Our Editors’ Top Airport Travel Hacks

Qantas Boarding Plane Airport

Airports, both domestic and international, can sometimes get a little hectic. From suitcase weight limits to wondering how early you should get to the airport, travel can be complicated. We’ve asked the Qantas Travel Insider editors to share their best airport tips and tricks to help make the experience a breeze.

Check-in online

“Two words: online check-in. As soon as I receive the notification that my flight is available for check-in, I’m downloading that online airline ticket straight to my phone’s ‘wallet’, so I can skip queues and sail straight through.” – Natalie Reilly, Content Manager

Get Q Bag Tags

“If you regularly travel domestically, invest in Q Bag Tags (or use the ones you get for free if you’re a Silver Qantas Frequent Flyer or above) for your checked-in luggage. The scannable tag makes the bag-drop process quick and easy as you don’t need to print out or fumble around with a stickered barcode. And my etiquette tip? Don’t stand directly next to the baggage carousel when waiting for your luggage! Leave some space and only step forward when you see your bag approaching, so everyone has plenty of room to heft their bags off the conveyor belt.” – Hana Jo, Digital and Content Operations Lead

Keep all your information on hand

“I am that person who photocopies all of my essential information and keeps it in a leather folder. That means I always have a copy of my passport, my vaccination certificate, my itinerary and anything else I think might be handy to have in case of an emergency. I also keep cash in the folder – I try really hard to avoid the currency converters at the airport because the exchange rate isn’t that flash and I want to make every dollar count.” – Kirsten Galliott, Head of Content, Luxury & Travel

Escape the high-traffic zones

“You know what I’ve never understood? The bottleneck of people that pools around the busiest parts of the airport. That’s why, once my bags have been scanned at security, instead of reaching around people trying to collect their luggage on the belt of the scanner, I always shove my open bags to the very end of the conveyor belt, where only empty trays seem to gather. I can then take my time repacking my laptop and liquids, and also keep the high-traffic areas free for others.” – Bridget de Maine, Managing Editor, Qantas Hotels

SEE ALSO: 18 Luggage Packing Hacks the Travel Experts Swear By

Make your luggage stand out


“If you’re finding it hard to spot your luggage in a sea of everyone else's other black cases and aren’t willing to step away from the sleek colour, add something to your bag to make it easily identifiable. Whether it's a bright ribbon or bag tag, your future self will thank you after a long-haul flight.” – Anneliese Beard, Digital Producer

Wear easy-to-remove pieces

“I avoid wearing an outfit that requires a belt and I always wear slip-on shoes. This ensures both a swift trip through security and an extra-comfy flight.” – Faith Campbell, Deputy Content Director

Take everything out

“When in doubt, take it out! Some security scanners at certain airports no longer require you to take your laptop and liquids out of your carry-on bag, but I’m a firm believer in ‘better safe than sorry’. I put all my liquids in a transparent make-up bag to pull out in one go and take my laptop out of my carry-on suitcase as soon as I join the line.” – Christina Rae, Digital Editor

Pack your own snacks

“Food! If I don’t have lounge access, I always pack my own snacks – from carrot sticks and crackers to Carman’s protein bars for something more filling – so I can avoid the junk and overpriced sandwiches at the airport. If you’re travelling with kids, it stops (some of) the whining and can save you a fortune.”  – Sandra Bridekirk, Deputy Copy Director

Compartmentalise everything

“I have a bunch of cloth bags in various sizes (like the free ones you get from clothes stores) that I use to compartmentalise my carry-on. It speeds up security if you ever need to open up your luggage for security or customs. I pack a bag of seat-back essentials (phone chargers, reading material, headphones) and a bag for in-flight toiletries, socks and extra layers. This way, I can unpack quickly when boarding (I don't want to be that person clogging the aisle!) and I know I won't be up and down rummaging through the overhead lockers during the flight.” – Mark Brandon, Content and Partnerships Editor

Keep everything in your carry-on

“I like to browse once I’m through security and I always get a coffee and ensure I have a snack and a fully charged phone and iPad in my carry-on – so if there are any unexpected delays, I’m all set. Then I find a comfy seat in a lounge area (somewhere close enough to my departure gate but far enough away that I’m not sitting right in it), so I’m not rushing last-minute to find where I need to be right before it’s time to board.” – Pippa Duffy, Copy Editor

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SEE ALSO: Here’s What the Qantas Editors Never Fly Without

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