Holidaymakers face long queues and cancellations at airports before they can fly – but there are ways to make your trip a little less busy.
We explain how to skip airport queues on the cheap—and you can do it for free, too.
Queues at airports have been created by a combination of problems, including a post-Covid ban surge and staff shortages in airports.
This week, tui And EasyJet canceled hundreds of flights, with holidaymakers waiting up to eight hours to board planes at airports.
If you’re caught up in the chaos, it’s worth reading our guide to how much you’re owed if your flight is delayed or canceled,
However, if you’re traveling this summer, we bring you free and cheap ways to skip airport queues.
Airport lounge access – free or cheap
It is important to reach the airport early to avoid delays this summer.
Airport lounges are great for escape from the hustle and bustle of the terminals.
You don’t need to fly or be in business before to get to a great lounge for free or cheap.
You can buy passes for some airport lounges. Prices usually start at £15.
Airline lounges are generally better than airport lounges – but do your research before paying using sites like TripAdvisor or Lounge Buddy.
money saving specialist Here’s a helpful guide on where to buy them.
You can get free access if you have a premium credit card or bank account like Amex Gold or NatWest Rewards Black.
Some frequent flyer plans such as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club also offer discounts to members.
Before you spend any money, make sure you weigh how much time you might need to spend in the lounge.
This can be more cost-effective if you have an afternoon flight and can arrive early to skip the queues and then hang out in the lounge until you need to board.
fast track pass
Some airports offer fast track services through passport control and security, usually for between £7 and £10.
Airports including London Stansted, London Heathrow and Manchester Airport provide the service and it allows passengers to get through security checks.
Before spending cash, do your research to make sure the price you’re paying is worth you.
Choose flights outside peak times
You should check the departure and arrival times of the flight before booking the holiday.
For example, US flights land at London Heathrow between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., so can expect long queues.
Sunday evenings are also some of the busiest, especially from 5 pm onwards, as commuters are likely to return before work on Monday.
This means that if you can return during the week, or in the late morning/afternoon, you are more likely to gain information through immigration.
You may want to avoid booking a vacation during the first week of summer vacation (if you can!).
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