I hop on and off planes on a regular basis and I refined quite a few strategies to make it faster, easier, and more comfortable.
Here five of them:
Consistent carry on packing
My carry on is always packed in the same way. Same bag, same stuff, same position.
As a result, my carry on always weights the same and feels the same.
I can tell just picking it up if I forgot any of the largest elements like my camera or my laptop.
Packing and retrieving thing requires the minimal cognitive effort.
Every now and then I tweak the setup to make it better, but not too often.
Status is key
It might seems pretentious, but airport life is dramatically different if you reach status on your airline. As soon as you can access fast lanes, priority boarding, lounges, and priority handling for your luggage, things get really smooth.
Noise canceling headphones
They are large, bulky, and not particularly stylish. It doesn’t matter, they are your best friend on short and long flights.
Minimal carry on, and checked luggage
I can’t travel carry on only. I tried, I felt miserable, I don’t do it anymore.
I check in a luggage, and I carry a minimal carry on.
A lighter carry on, a backpack in my case, allows me to move faster across connections.
But the most important tip is to constantly have a positive attitude when traveling for leisure or business.
Flights can be delayed and canceled. Airports can be busy. People can be rude. Connections can be late, and eventually missed. You can get an annoying person next to you on the flight. It happens, get over it.
Complaining, being rude, yelling, screaming, won’t get your flight to be on time, or the staff to find you a better connection to make up for a canceled segment.
On the contrary, being extremely collaborative will grease some of the gears for sure. I have been rebooked on expensive flights for free, I got access to off-brand lounges, I got multiple free business upgrades, just asking politely, smiling, and being nice.