Monday 31 March 2014

A to Z 2014: Airports and Airplanes

{For the month of April I will be blogging alphabetically on the topic of travel tips.}

Before you leave for your trip, make sure you know the layout of the airports and airplanes through which you will be travelling. This can save you a lot of hassle while in transit.

My husband and I nearly always select our seats ahead of time. For him, it's because he's tall and tries to get a spot with extra legroom and for me, I really prefer the window. I stare out of it compulsively and for some reason, sitting further into the middle makes me feel a little claustrophobic. 

Tell me this view isn't worth it?

Sometimes seat selection is cheap and sometimes it costs a lot. It's all about balance and what you can tolerate. A short flight? Wouldn't spend more than a few bucks to get the perfect seat. Long haul? Think of it as investing in a chance at actually getting some sleep.

Bulkhead seats! (On AC 007)
Once you book your ticket, you can get the layout of your plane on Seat Guru. This will give you much more information than the airline provided seat selector. 

Next up, make sure you know which terminals you will be travelling though. Some cities will have only one, some have easy to transfer to terminals and some are a nightmare! Mega cities may even have more than one airport so if you are booking connections separately, make sure you pick the right one!

My home town of Winnipeg recently opened a new terminal to replace the old one. It's fairly small, very straight forward and super easy to navigate. Well done, Winnipeg!

Departures on top, arrivals below. (YWG)

Many large hubs have shuttle trains that whisk you from one terminal to the other(s) in a matter of minutes. We recently used these services in Heathrow (London) and Changi (Singapore) with great success!

Unmanned shuttle train. (MSP)

Manila airport has four terminals and you have to brave city traffic to get from one to another. There is a bus that you can pay P20 (about $0.50) to get around them but it only runs once per hour. Granted, that's about how much time it takes to make the loop!

I can see it, but will they let me walk across the tarmac? (HKG)

Your itinerary should give you terminal numbers. If you have to make a switch, make sure you know what you're going to have to plan for once you land. Some airports have helpful websites and sometimes you have to rely on travel forums.


  1. Some great traveling tips here. You can probably google the airports too, I bet. And picking your seat ahead of time is always a bonus.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

    1. Thanks! Yes, Google is your friend when travelling.

  2. Great start to the challenge - travel tips is such a good theme! We are taking the challenge on as well with the theme "Beautiful BC" - I actually found you through the challenge sign-up page. Can't wait to see what else you've got to share during the month.

    1. Thank you! BC is really beautiful. I look forward to seeing what you post this month!

  3. Bonnie, I agree with everything you've said. Seats do matter!

  4. I never put much thought into any of that before! I'll remember this for next time I take a trip so it'll be less stressful.