Flight attendant shares best way to ‘speed up’ check in and beat queues – ‘wave you over’

Simon Calder on the impact of travel disruptions

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Former flight attendant and consumer expert Jane Hawkes, shared some of her insider airport tips with Express.co.uk. She said it’s important to choose the right queue at check-in.

Jane said: “Opt for the check-in desk nearest to business class because they’ll probably have a shorter queue at business class.

“And if you’re in the one that’s right next to, sometimes they wave you over. Then you’ll get checked in a bit quicker.

“It’s just like supermarkets. You can never quite gauge it but in theory it’s best to queue next to the premium classes.

“There’s a chance that if that queue empties quicker, they will wave you over because they want to speed up that check-in process.

“They’re not there just to separate passengers.”

She added: “Drop your luggage off the night before if you can. Not every airline does it but quite a few do.

“If you live close by, drop it off the night before and then you’ve done that.”

If bags are checked in the night before, passengers will only need to worry about getting through security on the day of their flight.

This tip could save a lot of stress on the day, particularly as airline staff are planning to strike this summer.

When it comes to security, Jane said: “Make sure your liquids are all in the right bag.

“You’re better off using one of the ones from the airport. Just transfer your things over to that as then you know it will adhere to standards and you haven’t got any risk of being rejected.

“Make sure your plastic bottles are sorted and that you’re not wearing anything that could set off the security monitors.”

She added: “Or just don’t wear jewellery at all. It’s not really advisable to go away with your best jewellery anyway as you could go into an area that’s rife with pickpockets.”

She advised: “Make sure your laptop is at the top of your hand baggage so you can get it out easily.

“Have your passport to hand and make sure everything is up to date.”

British tourists will need to have had their passport issued within the last 10 years at the time of entry if they are going to the EU.

It must also be valid for at least three months from the time the tourist intends to leave the EU.

British tourists can spend up to 90 days in the Schengen zone out of every 180 and must have their passport stamped on entry and exit.

Jane added: “You can actually pre-order toiletries at the airport to one of the pharmacies.

“Then you can just pay in the airport and take them through in a duty free bag which won’t count as hand luggage.

“It’s a great way to get a piece of additional baggage on the plane.”

Jane also advised British tourists to take a refillable water bottle which they can fill up after security at the airport.

Jane Hawkes is a consumer expert and shares tips on her blog at www.ladyjaney.co.uk.

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