Do you have a flight planned?
Whether you're flying within Australia or have a long haul international trip planned, these four airport tips can save you time.
Avoid the dreaded airport repack! Before you pack, double check your baggage allowance as this differs across airlines and fares. While some airlines have a standard rate, such as Qantas (who usually allow 23kg checked in luggage per person on domestic flights), other airlines like Jetstar only include 7kg of carry on with your ticket. Other airlines, such as Virgin Australia and Air Zealand don't include luggage on their cheapest fares. Of course, you can normally pay for extra baggage, but doing this at the airport can be inconvenient and very pricy!
If you have more than one flight, double check the luggage restrictions on all of them to make sure they match.
You may find yourself with a luggage allowance of 30kg on one flight but only 20kg on the next. For instance if you are flying to the US, the majority of international flights include checked in luggage as part of the fare. But American airlines don't normally include luggage on their domestic trips, unless it is included on your international ticket.
2. Flight times
Sometimes airlines need to reschedule their flight times. Time changes can vary from 5 minutes earlier or later than the original time to a few hours.
It's always advisable to call your travel agent or the airline 24 hours before your departure to confirm your flight times, just in case there have been any changes. Sometimes, your ticket may even need to be reissued to reflect the change, particularly if the flight number has changed. It also pays to double check the terminal while you're confirming your flight times as some domestic flights depart from the international terminal.
3. What is going in your suitcase?
Airport security are very strict about any potential threats in luggage.
If you're travelling overseas keep any liquids, aerosols and gels over 100ml in your checked in luggage, along with scissors, Swiss Army knives and kitchen utensils. Keep any dangerous goods at home, such as flammable liquids, organic peroxides, lithium batteries and explosives. Airlines also have their own Conditions of Carriage, which may prohibit items you can take onboard or pack in your checked luggage. Give the airline a call if you're unsure if you can take a particular item.
4. Allow plenty of time
You don't want to miss your flight because you can't find the correct gate or you were stuck in traffic on your way to the airport. Make sure you get to the airport at least 60 minutes prior to your domestic flight or 2 hours before your international flight.
If you are travelling in the peak season or think you may need a little bit of extra time, allow even longer.
For international flights, check-in normally opens up to three hours prior to the flight departure, depending on your airline.