The Red Carpet Club at Chicago’s O’Hare offers a conference room to rent for meetings.
If you're a frequent international flier, sign up for Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved members when they land in the United States. You bypass the customs lines by using completely separate, automated kiosks. (Noah Mesel, a high-level frequent flyer with United Airlines, says the airline paid the $100 fee for him.)
Luanne Sacks says layovers can present an opportunity to relax or keep up your grooming routine. Many airports - including San Francisco International, Vegas, O'Hare, and Dulles - have spa services available. Have a massage or manicure/pedicure while you wait for your boarding call. That way, you'll get off the plane looking good and feeling even better.
Use the Lounge (or Skip It).
Most lawyers swear by airport lounges as the best places for getting work done, grabbing a shower, or in the case of Luanne Sacks, holding a conference. "In the Red Carpet Club in O'Hare, for example, there's a conference room you can rent," she says. "If we have folks who are flying in from multiple locations for a meeting, we can meet there and all go get right back on the plane." Craig Cardon, on the other hand, thinks airport lounges are "the most overrated and under-serviced facilities on the planet." They're frequently overcrowded, Cardon says, so if you can't find a seat, he recommends heading to the gate: "There's often no one there."
Don't Check Your Bag.
On this topic, almost all frequent-flying attorneys have the same advice: Carry on your luggage if there's any possible way to do so. And if you can't, be sure you have sturdy luggage tags and take pictures of your bags to help the airline locate them in case they get lost. Running shoes can take up space, and some hotels now rent exercise clothes to help their guests pack lighter, so check that out ahead of time. Big items like golf clubs should be shipped overnight in advance. And for airport security checkpoints, slip-on shoes and a jacket with multiple pockets should be your uniform.
When you're in travel mode, try(!) to slow down and relinquish control. There's very little you can do about delays, bad food, canceled flights, and lost bags, so stressing out is a waste of time. - K.E.