What People Stress About Most at the Airport

It's not the bathrooms. Though maybe it should be?

Airport Anxiety

Choosing the worst part of a travel day isn’t easy. The entire day’s an up-way-too-early, delayed-way-too-long exercise fit for the Fields of Punishment. It’s simpler to identify a single positive, like airport Shake Shack.

A company called Priority Pass, though, recently rallied responses to crown the most anxiety-inducing aspects of a day at the airport. In a survey that polled over 1,700 different travelers, 49% of respondents chose “Baggage collection” as the most stressful stage of an airport travel day. Just behind it? “Passing security” … followed by “Transfers” and “Checking in.”

Priority Pass also asked people a more macro question: “What are you worried might happen before you travel/while you are at the airport?” Baggage collection still scored high on that one, placing second with “Losing baggage,” but the primary honor went to “Getting stuck on the way to the airport,” at 60%. If you’ve ever sat in an immobile Uber as the clock slowly marches closer to your boarding time, you can surely empathize.

To those worried about losing their bags, a few tips. For starters, try to pack less. Remember, most domestic and international flights allow you two carry-ons (a backpack and a reasonably-sized duffel), so if you can pack across those two, you can avoid handing your favorite shirts and pants over to a bunch of strangers. If you need the full suitcase, make it an easily discernible one and don’t stuff it with valuables. Keep the items you can’t imagine losing in your backpack or carry-on. Also — don’t dilly-dally to the carousel once the plane lands. Get there nice and early, and jockey for good position. If this all still sounds too stressful, sign up for a service like Luggage Forward, which will handle the whole process for you, leaving you unencumbered on your travel day.


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