Global working: getting through the airport for business travellers
When we kicked off our series of travel tips, we had no idea that it would turn into a series. These were the specific airport tips offered up by our team and others in response to our calls for information:
In Geneva, you can get a free train ticket to the city: left at the exit in the baggage area. (Peter Guendlig)
At Frankfurt airport, on the return journey, you can check in your bags close to the train station. It is often faster than the terminal. (Peter Guendlig)
At Heathrow T5, head to the security gates on the far right side when you walk in. They’re far less busy then the ones in front of the main door. (Joff Marshall Lee)
(The superhelpful team at cheapflights.co.uk also sent a lovely infographic which readers travelling (back) from the UK may find useful: UK airport lounges)
There’s a swimming pool at Changi Airport. If you are here for a connecting flight, and have time between flights, it’s great way to stretch out and the exercise makes you feel better on arrival. (Claire Thompson)
Not many airports offer this service for free so if you’re passing through Halifax international airport in Canada and you have a wait for a connection, WIFI is readily available free of charge. (Other airports, please take note!) You can also purchase their famous lobster! (Thanks to cheapflights.co.uk for the inside track on this one.)
Following this exercise. I went out to research the best online guides to help you get through the airport quickly. I looked for ones with the best summaries of facilities useful to business travellers. These were the best generic guides that I came up with – individual airports’ own guides vary widely. It’s worth having a quick look at your departure/destination airport’s own information before setting off.
Note that criteria for listing here wasn’t arrival and departure information, but information for making life easier for travelling through in a business context on the assumption that most business travellers are capable of finding a taxi rank, and that most will also have their hotels etc booked before leaving. Each has their own style and varies in overall quality and in page quality, but these seem a good place to start. (Example: Heathrow)
You may know some better guides and have some better tips: please do share them (below) with others who travel regularly for business.
My pick of the airport guides: World Airport Guides
What a little gem! It has lots of information, including maps, lists of facilities, and an outline of services, including where to find ATMs and mobile phone hire. I’d love to hear from any regular travellers what they think of it – to me it looked the most comprehensive I could find: World Airport Guides
Other good sources:
The World travel guide: Gives a brief overview of transport, news (such as works and closures) and facilities, Some information a little dated (references to work to be completed in 2011, for example, but a good palce to start
Airwise: Offers concise information, most of it current and includes nice features like the time in the host country. It doesn’t cover every airport – for example only six countries in South America, and Jamaica has found itself in Central America – and the information is variable for each airport, but what’s there seems mostly useful and accurate (including directions, parking, terminal layout).
Cheapflights airport pages After they submitted a tip for last week’s blog, I found their pages on airports. These seem useful for business travellers for including things like Wifi access.
Airport terminal maps (USA): This will give you the layout for US airports only. Not so good for knowing what’s there, but a good start for knowing where to head in the airport.
The European Rail Guide: Ironically, this rail guide offers some really useful information for air travellers: the information you’ll need to get from the airport to the closest town centre and train station.
Next week brings a travel tips double:
- Six tips for better flights
- Tony’s Top Ten for More Relaxed Travel
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