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Your flight time this evening is a brisk six hours, but when you land, you’ll waste another few at immigration…

People stress, panic, lie, cheat and steal in pursuit of an upgrade, but at the end of the flight, everyone reaches their destination at the same time. The question is: who leaves the airport first? There are quite a few ways which any passenger can expedite their airport exit, bypassing the worst of immigration queues and heading straight into town, long before most fellow travelers on the flight. Here are a few of the best ways to stop waiting at immigration, and start enjoying your international travels…

a black board with white text and yellow dotsPick The Right Flights

Have you ever thought about looking up the arrival schedules for your terminal in advance? You should! You may quickly find that flight option A lands before any other flights, while flight option B lands after six international flights from countries which receive additional scrutiny. Before booking, simply google “(Insert Airport) (Insert Terminal) arrival schedule”. You’ll be able to better plot which flights will have fewer queues, which can endless time. Here’s the arrivals schedule for JFK Terminal 8, just FYI.

Join Fast Track Programs

Global Entry for U.S. immigration has expanded to citizens of countless countries. APAC trusted traveler programs allows expedited entry to foreigners in ports all throughout Asia. There are so many, they’re actually hard to keep track of. Global Entry costs the equivalent of $20 per year for 5 years, and virtually ensures you’ll breeze through U.S. immigration in minutes, not hours. With interview on arrival, this program and many others are easier to register for than ever. Check out all the options here. You’ll thank yourself.

a city with many buildings and a city skylineBuy VIP Services Starting At $20

Picked up from the plane in a golf cart, whisked through the airport and zipped through the fast track immigration channel in mere minutes. How does that sound? In certain countries, VIP fast track services are extremely cheap, and are totally worth it. For example, Bangkok Flight Services offers an incredible arrival service starting at just $27 USD. For an extra $10, you get the golf cart treatment. Look into these options all around the world, before you jet off.

Savvy Travel Selections

Why sit on the left side of the plane? You’re closer to the boarding door for a swift exit. Why pack a pair of running shoes in your carry on? Because you can power walk better than any of the high fashion jet setters from your flight. Use SeatGuru to find out where the exit door of your plane is, and then pick a seat in your cabin as nearest to the door as possible. Extra legroom seats aren’t just about legroom, they’re about proximity to legging it!

You can’t win em’ all, but you’ll win a lot more often if you follow these tips…

Featured Image Copyright: viewapart / 123RF Stock Photo

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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