Tips for Navigating through Domestic US Airports

Each airport is going to offer its own unique set of challenges, but here are a few solid tips and tricks for navigating through a Domestic US Airport.

Download your airline’s App to your smartphone at least 24 hours before your departure time.

This will allow you to check in for your flight, and monitor your flight for any delays or cancellations. You can also use this feature to obtain a digital boarding pass, if you prefer that method.

Arrive 2 hours before your scheduled departure time.

You never know how long it will take to get your checked bags dropped, and to get through TSA Security. You could hit it just right and breeze through in 20 minutes. Or, you could stand in line for over an hour just to go through the metal detector. So it’s always going to be my professional advice to arrive 2 hours ahead of time. I’d rather you be early and have time to kill than miss your flight!

Do NOT attempt to bring beverages through TSA Security.

Do not forget about the liquids rule at TSA Security – you are not allowed to bring your own beverages! If you have any bottles of water, soda or coffee with you when you get in line, you will need to finish it and throw it away prior to going through security. If you forget, the TSA Agents will be sure to remind you…and it can often lead to a more detailed bag check. So it’s better to go ahead and throw them out before you get in line. You can always fill an empty water bottle or purchase a beverage once you’ve cleared the security checkpoint.

Check for your gate number once you are through TSA Security.

After you have cleared security, gather yourself and your belongings and check the monitors that are located directly above where you are standing. Identify your departure gate, and get an idea of where that gate is located. If you have time to kill and you are going to go shop and dine, make sure you have a good idea of where you need to be when it’s time to board.

Check your boarding pass for BOARDING time (not just departure time).

If your flight departs at 11:30am, there is a good chance that your plane will be boarded with the doors shut by 11:20am. Always check the BOARDING time on your documents. This is the time you should be at the gate. Typically, boarding begins 30 minutes before a scheduled departure.

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