Flight delays, waiting in long lines and confusing security rules can make airports inherently stressful places.
But nearly a quarter of British holiday-makers questioned in a recent survey go as far as saying that airport stress levels are on a par with moving house.
The survey of just over 2,000 British travellers by credit-card insurer CPP makes grim reading for airport operators.
Of those surveyed, four in ten Brits who have flown say they find the airport experience stressful.
And more than a third believe the airport experience is more stressful than the working week.
As a result, one in ten say they are avoiding flying altogether, the study reveals.
Flight delays, mislaid baggage and getting to the gate on time topped the list as the most stress-inducing aspects of the airport experience.
The survey also reveals that holiday-makers perceive London Heathrow as Britain’s most stressful airport, followed by Gatwick and Manchester – the UK’s first, second and third busiest airports, respectively.
7 tips to make the airport experience more bearable
Credit card insurer, CPP suggests 7 simple steps to help reduce airport stress:
- Choose your airport carefully, as bigger airports tend to be busier, which can mean higher stress levels. Consider flying to a smaller, local airport to reduce transfer times and hassle.
- Do as much as you can online before you travel where possible. Check in online to reduce the amount of time spent queuing when you arrive and if you choose this option, remember to print off your boarding pass.
- Minimise parking time. Consider dropping off all your passengers at check-in and having one person park the car to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Check in minimal luggage. With airlines increasingly charging for checked-in luggage, you can avoid queues and save cash by taking carry-on luggage, especially for short breaks.
- Opt for fast-track security. Some airports allow passengers to pay for the opportunity to fast-track through the security gates, speeding up the airport process.
- Take advantage of airport lounges, which are a great way to relax and get that holiday feeling before boarding the plane – you’ll be guaranteed a seat and get complimentary snacks.
- Have a boarding strategy. If you have pre-booked seats, it may be worth boarding last, meaning you can spend longer in the lounge and less time queuing at the gate. If you haven’t pre-booked seats, think about getting priority boarding or leaving a little more time at gate to get to the front of the queue.