17 Airport Hacks
At Birmingham Airport, we try our hardest to get you through the airport as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether you’re off on holiday or on your way home. We all know airports can be a busy place and getting through hassle-free is a top priority for all travellers.
Well, we’ve been doing this airport thing for a while now and we know a trick or two about how to speed your way through busy airports. Check out our list of airport hacks to get you through Birmingham Airport as seamlessly as possible:
1. Check in 24 hours before your flight
If you check in online before you arrive at the airport and have your boarding pass ready, all you’ll need to do is drop off any checked bags at your airline’s ‘bag-drop’ area. Then you’re ready to go through to the departure lounge!
2. Check your flight’s status before heading to the airport
We try our hardest to ensure all our flights run to schedule but occasionally flights can get delayed and cancelled. Always check the status of your flight before you head to the airport.
Get real time flight updates to your Twitter account with our FlightSmart service. Simply tweet your flight number to @flyBHX on the day of travel to see gate numbers, check-in opening times and live updates about any cancellations or delays.
3. Take a photo of your parking space
When you leave your car at the airport and come back days and sometimes weeks later, remembering where you parked can be a bit of a nightmare. We recommend taking a picture of your parking space so, once you’ve landed and collected your luggage, you can be on your way as quickly as possible.
4. Make your luggage stand out
We’ve all been there. Arriving at your holiday destination or your home airport and watching the cases rotate around the baggage conveyer belt, trying figure out which one is yours.
Make your luggage stand out by tying a bright coloured ribbon on your bag or personalising it in some other way. You won’t have to get bags on and off the conveyer belt to check whether they’re yours – you can just grab and go.
5. Weigh your bags at home
No one wants to be unexpectedly charged for overweight luggage at the airport – or have to deal with the stress of redistributing items to get the weight down. Weigh your bag at home to avoid surprises. Different airlines will have different luggage weight limits, so check before you pack.
6. Pre-book parking to save money
If you’re planning on parking at the airport, book in advance for big savings. You’ll get a guaranteed spot in your desired car park, no hidden fees and an easy start to your trip. Parking peace of mind – who doesn’t want that?
We have several different car parks to choose from, ranging from a 2-minute walk to a 10-minute walk from the terminal.
7. Reserve and collect Duty Free items
If you want to enjoy all of the offers at Duty Free – discounts on your favourite products, travel exclusive items you can only get at the airport – shop online before you fly.
You reserve the items on the World Duty Free site, but you don’t pay for them until you pick them up at the airport. There’s a price guarantee on reserved items and you can create a wish list to make it easy to re-order things the next time you fly.
8. Bring an empty water bottle
Since you can only bring 100ml of liquid through airport security, we have water fountains located within the departure lounge. This is so our passengers can bring empty bottles through security and fill them up free of charge. You’ll save money not having to buy bottled water from a shop and you’re doing your bit for the environment!
9. Pack a reusable coffee cup in your hand luggage
Bring a reusable coffee cup to the airport with you and continue to save the environment, and your money. Get a discount on coffee and be part of an initiative to stop creating so much waste. Our coffee shops fully support the initiative to end the waste of single use coffee cups - so, bring your own and avoid the 'latte levy'.
10. Wear layers
Temperatures at the airport and on the plane can fluctuate – you’re sweating one minute and shivering the next. Dress in easy-to-remove layers when you fly, so you can adapt your outfit accordingly. A lightweight scarf, a packable jacket, a hoodie, an extra pair of socks – these will all make your trip much more comfortable.
11. Use the Express Lane
Although the British are renowned for their well-mannered queuing, it doesn’t mean we enjoy it. If you hate queuing to get through security, you can buy a Express lane ticket for £3.75 online in advance, or at the airport for £5. You’ll be able to access a separate Express Lane with fewer people waiting.
12. Breeze through security
We try to make Airport Security as hassle-free as possible, but there are a few things you can do to organise yourself and get through faster.
- Have your documents ready by keeping your passport and boarding pass together in a plastic wallet or bag compartment.
- Pre-pack your hand luggage liquids before you get to the airport. This means you don’t have to spend time fishing through your handbag to find your liquids when you’re there – remember liquids must be under 100ml.
- If you’re taking a laptop or tablet on the plane with you, make sure they’re easily accessible, so you can whip them out your bag and onto a tray to go through the security scanner.
- Remove coats, belts, jewellery and clunky shoes.
- If you’re travelling with young children, don’t fold your buggy pre-emptively – it has to be unfolded to go through the scanner.
13. Use the free WiFi
Save some of your data and use the free Birmingham Airport WiFi. Available wherever you are in the terminal, simply enter your details to log in and get access. After every half hour slot, you’ll just have to log in again.
14. Rely on our 15-minute restaurant service guarantee
Some of our restaurants, like award-winning family restaurant Giraffe, guarantee to serve you in 15 minutes. So, sit back, order something tasty and relax before your flight.
15. GRAB food ahead of time via the app
If you know your time at the airport is going to be tight, you can now pre-order food from Giraffe or Frankie & Benny’s via the Grab app. Simply download the app and choose your dish, which will be waiting for you once you’ve gone through security and into the departure lounge. Meals can be taken on board so there’s no need to rush.
16. Fast track your way through Passport Control
On the other end of your holiday or business trip, you want to get home as fast as possible. Book a Premium Fast Track voucher online to save time in the queue and get access to a faster designated lane. Vouchers cost £5 per person and must be purchased at least 24 hours before arriving at Birmingham Airport.
17. Buy essential groceries on the way home
There’s nothing worse than getting home from holiday and having an empty fridge. Luckily when you get to arrivals you’ll find an M&S Simply Food and a Boots, so you can grab some food to eat in the car or make when you arrive home. And don’t forget the milk for a cuppa when you get in.