(credit: Philip Pilosian/shutterstock)

(credit: Philip Pilosian/shutterstock)

Traveling is usually a fun experience even though navigating an airport can be a hard part of your trip. No one wants to spend a lot of time in an airport, no matter where it is. Try these tips to reduce the amount of time you’ll have to spend when you travel through John Wayne Airport.
(credit: Philip Pilosian/shutterstock)

(credit: Philip Pilosian/shutterstock)

John Wayne Airport
18601 Airport Way
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(949) 252-5200

Even if you’ve never used John Wayne Airport, you’ve seen it if you’ve ever watched Jerry Maguire. That’s right. When the title character is running through the airport, it’s John Wayne Airport. It is actually fairly easy to navigate considering the large metro area the airport serves. That being said, here are some tips to make your experience even easier.

Start Navigating The Airport Before You Leave The House

If you’re a resident of southern California, you know that you should check the traffic before you go anywhere. All it takes is one accident to slow you down significantly, which is something you can’t afford when you’re traveling toward the airport. Distance here isn’t measured in miles or kilometers. It is measured in minutes (or hours). Check SigAlert to size up the traffic between you and the airport, and make sure you have an alternate route. You might need it – especially if you’re traveling there at peak hours.

Use The Upper Levels Of The Parking Structures

The temptation is to park on the lower levels simply because it takes less time that way. While parking on the upper levels might take you a little more time, it will definitely be worth it. Fewer cars on the upper levels means less chance that your car will incur any damage, particularly if you are parking there for more than a couple days.

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If You’re Flying Southwest, Check Your Bag

John Wayne isn’t a sprawling airport like LAX or Atlanta but, just like any airport, this one is easier to navigate if you don’t have to lug a bag with you to your gate. Also, John Wayne is a small enough airport that you likely won’t have to wait very long for your bag at baggage claim. Furthermore, since you can check your bag for free on Southwest, you ‘re not really losing anything by checking your bag.

Arrange To Be Picked Up On The Departures Level

Yes, it’s backwards, but it’s also more convenient to be picked up on the Departures level. After all, on the Arrivals level, you’ll find all the people that have just picked up their bags and all the cars there to pick those people up. With a short ride up the escalator or elevator, you can avoid all that foot and vehicle traffic and be on your way with a lot less hassle. Be honest: when you arrive home from a trip, less hassle is always better.

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.