While business travel is often beneficial, it can be frustrating to sit around and wait for your flight, as this cuts into your productivity. Fortunately, your time at the airport doesn’t need to be a waste. By understanding how to make the most of your time in the airport, you can stay productive even if you’re there for a lengthy flight delay.
Plan Ahead to Spend Less Time in Lines
It’s next to impossible to get much done while you’re waiting in line, and that’s why savvy travellers keep this to a minimum. Start by handling your check-in online. Airlines let you do just about everything up to 24 hours ahead of time, from obtaining your boarding pass to paying any checked baggage fees.
You can get through many security checkpoints much faster by signing up for Canada’s Trusted Traveller Program. The Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection operate the NEXUS program together, which allows travellers to bypass regular security lines and go through expedited lines for both international and domestic flights.
Work While You Wait
Airport amenities have come a long way. Because you can do so much using a laptop or tablet, it’s easier than ever to work before your flight boards. Many airports have free Wi-Fi available, with some even offering printers and fax machines. A little airport downtime provides the perfect opportunity to set up your schedule, write a few emails, or work on a project.
While you can do all this in the boarding area, you really should aim for the airport lounges. They’re much quieter and more comfortable, plus they often have computer workstations available. To access an airport lounge, you typically need a first-class or business-class ticket with the airline that operates the lounge, or you can pay a one-time fee. Certain credit cards also include access to specific lounges as a perk.
Exchange Money at Your Departure Airport
If you’re travelling internationally, it’s smart to have some of the local currency on you, as you may not always be able to use your credit or debit card. International airports usually have ATMs and currency exchanges available, allowing you to get this done before your flight.
You may want to look online to compare exchange rates from your departure city and destination to ensure you get the best deal. Unless there’s a significant difference, though, it’s more convenient to exchange money beforehand and avoid any unnecessary errands or waiting around once you land.
Get a Little R and R
It’s great to get some work done at the airport. Still, the real goal for business travel is to be productive when you reach your destination. Don’t feel bad about spending your time at the airport and on the flight taking it easy.
If you get airport lounge access, you can often snack on some free food and drinks, and then find a cozy spot to grab a quick nap. You could also spring for a quick massage, or upgrade your ticket to business class for an easier time sleeping on the flight. Even if you aren’t hard at work, that rest is well worth it when you hop off the plane feeling fresh.
With a little knowledge of the airports you’re flying through, you can take advantage of amenities to make your productive business trip a breeze.