King Shaka International Airport is my local airport which I fly from.I love airports as I get excited about catching flights and meeting loved ones at the airport.Blame the movie Love Actually for putting these emotions and thoughts into my head.
Before the new airport ,the old airport was literally ten minutes away from home.Often we would find ourselves at the airport saying goodbye and
welcoming friends and family.Sometimes we would just go to the airport of a meal or coffee and to watch the planes taking of and landing.As a child I fondly recall standing in my garden watching the planes soar and trying to figure out which country the plane belonged too.
King Shaka International Airport is situated to the North Coast of Durban city centre.It has been in use since 2010 and there has been an increase in the number of International flights that leave from the airport.Currently Kulula,Mango,British Airways ,SAA and FlySafair fly locally while Etihad ,Emirates ,Air Mauritius , Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian(seasonally)fly out of King Shaka.The layout of the airport is fantastic with lots of space.The building is split into two levels with arrivals at the lower level and departures on the upper levels.Access to both levels are made easier with the options of escalators and a lift.On the upper level a bag wrapping service can be found as well 2 curio stores,besides the check in counters there are several terminals for self check in which is fantastic when one is running on a tight schedule.
Once through the security checks and onto the boarding gates there are several shops and eateries to keep you occupied and full.In the seating area there are charging points which enable you to charge up your gadgets before you fly.On the ground floor a variety of stores can be found including a food court.
Tips for flying from King Shaka International Airport :
1.Leave home extra early as the traffic on route to the airport can be a total nightmare and you could even miss your flight.Check the traffic reports and if need be taken an alternative route.
2.Get dropped off and picked up on the upper level.It is less crowded.
3.Luggage can be wrapped in the upper level make sure you have cash to pay for the service.
4.There is long term and short term shaded parking at the airport.There is a golf cart that shuttles people and luggage all day long.
5.Always locate your boarding gate before your actual flight.Generally there are seats near the boarding gate.I tend to camp out there so I am not rushed in getting to my gate.
6.There is free wifi at the airport.
It is always important to learn a few tricks and tips when travelling through airports to make your life much easier and the journey more pleasant.
My general routine at King Shaka International Airport :
I tend to do these things 98% of the time whenever I flew as I am a creature of habit.The only time I am relaxed is when I am on the plane in my seat then I know I am actually flying.This is my general routine.
1.After I check in I go to find my boarding gate.
2.Generally I am super early for my flight and so I have time to grab a coffee or a bite to eat while I people watch.
3.I keep a close eye on the time and information boards for any changes toy flights.
4.I always carry a notebook and a book to read or doodle away while I wait for my flight.
5.Before going to the boarding gate I always go to the toilet to freshen up before my journey.
6.Have cash on you for the toll road when you leave the airport.
As a blogger ,I find myself online a lot of the time.I spend time reading others bloggers from around the globe and locally.Each time I read ,I find I learn something new and like they say learning is life-long.So with my new found knowledge I jot down points and save articles so I can put into practise some of these tips and travel hacks.Below is a collection of airport tips to make your journey easier.
Airport Hacks & Tips :
1.Find out exactly where the airport is from you and what terminal you are flying from.Not knowing this information at airports like Heathrow and Gatwick in London could lead to you missing your flight.
2.Keep all your documents together in a travel wallet or a soft file which you can keep in your handle luggage.Documents include printed copies of medical insurance ,flight tickets ,passport ,visas,proof of accommodation and letters of invitation.Having all this information together will ensure you do not waste time and are organised.
3.Screenshot your boarding pass so that incase there is no internet connection or wifi you still have your ticket on you.
4.Find out what you can take in your hand luggage in terms of LAGs (Liquids,aerosol and gases).Keep a plastic resealable bag for any LAG items in your hand luggage.
5.Know your luggage and hand luggage allowances in terms of checked and unchecked luggage including weight and dimensions of cases.
6.Print your boarding pass from the self check in kiosks.
7.If possible travel midweek when airports are less crowded.Tuesday and Wednesday are days when ticket prices are cheaper.
8.Sign up for frequent flyer programmes and book flights on those flights if possible for rewards.
9.Make use of frequent flyer rewards to upgrade seats and get lounge access.
10.Always arrive earlier at airport just incase.
11.Take a picture of your luggage before you check your bags in so incase your bags get lost you can describe your bags and a picture to identify your bags.
12.Carry a notebook and pen so you can fill in landing forms at immigration.
13.Carry small sealed packs of snacks like nuts and dried fruit in case of delays and you do not like the food on the plane.
14.Red eye flights save time and money.
15.When checking in always ask if you can upgrade to Business Class and sometimes you might just get lucky.
I love airports and next week I am heading back to King Shaka International airport to pick up some precious cargo.And yes I will arrive early so I can grab a coffee and people watch.Do you have any tips and tricks to share ?
Be Inspired !
Ps This post has been done in collaboration with Travelstart.