If there are 50 people waiting for a taxi in the airport, get a porter—he'll rush you right to the front.
Always, always get a seat assignment when booking the flight, because if the airline has oversold, they'll bump the people without a seat assignment first.
If you're in economy, try to get an exit row, which has more legroom. Do anything to avoid the last couple of rows of the plane, because they're near the bathrooms and can be unpleasant.
If you want to book a trip with frequent flier miles, I recommend starting 11 months ahead of time.