Tag Archives: check-in queues

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?