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How to Avoid Stress When Flying From Leeds Bradford Airport

Wow flying from Leeds Bradford Airport in the school holidays is hell. Parents with prams block aisles, bodies sprawl across multiple seats and the queues are a mile long. There’s a queue for check in, a queue for security, another queue for the bar, and even a long queue for WHSmith. Let’s just say that departing from this airport in the summer holidays is on a par with having a wisdom tooth extracted!

If you are flying from Leeds Bradford Airport during holiday season and want to not just survive the experience, but enjoy it, then this post is for you!

Flying from Leeds Bradford airport
Source: Neil Turner on Flickr

Stress free flying from Leeds Bradford Airport

Meet and Greet car parking

The best way to get your trip off to a great start is to book Meet and Greet car parking. This means you arrive refreshed and without having to wait around for transfer buses. Likewise, if you are returning late at night, the last thing you want is to be delaying your sleep hanging about.

We booked with Simple Meet and Greet through Holiday Extras, rang them ten minutes beforehand and were met on arrival by a very happy chappy. All that was left for us to do was to saunter into the terminal and check in for our flight.

Book Your Airport Parking With Holiday Extras NOW!!

Security hack

As you head into the terminal the first thing that strikes you is the unmistakable length of the queue for security. Buy a fast track ticket for £4 each and bypass that queue snaking half a mile around the terminal. BBC News is reporting that most Brits aged between 40 and 60 have not walked for more than ten minutes in the last month. The solution is simply to send them to LBA where that habit will soon be reversed, as they wind back and forth. Just the sight of the screaming toddlers, whining kids and stressed out adults has my blood pressure rising.

That £4 ticket, purchased from Travelex, allows us to bypass the queue, trying not to be too smug. We get priority at the scanning deck too and in less than a minute are unpacking our bags ready for scanning. In less than five minutes we are in the terminal. I’m estimating that it would have been a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes to make it through the non fast track. Jason and I pump fists feeling quite happy with our £8 hack.

enjoy champagne in business class
Celebration time? Source: Pixabay)

Leeds Bradford Airport lounge hack

We turn the corner however and before you know it, my blood pressure is on the rise again. Families slowly meander through the shop, blocking entire aisles, oblivious to those wishing to overtake. Kids bump ankles on scooters and trunkies and the stress level is palpable. The bars are packed to overspill and there’s barely room to sit on the floor, never mind on an actual seat.

We make a direct beeline for the Yorkshire Premiere Lounge. This lounge costs £21 per adult for a three hour visit. It is certainly not the best lounge I’ve visited but we are visiting for FREE. We have two complimentary lounge passes with our Gold AMEX and are putting them to use to escape the bank holiday mayhem outside.

Book Your Tickets Here for £21 Each

The Yorkshire Premiere Lounge is spacious but very busy when we arrive. We manage to find a table and settle in. Here’s my candid overview of the pros and cons for you to decide whether it is worth paying the entry fee.


Drinks are self-service and the selection is reasonable, especially the wines. There’s jacket potatoes, scones, sweet cakes, biscuits and crisps but little in the way of hot savoury snacks.

There’s no screens to monitor. Instead a tannoy system announces the departure of flights. Call me old-fashioned but I like this. I simply don’t want to have to keep jumping up and down to check the latest flight updates.

Lastly, the staff are on the ball and quick to refresh empty bottles and dishes.

Food befoe flying from leeds Bradford airport
Courtesy of James Petts: Flickr


The lounge has no toilets, and to pay a visit, you have to plunge into the depths of despair circumnavigating dawdling pram pushers and groups of oblivious teens.

A greater selection of savoury foods and even some salad to accompany the jacket potatoes would be nice. Having said that, the caramel shortcake reminds me of my aunt’s cooking as a child and brings back glowing memories.

If I was to be a little finicky I would recommend spreading fridges a little more around the room to avoid the congregation of groups, although it is not as bad as other lounges I’ve visited.

I did overhear one couple proclaim that they would not pay to come back, and whilst I’m not sure you will ever drink or eat enough to justify the entry fee, I think £21 is worth paying to avoid the pre flight stress of this airport in summer. The lounge isn’t going to win any culinary awards, but it nevertheless offers refuge from the bedlam beyond and I don’t recall seeing one child in the business half of the lounge. Bonus!

Three airport hacks

So there you have it, thee airport hacks to help you if you are flying from Leeds Bradford Airport. Although the airport was chaotic when we visited, by using these hacks, we had a stress free visit and were en route to Dubrovnik in no time.

Flying from Leeds Bradford Airport
Courtesy of Alan Wilson: Flickr

Your top tips

What are your top tips for making your airport visits stress free? I would love to know.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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  1. Haha, greets from a fellow Yorkie. As a Loiner myself I know how frustrating this airport can be, you’ve some great tips here for dealing with it!

    …but whatever happens in the airport, if the weather’s bad you’re gonna be stressed flying to/from LBA! Worst one I had was the plane rocking & shaking as the engines sucked in the cowpat sized snowflakes while we landed at some insane angle due to the wind. Stress level through the roof!

    • Omg I love your description of the snow flakes but I’m glad I didn’t have to experience it. I once flew via Zurich on Christmas Day and we literally skidded on the runway in a jumbo. I was terrified!

  2. I’ve never had to fly from here, but thank you for the tips! I might need them someday. I’m sure that your guide will make things a little less stressful!

  3. Airports become the epicentre for stress, especially if you are traveling during the holiday season or during long weekends. We believe in converting threats into opportunities and hence we deal with it in our own way. One of the thing that we love to do is people watching :). It is indeed a fascinating study and something that helps relieve the stress and while away time. Another stress buster is getting lost in music.

  4. Uh, that security hack is amazing. Have never flown through Leeds, but I think I’ll be more alert to hacks like this in other airports, too. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I don’t usually worry about fast track – but I too indulge in the louge passes – which I think are actually worth every penny – so much nicer to have your own space – and actually if you want to eat it isn’t expensive at all!

  6. These days there a fast-rack for everything, although I wasn’t aware it is available at as low at $4. For me this seems like a reasonable deal than to keep my cribbing go on and on being stuck in long queues. The lounges usually cost this much but have somewhat better facilities like atleast the basics like toilets. Despite that it seems like a nice to crash and pass the time.

  7. I had no idea you could buy Fast Track passes, I thought they were only part of flying first or business. Great to learn this, must check which other UK airports this applies to!

    • Yes it is definitely possibly for other airports too such as Manchester. I am not sure about the London airports but will check when I am next down. I know Gatwick has it as we fast tracked there in July so suspect most airports offer the facility.

  8. These are handy tips, especially the security hack. I’ve never flown through Leeds before. Meet and Greet parking sounds like the way to go. Although, I don’t think I’d pay for the lounge especially if it didn’t have a restroom.

  9. Seriously, airport lounges make all the difference. Getting through an airport is so different when you plan ahead a little bit like this.

  10. Great tips, havent ever visited the Leeds airport but I think these tips could be used for other airports that add to the rising of people’s blood pressure too.
    Love that the bypass is only about 4pounds though I would have probably passed on the Airport Lounge because it doesnt sound like a good return on the investment unless that said investment is free and you peed before arriving.

  11. I used to fly a lot from LBA when I lived in Leeds, and it was always a nightmare! The queue jump is definitely a good purchase, but like you i’m in two minds about the lounge pass, I usually fly low-cost so that would bump up the price of my journey quite a lot.

    • Yes in fairness compared to some of the deals that might double the price of your trip lol! They have spent a ton on renovating it but they are increasing the number of flights so much it is still rammed.

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