[Credit: skitterphoto.com]

Fly Away In Style

ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators. They know a thing or two about making your group’s foreign trip go smoothly, so follow their tips for breezing through the airport:

  • Before you leave, check that everyone in your group has their passports, airline tickets, any relevant visas and insurance policies.
  • Pack light – travelling with only hand luggage will save you all time at the luggage carousel and often money too, as you won’t have to put anything in the hold.
  • If you, or anyone in your group, uses medication, carry a supply in your hand luggage.
  • Weigh your luggage before you travel so you’re not hit with a hefty charge at check-in, and ask the other members of your group to do the same.
  • If you’re driving to the airport check there are no road works and leave a little extra time if you’re travelling at busy times of the year.
  • If you’re using public transport check for engineering works – these often take place on bank holidays and at weekends.
  • Book your airport parking in advance as it can be much cheaper. As can getting currency in advance – exchange rates at the airport are often not that good.
  • Before you get to security, ask everyone in your group to take off their coats, jackets and belts, and remove any electronic items from their bags. You can only take liquids in 100ml containers, which must be placed in one clear plastic bag; some UK airports will supply these free of charge, but some will charge for them.
  • Don’t hog the overhead lockers by putting handbags and coats up there, put them under the seat in front.
  • Finally, buy train and bus tickets in advance to avoid queues at busy times and at weekends where there may be fewer staff.