Clever Travel Hacks

Catch a taxi from departures and mark check-in baggage as fragile: The plane hacks that even frequent flyers don’t know

As the summer holiday season looms, millions of travellers will be preparing to fly off on their annual vacation abroad.

Taking a flight can be a stressful business, but with a few simple hacks, the process can be made much easier.

The following guide from MailOnline Travel can help even the most frequent fliers, with tips that include how to bag a faster taxi from the airport and the best way to guarantee extra room when boarding a flight.

There are several hacks that can help with packing, booking flights and airport visits 

There are several hacks that can help with packing, booking flights and airport visits

Fake your location to get cheaper air fares

If you are going on a holiday that includes taking on internal flights within a foreign country, it can be more cost effective to book your ticket through the home website of an airline within that country.

By pretending to come from that country, dramatic savings can be made on tickets that often have extra costs instantly added for tourists.

By going to a site like ITA Google to search for flights instead of SkyScanner or Kayak, which automatically assumes you are buying in your home country, you can change the location of the point of sale and the currency you want to buy the ticket in.

Fly on a Boeing 767 plane to have less chance of a middle row seat

Boeing 767 planes have less of middle row seats than other large planes 

Nobody likes the middle row in a plane, especially on a long-haul flight.

To lessen your chances of being seated in the centre, choose a Boeing 767 flight as they have less of the middle row seats.

When booking as a couple, reserve the aisle and the window seat

Instead of booking two seats together, if you reserve the aisle seat and the window seat, you increase the chance of no one wanting to sit in your row on a flight, leaving you with a spare spot if the plane isn’t full.

If the plane is full, the person in the middle seat is likely to be grateful if you then give them the option of the aisle or the window seat.

Download the airline’s app

Download the airline's app to keep up to date on information like flight delays and gate numbers 

Most airlines now have their own mobile phone app, which provide a host of information for travellers.

They can keep passengers up to date on information like flight delays and gate numbers, as well as telling you providing a digital copy of the boarding pass – handy if you forget to pack your printed version.

Mark your check-in baggage as ‘Fragile’

Mark your check-in baggage as 'Fragile'

Bags are treated pretty roughly behind the scenes at airports, so it’s no wonder things get broken during transit.

By marking your check-in baggage with Fragile stickers, handlers will be likely to treat it much more carefully.

They will also place your bags on the top of piles, instead of the bottom.

Know that you have a 24 hour window for a refund

Airlines are generally pretty inflexible when it comes to cancelling flights, but most companies have a 24-hour refund policy.

This means that you can cancel your ticket without paying any charge.

Pack some essentials in your hand luggage

Checked-in luggage often goes missing and being stranded in a foreign country with no toiletries or spare clothes is not fun.

By packing a change of underwear, some toothpaste, a toothbrush and face wash, as well as a clean T-shirt, a traveller has enough accessories to face a new day feeling fresh.

Use a soft bag for hand luggage

Use a squishy bag for hand luggage as it will fit more easily into difficult overhead cabin spaces

While many hard case trolley bags are slated as the best option for carry on luggage, a soft bag is often a better bet.

Not only is it easier to carry up and down stairs, it will also fit more easily into difficult overhead cabin spaces.

Plus, if a flight is full, cabin crew are more likely to choose hard cases to go in the hold at the boarding gate.

Make use of a stopover to see a new place

It’s natural to search for a flight that has zero extra stops when going on holiday, but change your state of mind as try to see the stopover as an opportunity.

Often a long stopover can mean cheaper tickets and give you time to see a whole new city. 

Head to departures to catch a taxi instead of waiting at arrivals

At busy times, there can often be a huge queue for taxis at the arrivals area of an airport – the last thing a passenger needs after a long flight.

To get a cab quicker, head to the departures area instead.

Create your perfect hot drink before travelling

Before taking a plane, pack an empty thermos with your favourite tea bag, honey and slice of fruit then ask the cabin crew to fill the bottle with hot water on the flight 


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