I can't say how many times it's happened to me. I get to the airport for an early morning flight, have 15 or 20 minutes until boarding time, and just want to grab a cup of coffee.

I walk to the Starbucks closest to the airport and find that the line is ridiculous.

Airport restaurants, coffee shops and retail locations have made a lot of progress since the early days of travel. When you combine staffing challenges with the fact that a lot of people want a cup of coffee, you get long waits.

Coffee spots get hit the hardest by those long lines, so the same goes for any popular food or drink spot.

I have waited in a coffee line before, but these days, I have found a way to stay sane.

Customers wait in line at a Starbucks at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL). JEFF GREENBERG/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP/GETTY IMAGES

Tip: Order through the mobile app

When I get a cup of coffee before my flight, I put it in the Starbucks app.

Many of the coffee chain's regulars know how to use the app and its loyalty rewards. In the last few years, Starbucks has begun to offer mobile ordering to airports.

If I walk up to an airport location and see that the line is long, I will pull out my phone and look for the online ordering option. I will place a mobile order if that happens.

I will get my order a lot quicker than I would have if I waited in line. I can spend my wait time sitting and relaxing rather than standing in line with other passengers waiting for their coffee.

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It's possible to do this for more places than Starbucks. If you don't want to wait in a long line to get food or drink at an airport, there are other ways to do it.

Planning in advance helps

I have been able to skirt a line by ordering online. It's possible to use it to order your food or coffee while you're on the move.

If you are deplaning and need to grab a quick bite to eat, you can use your airline or airport app to see what vendors are nearby.

Schedule a mobile order if you know when you will be passing by that business. You can do this on an Air Train from one airport to another.

It is becoming more and more an option in airports as we all do it on the go.

Bottom line

The airport coffee shop has long lines. You can pop in an order.

At best, you will be able to sit and wait. If you jump the line you will have all the refreshments you need before boarding.

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