20 secrets of airport workers that will 'save your life'

Illustration Illustration Wikimedia

Some of the most value "things" you can get before trip are, for sure, inside informations.

Good informations worth a lot so I have spend a lot of time resarching to put down here some good inside informations "from the first hand" that I want to share with you as a backpacker.  Airport workers and other "insiders" sharing some secrets with all of us on Reddit.


Avoid paying $4 for a luggage cart in baggage claim by going outside to the pickup area. There are usually a few outside at the curb that people abandon when they get picked up. (Inthe713)


SmarteCarte gives a $.25 reward from the machine when you return a cart. At least in Houston the carts are free for passengers arriving into the international building. (Inthe713)


If you're flying into a smaller regional airport later inthe evening and renting a car, put your flight number somewhere in the car rental reservation. Most of these smaller airports close after the last flight lands. And some rental agencies don't require their employees to stay for late flights if they don't have someone on the flight. (i_me_me)


If you have a flight with the TV screens on the seats you can swipe pretty much any card with a magnetic strip (e.g. AAA card or empty Burger King gift card) and you'll get to watch free movies and TV for your entire flight. (This won`t work on flights with wifi access.)(CapnFran)


Bring an empty water bottle (nalgene type or simple plastic) into the airport. Fill it up at a water fountain once you are past security. Now you don't have to pay $3.00 for water. (ndrew452)

- Just ask at one of the coffee shops/food stalls if they can fill it with tap water for you, I've never had anyone turn me down yet (although I have had some baffled looks because I use a collapsible water bottle...) (tethys89)


This is very situational, but remember that if you can't make your connection and it was booked as one flight, the airline has to reschedule you. If you're somewhere where flights aren't usually full, and know the flight schedule, this can be used to your advantage.

So I'd book a connection that's impossible to make unless hell freezes over (31 minute connection on an evening flight into Newark, on a plane that's been making short hops all day, I never saw it delayed by less than 1.5 hrs) out of the little regional airport I was flying out of, because it was 75% cheaper than the direct flight. Before I even left to go to the airport, I'd have been texted saying the plane was delayed.

Then I'd call up the gate agent, tell her that I can't make my connection, she'd verify it, and I'd ask to be rescheduled for the direct flight I actually wanted. I did this for years, saved me thousands. (HDD_Destroyer)



If your flight is cancelled or overbooked, don't join the long line of people harassing the gate attendant. Call the airline's 800 number and the operator can do just about anything the gate agent can. I have walked by more than 100 people waiting in line after calling the airline instead. (2OQuestions)


If you need to rent a car DO NOT wait in the lines. Get your phone and visit the website or call the rental agency. Select the airport and your car and you just bypassed the line. Just go to the pickup window and give them your credit card for a deposit and get the keys. (gigabyte898)


Don`t expect handlers to handle your bagage with great care. Most employees dont throw with it. But when in a belly of an airplane where you cant work with a straight back and try to fit 200 pieces in a compartment. Think what you will do with the last 50 pieces of bagage.. So dont put stuff in like bottles of wine / laptops etc. Cause the handlers dont know what`s in it and they only act on how heavy a piece of luggage is. (BeamDelta22)


If you lost your phone charger, just go to the Lost & Found. They've got hundreds of them. It helps to say something like "it's a bit frayed near the top" or something to add believability. This also works at some hotels. (StickleyMan) 

-I'm just honest with them. I say "I forgot mine. Can I have one from the box?"

They appreciate the honesty, and 99/100 hotel workers don't give a shit about giving away a phone charger that no one is coming back for anyway. (autopornbot)



If you get to the gate early and ask the atttendants at the desk if there are any available emergency rows. They will usually switch you to a emergency exit row for free. Emergency exit seats have more leg room.



If you remove your belt and take everything out of your pockets before security then we all get through it a hell of a lot quicker. (shoney10)


If you overpacked, or bought a bunch of shit on vacation, go to any Hudson News Group airport gift shop, and ask any one of the friendly, knowledgeable staff to give you a big shopping bag. You can put all your crap in there, and the airline can't tell you it's an additional carry on, because it'll look like you bought it from the handsome, charming young man at the Hudson News Group airport gift shop. (Weeperblast)


Bring a three plug extension for when you're sitting a the gate and want to use a power outlet. Even if you're the only one using it, you'll make new friends. (Shepards_Conscience)


The Delta airlines wifi password is usually "thankyou". You'll need to be near the Delta lounge or near the pilot's or flight attendant's lounge, of course. (everycredit)


Dress business casual when you fly. You'll be surprised at how much better the flight crew and airport staff address you. (vankurek)


Buy a bag of chocolates and give them to the flight attendant when you sit down. Say that it is for that person and the rest of the crew as appreciation for what they do. Every single flight attendant came up to me and personally thanked me. When the beverage cart came around, I asked how much a rum and coke was, she replied, for you, free. I got three little bottles with coke. (skeeders)



I work as a Ramp Agent/Baggage Handler in the UK, ladies (or men, who am I to judge?). For the love of all that is holy take the batteries OUT of your vibrator before putting it in your luggage. If we find a vibrating bag we have to report it to our supervisor as it means the bag at the very least has batteries inside, a lot of which are classed as dangerous goods and aren't allowed in an aircraft hold.

More importantly if its vibrating we will get the bag identified and the vibrating stopped. Which means you'll be called outside of the aircraft to come to the bottom of the steps, identify your bag, open it, take out the vibraror and switch it off. With all of the team of (mostly) men watching, as well as the rest of the passengers. (grimmmmlock)


If your checking your bags: Pack all medications, expensive jewelry, and chargers into your carry-on. Make sure you have a change of clothes and anything else you'll need in case your bag is lost. (Cuntasticbitch) 


There is no need to reserve your seat in advance and pay those extra fees. Up to 24 hours in advance, you can check in, select your seat (and even pick those emergency row seats if available) for no extra charges. It also confirms your seat on that plane, so if it overbooked, as long as you are not one of the last people to check in, you will be fine.


Last modified on Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:52


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