I’m sitting by gate 173 at Pearson right now. Stress-free. I’m always stress-free at airports. I think most people get nervous here. But I love it. The airport is a place that I basically have figured out. I zip through lines and security with ease. So, to pass the time, I figured I’d share my little list of things that make air travel easy.
- Show up early. The lounge is a comfortable place. Boredom is better than panic. Show up early.
- Smile. Most nervous people are cranky, irritable people. And that’s a shame. It’s also a time-killer. When I first arrive and go to check my luggage I make a point of greeting the clerk with a wild smile and a hearty ‘good morning.’ And you know what happens when I do that? They smile back. And that’s something special because that poor guy has been standing there for hours listening to cranky, nervous passengers complain about their oversized luggage and how they don’t want an aisle seat. A ridiculously cheerful face will smooth the entire experience more than you would believe.
- Pack light. The security desk is the next stress-point for most people. I see people taking off shoes and belts and emptying pockets full of coins and pens and keys and God knows what else. And then they still set off the machine and you can see the panic in their eyes as they try to remove more and more from their person. You know what’s in my pockets? Nothing. I’ve no use for coins and my keys are clipped to my carry-on. I don’t wear a belt. I have flip-flops instead of shoes. The only things in my carry-on are things that I’m actually going to use in the airports and on the plane. Seriously, security guards smile when they see me. And it’s great to see them smile.
- Satchels. I get mocked for my satchel. But when I see poor people fumbling with boarding passes and passports and ID and all those other things you think you need, I shake my head. A satchel is amazingly useful at an airport. My pockets are empty and my passes and passports are close at hand.
- Relax. So much stress is self-inflicted. Airports are an adventure. Enjoy yourself. Take in the sites. Write a blog. I enjoy looking out the massive windows at the technicians preparing the planes.
That’s really all it takes. Lots of smiles. Little possessions. Almost seems like a good model for life, doesn’t it?
See you on the other side!