Back when Southwest offered $29 fares from Baltimore Washington International (BWI) to Long Island – Islip (ISP), I used to fly home all the time. These days, with fares double that, I fly less often but one tip that I’ve always used is to print my boarding pass at home.
The airport is about lines. You have the line to get your ticket and check your baggage, you have your security line to get to the gates, and then finally you have the lines to board the plane. At each line, you have the risk of running into a delay, or a rush, and potentially miss your flight. The only line that doesn’t create that issue is the one to board the plane… but you could get stranded in security or even baggage check if you’re unlucky.
That’s why I always try to avoid checking baggage and print my boarding pass at home. I get to skip one of the lines and only risk getting stuck in the security queue.