If you are flying in or out of an airport that is new to you be sure and check it out before you go. This is important for a dozen good reasons. Google the airport for the questions you have before you leave home. Every airport is different!
1. IS IT LOCKED UP?
It may be locked when you arrive! A friend of mine just told me that she arrived at the Pisa airport by train late at night hoping to hang out until her early morning departure. Out of luck! The place was locked up! They lock it after the last flight and don’t open until the first flight out. She was left outside in the cold for several hours. Not a picnic for sure!
2. IS THERE FOOD BACK THERE?
You may go into the gate area hungry expecting to find food. It may be a little coffee cart! Check beforehand so you can know if you should eat or grab something before you pass security to the gate.
3. WHERE ARE THOSE RENTAL COMPANIES?
If you are renting a vehicle check out where you will go to pick it up and return it. Shuttle? In airport? It may make a difference in the extra time needed to return a vehicle if you have to account for a long shuttle ride. If you are arriving and have a lot of luggage it may help for someone to stay behind with the luggage while you go get the vehicle.
4. RENTAL COMPANY OPEN?
Check out your rental company at the airport to make sure it is open when you arrive or when you return the vehicle.
5. I’M BORED!
If you have a long layover in a small airport without conveniences you may opt for another layover airport. Long layovers in small, lifeless airports are not fun!
6. ARE WE THERE YET?
Is the airport a long shuttle ride to the hotel or place you are staying? This could make the difference in the time you need to leave for the airport for your departing flight or the time given to your hotel or host for your arrival.
7. IT”S A MAZE!
If you have cased out the layout of the airport first you will be able to save time navigating it once you arrive for your departure or upon your arrival.
8. DO I LOOK LIKE A TARGET?
If you have some idea of the layout you will look more confident to the scam artist or thieves that are looking for people that don’t have a clue where they are going.
9. GOT ANY TIPS?
Other travelers on travel forums may have tips for you such as comfortable areas to hang out in if you have long layover. Suggestions of places to eat in airport, shop, etc.
If you are taking public transportation from the airport, such as a train, bus, shuttle or taxi, check out the details….where does it pick you up or drop you off?
11. WHERE CAN I PARK THIS?
If you are parking your car in airport parking, check out prices and directions. You might miss your flight trying to navigate or get stuck in short term parking in your rush.
12. CAN I COME IN?
If you are a frequent flyer check out location and policies of the lounges. If your airline is not listed it might be that the lounge has a deal with your airline and you are able to use their lounge.