A guaranteed way of avoiding airport baggage check-in queues

What’s the most tedious thing about travelling by plane?

Is it the security search? There are some mornings when I think I might as well go to the airport in my PJs and get dressed after the search. They seem to make me take everything off before letting me through anyway. But most airports are quite efficient at security and barring the odd power hungry individual barking orders it is usually tolerable.

No for me it is the baggage check-in queues. Doesn’t your heart just sink when you see those endless zig-zagging lines of miserable people pushing cases big enough to fit a kitchen sink inside?

avoiding airport baggage check-in queues

When I travel British Airways my Silver card means I get to use the Business Class desk which can be quicker than being stuck with the masses in the Economy line. But when flying Jet2 or whichever low cost airline there are no such perks.

For years we’ve put up with it. A hour to check-in a case (for which I had to pay an extra check-in fee of course) from Edinburgh to Palma. 70 minutes wait on the return flight in Palma’s chaotic sauna of a terminal. Even the “Bag Drop” lines (when you have already checked-in on-line) don’t seem to move any faster.

So this year required innovative thinking for our week in the sun. How could we avoid starting a relaxing week’s holiday with a stressful stew in the check-in sin bin?

The answer was obvious of course. There is one guaranteed, foolproof method of avoiding airport baggage check-in queues. It came to me when I was about to click the box on Jet2’s website asking how many items I wanted to bung in the hold. I stopped myself before parting with another forty quid for two of them.

My guaranteed method of avoiding airport baggage check I queues is……. not to check-in any bags. Go hand baggage only.

I know what you are thinking. It can’t be done. Where will I put my 20 pairs of shoes? There won’t be enough room for all my outfits.

avoiding airport baggage check-in queues

It is possible though. Yes you can get three day outfits and three evening outfits into a cabin bag and still have room for a couple of pairs of shoes. And most hotels and villas have laundry services don’t they?

What was the result of this approach?

  • Got to the airport only one hour, not three hours, before each flight
  • Walked straight past the thronging thousands in the endless zig-zag mazes in both directions
  • Didn’t have to wait an hour at baggage reclaim at the other end so we beat everyone to the car hire company. Similarly on the way back we were first out through customs (and quite telling that we were obviously the only 3 people from a plane load of 150 that hadn’t got bags to wait for)
  • Saved £40 on hold baggage fees

For a week in Europe this is the surely the modern way to travel.

Over to you: For many I guess the thought of going away without the comfort of several heavily laden bags is unthinkable. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “A guaranteed way of avoiding airport baggage check-in queues

  1. Forgive me highjacking your post Roger but this is from my July newsletter and continues with the travel theme.

    With summer failing to arrive here in the UK I’m sure a lot of you are planning to escape elsewhere for some sunshine and here are a few things to consider before you go away to protect your back.

    Get organised: Don’t leave packing until the last moment . Have your suitcase off the floor when you pack so that you are not stooping over it.

    Don’t take too much with you: Most of us take far too much stuff with us and bring a lot of it back unused. What ever you take with have to be carried at some point.

    Lift Safely: Keep the load close to your body as you lift. Lift with a straight back, use your legs and don’t lift and twist at the same time, as this will put a strain on your back

    Try to move as much as you can: If you have suffered from back pain, try to get an aisle seat then you can easily get out of your seat frequently to walk around, so that you don’t stiffen up. This is particularly important on long haul flights. Sitting for hours on end can cause you to stiffen up.

    Drink plenty of water: This will prevent dehydration and force you to get up regularly to walk to the loo.

    Baggage reclaim carousel: This is a real danger area if you have a weak back. Be careful when you collect your baggage. It can sometimes be like a rugby scrum and you risk your back if you do not lift with good technique. It’s easy to over reach as you try desperately to get your suitcase off but the bags will come around again or you could move further around and plan your lift better or ask someone to help you

    If you are lucky enough to be having a sea side holiday in the UK you will have discovered a great way to find your core muscles. Walk into the cold sea and wow there they are!!


    For further posts from Fitness Function Specialist in exercise for back pain subscribe to my newsletters via http://fitness-function.co.uk. This months newsletter on the spine and facet joints is available there.

  2. Nice post :o)

    Hand-luggage only is definitely the way to go for short haul. On a recent flight I think a couple of passengers took it a bit too literally as the cases they brought on board were bigger than the lockers!…ooops!!

    Had the joy of flying Emirates in the last few days….two 8hr flights from Newcastle to Shanghai, glad we got the chance to stop off in Dubai for a couple of nights…really helped with the jet lag!

    Nothing more exciting than watching the reaction of the cabin crew when a passenger decides to get something out of the overhead locker just as the pilot opens the throttle for take-off!! :o)

  3. Why am I restricted to a small carry on when people getting on in other countries carry large coloured bags onto the plane which don’t even fit in the lockers ?

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