On an early morning, sitting in the SAS lounge in LHR en route back home, what better way to spend the time until the airport monitors choose to reveal gate numbers than to brush up on some of the tips here?
Check-in. Do jump online or get the airline app if you’re Smartphone inclined. You may also want to sign up for your airline’s alert services – typically then, they send you a message when check-in opens. The online check-in usually always allows you to change seat – depending on your airline’s policies (or, in other words, how greedy they are…) that may allow you to pick a seat with actual room to exist.
First up, the legroom on a Lufthansa Airbus A321 at the emergency row 11:
This, I will allow, is an unusual amount of space in an economy class cabin. You do actually have to walk – or at least get a bit out of your seat -to reach the seat pockets in front. All the more reason to get your check-in done as early as possible to maximize your flying comfort
You can also find seats outside the exit rows that offer additional comfort and legroom. An example: SAS’ A321 has two quite excellent options hidden away on 10A and 25A – and this is one of the gems that may not always be visible on the seat maps you get during online check-in – so keep in mind that it could be beneficial to check a service like SeatGuru.
Finally, for this load of reminders: Luggage. You don’t really need to check that in. Of course, there can be exceptions due to having to have items with you that are not allowed in the cabin for safety or bulkiness – that was the case when I, logically, lost my luggage en route to the US a year ago.
The benefits of travellling smart and packing in accepted cabin baggage are plenty:
- No reason for joining the queue at baggage drop-off like the people in the image to the right. For me, this is not what I want to do at 5 in the morning at LHR… So I just roll past, good to go 🙂
- You’ll be out of the airport and getting to where you want to be quicker – whether it’s on the way to your destination or, even better, your home and family when you don’t have to make the 3, 5 … 15 minute stop at the conveyor belts on the way out.
- No queues like the other picture to the right – that is the “missing luggage queue” at CPH on a random arrival. Having your luggage with you obviously also means that the baggage handling people and systems experience a great lack of opportunity to misplace it for you…
Based on personal experience, you can pack for a 5-6 day business trip in carry-on luggage. There are countless guides on the Interwebs you can consult on how to do this – here’s one that I find both good and thorough.