Meeting Passengers at the Airport

Picking up a friend, family member or business acquaintance at the airport can be tough-going. Here are some top tips to make your next airport "taxi" trip a breeze:

Arranging the Meeting

  1. Make sure you have the airline name, flight number and connecting city of your arriving party. If their flight is delayed or missed, it will be virtually impossible to track them down without this information.
  2. Designate a specific spot to meet your party because only ticketed passengers may go to the gate area (choose something like Baggage Carousel #6; Door #3; near the elevator; by the American flag, etc.)
    • Some airports now have “cell phone lots” where you can wait for arriving passengers who can call you when they arrive.

Before You Head to the Airport

  1. Before heading to the airport, check to see if the passenger's flight is on time. Head to the airline's web site and look for the "Flight Status" widget or section (usually on the home page). Type in the Flight Number or the flight's origin and destination cities.
    • Also ask the passenger to call you as soon as they are aware of a flight delay or cancellation.
  2. Bring along the flight information so you can look at the airport monitors to check on the flight status.
  3. Clear out your trunk or back seat of your car so you'll have enough room for their luggage.
  4. If you don't know what the passenger looks like, make and bring along a sign with their name in big bold lettering.

At the Airport

  1. Not parking but doing a "curbside pickup"? Understand that most airport pick-up and drop-off areas have a time limit - you may not be able to wait for very long.
  2. If you are meeting a child, disabled or elderly passenger, you may be able to go to the gate, but you will have to go to the airline’s check-in counter to get permission first.
  3. Holidays are major theft periods so don’t wander away from your party’s bags. When standing at the baggage claim carousel, hand bags to a friend or relative, or hold onto them while you are waiting.

Want more? Top air travel tips and advice from frequent fliers:

-Top Ten Flying Dos and Don'ts

-Rudy Maxa's Top Airport Tips

-Air Travel: Get Prepared

5/2009