manager of ba.com and mobile development
Expert tip: 
If you’re travelling with your family on a single booking, you can now check in and download everyone’s mobile boarding pass to a single device on an iOS or Android phone. It’s a great time and paper saver when travelling through the airport. And don’t forget to check ba.com/apps for what’s new with our mobile app.
Club bonus tip: Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Heathrow. Choose _Heathrow Wi-Fi and follow the on-screen instructions. 

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All in good time

Says who? Cory Lee, blogger (@CoryLeeTweets)
Expert tip: 
As a wheelchair user, it can take time to find an accessible parking space, get a private pat-down from security and locate a wheelchair-friendly restroom before your flight, so my advice to anyone with accessibility issues is to arrive early.
Club bonus tip: Why not stay at the airport the night before an early-morning flight? Click here to read about the world’s best airport hotels.

Pic 7

Train hard

Says who? Fraser Brown, director, Heathrow Express
Expert tip: 
For the quickest journey between central London and Heathrow, take the Heathrow Express. The non-stop service takes 15 minutes from Paddington to Terminals 2 and 3, and 21 minutes to Terminal 5. There’s complimentary Wi-Fi, plus power sockets by the seats and you can book in advance from £5.50 each way.
Club bonus tip: You can also collect Avios with each Heathrow Express journey.

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Do your duty

Says who? Jonathan Coen, retail director at Heathrow
Expert tip: 
Make the most of duty-free by booking a complimentary personal shopper in advance via our website. Then, save your baggage allowance by opting for home delivery with Terminal 5’s Shop & Collect service, and pick up your purchases when you arrive back at Heathrow after your trip.
Club bonus tip: Sign up to Heathrow Rewards to find out about exclusive products and special offers while earning points on your shopping.

Pic 9

Pack it in

Says who? Kenton Cool, climber (kentoncool.com)
Expert tip: 
Pack light. This applies to everything from a mountaineering trip to a family holiday. Travelling with the bare minimum has saved me a lot of time when going through airports, especially if I find myself in a rush not to miss a flight.
Club bonus tip: If you’re flying from Gatwick before 15:15, you can check in your bags the day before you fly. Visit the Gatwick website.

Pic 10

Feel secure

Says who? Rob Johnson, pilot and author of the Plane Characters book series
Expert tip: 
You already know that you have to remove liquids, laptops and iPads from your hand luggage for the security checks, so make sure they’re easily accessible before you get to the front of the queue. Many men’s shoes have a metal support rod running through them, so you can save time by taking these off and putting them through the scanner with your belt and loose change.
Club bonus tip: Travelling to the US? Check if you can apply for Global Entry –­ the US Customs and Border Protection programme – so you can skip unnecessary security hassles.

This article has been tagged Opinion, Travel Tips