How To Ace The Airport

It's the journey as much as the destination. Make it a good one

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This advertising feature has been created in collaboration with American Express®

Today, as people travel more and more, it has become commonplace to dismiss the pre-boarding experience as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. But with a little forward planning you can do just that.

'Outfit' in advance

The lighter you pack and the more organised you are about it, the smoother your airport experience will be. Pack a cabin-ready bag (Louis Vuitton does a great line in rolling luggage) around five basic essentials — one navy suit, one blazer,a cutaway collar white cotton shirt, a pair of chinos (which can be dressed up or down), and a pair of brogues or derbies — and you won't go far wrong. Or even need to check-in your bag.

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Be fashionably early

However casually elegant it might seem to arrive at the airport a cool 50 minutes before your flight, leaving no leeway can quickly lead to trouble. Remember, too, that fast-track security is often as busy as the regular queue these days. So give yourself at least half an hour's grace to avoid any in-terminal panics, then use any banked minutes to make the most of the lounge Wi-Fi before you fly.

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If in doubt, invest in these apps

Nothing beats GateGuru for clear flight updates, detailed terminal maps and general pre-flight management. Download LoungeBuddy to see all the lounge options at the specific airport you're travelling from, while TripIt lets you organise your flight itinerary and manage all your travel documents on one simple interface.

Wear high-twist fabrics

To ensure you look as good when you land as you did when you took off, opt for blazers and trousers cut from cloths made with high-twist yarn which prevent creasing, improve comfort and breathability. If in doubt, head to Ermenegildo Zegna. The Italian brand's intelligent fabric development is second to none.

Book a treatment

A Swedish back massage will leave you feeling supple and relaxed for the flight ahead, so make the most of your lounge access by pre- booking a treatment at the in-lounge spa for a few hours before you take off (another reason to get to the airport early). It might also be possible for you to pre-book into the arrivals lounge spa for when you land — and there are few things better than a post-flight hair trim. Trust us.

Avoid passport holders

Prevent any immigration desk fumbling by investing in a travel pouch; it will give you easy access to all your vital documents. Or simply leave your passport as nature intended — it's in this season's on-trend shade of burgundy, after all.

Queue smart

If you're stuck behind a large group or family going through security, don't stress. Use the time to check everything's in place for your arrival (confirm the hire car; check your restaurant booking) and the experience will feel better all round.

Board last

The obvious reason to board with the final passengers is that it means you'll spend less time stuck in your seat prior to take-off. That said, Priority Boarding is worth considering if you're transiting at peak times. And that's it: your every airport experience aced.

Ready for take off

If you want to relax in an oasis of calm before your flight, as an American Express Platinum® Cardmember you and a guest will benefit from complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world –including Priority Pass™, American Express Lounges and Plaza Premium lounges–regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. Terms apply.

What's more, as a new Cardmember you can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points as a welcome bonus when you spend £2,000 on your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Why not put the new Cardmember welcome bonus towards your next trip, safe in the knowledge you'll be able to make the most of your time in the airport before you board? Terms apply.

For more information and to apply for The Platinum Card click here.

Terms and Conditions apply. Please click here for more information.

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.