Which airports are you trying to avoid?

The best tips to avoid stress at the airport

From TRAVELBOOK | June 22, 2018, 5:09 p.m.

For many, vacation begins with a healthy dose of hectic: packing your suitcase, leaving your apartment tidy - and getting to the airport on time. But there is also a risk of stress at the airport. At the latest when you see the huge queue at the counter and then at the security check, some fear that they will no longer make it onto the plane. Here are a few tips on how to avoid the stress at the airport.

The airports are particularly full during the holiday season. Accordingly, it may take longer to get your bearings. Sometimes this can degenerate into stress - especially if you have calculated the time too short. With these five tips you can start your holiday more relaxed at the airport:

Check in online

In many cases, the smartphone replaces waiting in front of large display boards and at the check-in counters. Many airlines such as Lufthansa, Ryanair and Easyjet have their own smartphone apps that they use to inform passengers about changed departure times and gate numbers, for example. And most airlines offer online check-in 24 hours before departure, including via smartphone. Sometimes that saves time.

Alternatively, there are machines for independent check-in in the terminals at many airports such as Frankfurt and Munich. Some airlines also allow evening check-in including baggage drop-off - such as Lufthansa and Condor in Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf. However, some flight destinations are excluded from this.

Find the right check-in counter online

In order not to have to wander haphazardly through the corridors, holidaymakers can find out online at home which counter they need to check-in at. Most airports publish the plans with arrival and departure times as well as information about counters and departure gates in real time on their websites. Some airports also offer their own apps with the relevant information.

Be at the airport on time

During the main travel season, there can be a lot of rush for flights to popular holiday destinations. "With airlines that head for holiday destinations, there is already something going on," says Florian Steuer, spokesman for Munich Airport. "The fact that there are fewer business travelers on the road during the summer holidays doesn't change that." At Düsseldorf Airport, for example, the federal police will therefore increase the staff at the controls during the main travel season until October, according to spokesman Christian Hinkel.

The Frankfurt airport operator Fraport recommends being at the airport two to three hours before departure, as long queues can occur during the holiday season. The airports in Munich and Düsseldorf referred to the recommendations of the airlines. “Travelers should follow these recommendations and, better still, plan a time buffer,” advises Steuer. When traveling to the USA there would be additional controls on travelers, which would take more time.

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Relaxed through the security check

At the latest when you stand in line for the security check, you can already prepare a few things for the control, such as taking off your jacket, taking off your belt, hat or cap and the objects scattered in your trouser pockets (coins, keys, smartphones, etc.) collect. Laptops, tablets and possibly the camera or transparent bags with liquids (maximum 100 milliliters per container) have to get out of the hand luggage and are put in a separate tub for inspection. If you have them ready to hand beforehand, you don't have to spend unnecessary time rummaging through. It is also advisable to pack the things in the backpack, handbag or trolley in such a way that it is easy to take out.

What if i'm late

“If you are late, you are too late. So it is goodwill whether the airline will still take you with them, ”explains Peter Lassek, a lawyer at the Hessen Consumer Center. You should therefore find out beforehand where parking spaces are located, which items are allowed or even required in hand luggage. These are, for example, matches and power banks. These items may not be transported in checked baggage.

Also interesting: Big overview: What can and cannot go in hand luggage?

The security check is a bottleneck. If there is time pressure, the following applies: “Don't wait calmly, but report to the security staff. Then you also have the right to be taken along, ”says Lassek. Lufthansa can provide help at the two transfer airports in Munich and Frankfurt. "If the feeder flight is delayed, there is a free transfer to the connecting flight," says Lufthansa spokeswoman Bettina Rittberger. This applies to delays for which the transfer time would otherwise be too short. "In the event that the gate is nearby, employees take the passengers by the hand and guarantee that they catch the flight."

Know your rights

Should something go wrong, air travelers are well covered. "The EU air passenger rights regulation grants quite generous rights," says Lassek. If a flight is canceled or delayed by more than three hours, passengers are entitled to compensation. For distances of up to 1500 kilometers it is 250 euros per person, for distances of 1500 to 3500 kilometers it is 400 euros, and for distances over 3500 kilometers it is 600 euros. Exception: There is an exceptional circumstance. When this is the case, however, is repeatedly disputed in court.

If the passport or identity card has expired, hectic walks to the citizens' office and expensive express passports can be avoided. In many cases, the Federal Police at German airports can issue German passengers with a travel document as a passport substitute. But: "If you travel with substitute passport papers, you do so at your own risk, because other countries are not obliged to recognize these substitute passport papers," writes the Federal Police on their website. The EU countries (with the exception of Romania) accept the passport substitute, as do many other countries.

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