14 Airport Hacks to Help You Breathe Easier on Your Next Flight
(Photo: Mark Hodson/Flickr)
By Sophie-Claire Hoeller
Contrary to the mindless quotes posted on Facebook and Tinder profiles, travel is in no way about the journey, but rather the destination. Surly gate attendants, moronic passengers, nasty coffee — you don’t have to be Tom Hanks in The Terminal to know that flying can be a pain. Knowing this, some kind soul on Reddit reached out to airport workers to compile a handy list of how to make airline travel better.
So, straight from the horse’s mouth, here are 14 hacks that’ll make any airport experience better.
(Photo: Gavin Anderson/Flickr)
1. Use any card to get free movies
Allegedly, swiping any card with a magnetic strip to pay for the TV in front of you will work, so long as there’s no Wi-Fi on the plane. So that Red Lobster gift card now gets you a lot more than just Cheddar Bay biscuits.
How it works: When there’s no connection to verify your card, the transaction is held until the plane lands. If you swipe while still on land, Wi-Fi is usually not active yet. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on repeat!
2. Roll back your computer’s clock for more time on Wi-Fi
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When airports hand you an hour of Wi-Fi, play the system and make two hours look like one by rolling back the system clock before the first hour is up.
3. Don’t get into the line when your schedule changes
If your flight is cancelled or overbooked, following the herd to the gate attendants is like throwing gasoline on a fire sparked by frustration. Instead, just call the airline; the operator can do everything the gate agent can, and probably much sooner than for all those suckers waiting in line.
Or double dip: Call while in line. Then you’ll be laughing at them while swigging $12 airport beers in no time.
4. Pay less for flights by booking impossible connections
This is obviously situational, but – at your own peril – book a cheap connecting flight you’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of making. Oh, you only had 10 minutes to connect in Philadelphia? The airline has to reschedule you.
If flights aren’t sold out, you can tell the gate agent you won’t make it even before you leave on the first flight, and possibly get rescheduled on a direct flight that would have been much more expensive otherwise. It’s not quite as forbidden as passing off your real destination as a layover stop, but it still carries some risk.