Road warrior and frequent flyer Ryan Bingham dissected the art of passing quickly through an airport in the movie Up in the Air -- a flick that we tend to keep on fairly heavy rotation when travelling.
We've got our own time-proven strategies to speed your way through Australian and international airports, and spend more time being productive (or relaxing) in a lounge rather than standing in line. Ready for AusBT's 'fast five'?
1. Wear a suit or casual jacket
There's no easier or faster way to deal with taking everything out of your pockets for security than just slipping them into the pockets of your suit jacket or a casual equivalent.
Wallet, phone, headphones, keys, everything else -- all kept safely together, harder for thieves to purloin from the x-ray belt if you're pulled aside for extra screening, faster to slip back on your shoulders after you're done with the metal detector or body scanner.
2. Carry an Ultrabook or tablet instead of a full-size laptop
In the US, the TSA checkpoints will let you leave an iPad, small laptop with SSD (not a hard drive) or other device with no moving parts in your carry-on bag when it goes through the x-ray machine.
So you save a bit of time zipping and unzipping, plus no more waiting for your laptop to come out of the x-ray machine when the screener is peering intently at the bag after yours.
We just wish the same "only big laptops out" idea would spread to this side of the Pacific.
3. Fill out the inward/outward immigration forms in advance
If you're travelling internationally you'll have to fill out assorted immigration and customs forms.
You can save time by completing these forms ahead of time – while you're queueing for check-in (they're available at the check-in desk), en route to the airport or even (if you're hyper-organised) in a few spare minutes anytime before you leave for the airport.
If you can, grab a few of these cards for outgoing (and incoming) Australian passengers and keep a stash at home, in the office or in your carry-on.
4. Wear a shirt with a pocket
Once you've got all the forms you need -- plus your boarding pass, passport, and express departures/arrivals cards -- it's a matter of keeping them to hand during your trip.
Wear a shirt with a breast pocket so that you can keep them handy as you pass through security, while you make your way through the airport, when you board, for reference during the flight and on arrival.
That way you have everything together and aren't hunting through your bag, jacket and other pockets for all the important documents you need.
Pockets not your style? You can achieve nearly the same convenience by picking an external pocket of your carry-on bag as your designated travel document pocket.
5. Look at the map and plan your route before you arrive
Before you get to the airport, eyeball the terminal on the airport's website. Is the terminal one of the ones with an interminable duty free maze? Are certain gates a hefty hike away from the business lounge?
Large international airports are a nightmare to navigate when busy, so know where you're going. Where are your airline's check-in desks, so you can ask the cab driver to stop right outside the closest doors -- or make a beeline straight for them from the airport train or bus stop?
Is there a sneaky shortcut you can take, or perhaps an airline partner's lounge that's closer to your gate than the lounge that your airline uses?
If you're connecting, do you need to change terminals? How does that work -- is there a bus? peoplemover? train? moon buggy? (No, really -- Washington's main international airport, Dulles, uses odd moon buggy peoplemovers to get you around the airport.)
When travelling internationally, at what point do you clear customs and immigration? It's usually the first airport you reach in the country, but that's not always the case.
Your tried and tested tips
What are your favourite tips for speeding your way through the airport? Do you use our top five? Share your own tips with your fellow AusBT readers in a comment below!