We all pass through the airport at some point in the year whether for work or pleasure. Frequent travelers, though, will tell you that there’s an art and a science not only to navigating these sometimes confusing places but how to actually enjoy the experience. That was the topic for our November Twitter chat, which is especially important during the hectic holiday season.
What is a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2-3pm Pacific Time under the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat about airports!
Let’s face it, not all airports are made the same and each one has its own pros and cons. We wanted to know which airports rank highest with our online travel pros, so we asked everyone to share their favorite airports and what makes them so special.
- For travel pro @LeeAbbamonte his top pick is Singapore’s Changi Airport, routinely named one of the best in the world!
- According to @StopJetLag, the best is San Francisco’s SFO thanks to all of the international routes offered.
- Some like the ambiance of an airport and for @RickGriffin that means the amazing sunsets at Juneau Airport in Alaska.
- Overall, we noticed that most chatters prefer their own hometown airports, whether it’s Washington Dulles or Toronto Pearson. It just demonstrates how important it is to get to know an airport in order to discover all of its secrets.
Any frequent traveler will tell you that one way to maintain sanity and get a little rest is to enjoy lounge access in airports. Whether you pay for the privilege or it’s a travel perk, there’s no doubt that heading to the lounge is the best way to escape airport chaos. For our second question, chatters shared their favorite lounges and the best experiences they’ve had in them while traveling.
- Chat co-hosts @theplanetd echoed what quickly became the most popular response, the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul, which is like a miniature city.
- Another popular response was the @VirginAtlantic Clubhouse in London that includes a spa, Jacuzzi, salon, pool tables and more fun ways to pass the time.
- Travel pro @SandiMcKenna added to the list the increasingly popular @AmericanExpress Centurion® Lounges.
- Another popular answer were the many premium lounges offered by @CathayPacific in Hong Kong, including two exclusive First Class lounges.
Need for Speed
No one likes to spend hours waiting in long security lines which is why we thought this was a perfect question for our travel pro followers to tackle.
- Research programs like Clear and TSA Precheck to see if these might work for you and your needs. They provide dedicated lanes guaranteed to shorten your time waiting around.
- Chatter @touring_yorkie says to have a plan of action. Remove items before you reach the belt and have bins ready to go.
- Do your homework before you leave home and know what is and isn’t allowed through security. This alone will save you precious time.
Passing the Time
Whether you arrived early and have extra time, or your flight was delayed and you have a long day ahead of you, there are plenty of ways to amuse yourself at the airport. We asked the chat community how they pass the time when they have long waits in airports and we loved the responses!
- We loved @mcnuttsc’s answer who said he goes for a walk. Getting exercise is a great way to burn off some extra energy and not get so upset over the delayed flight.
- Lounge access is key for @HarshM09 who says that as long as he has that and Wi-Fi, there’s never a problem!
- If your delay or layover is REALLY long, @whereisemil suggests getting out and exploring the city. Some airlines and airports even provide short tours as a complimentary service.
- Other popular answers include getting some work done, watching movies, reading and even spending time at an airport restaurant, café or bar.
To Dream the Impossible Dream
We all fantasize about travel and that includes how to make it even more fun. We asked the #TripItChat community what amenities and special features they wish every airport offered—some of the answers were hilarious!
- Chat co-host @Bloggeries enjoys GOOD restaurants, amazing duty free shopping choices and of course free Wi-Fi.
- Aviation fans like @DonNadeau would love to see more post-security viewing platforms—fresh air is always nice!
- After a long flight and connecting to another, many passengers, like @lunchforone, would love access to showers.
- Other popular responses included: spas, gelatos bars, mojito machines, sleeping pods and healthy food options.
Don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat! Taking place on the third Thursday of every month at 5 pm ET.