Tired of long-security lines and lengthy screening processes when you fly? Airport security can be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming parts of any trip, but follow these 10 simple tips to make you security check-in a little easier!
- Have your boarding pass and ID ready.
You’ll have to present these at the front of the line before going through security. It’s good to have them easily accessible the entire time you’re in the airport. A travel organizer or boarding pouch can help you keep your boarding pass and ID secure and readily available.
- Wear shoes that are easy to remove
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires passengers to remove their shoes before going through security. Wear slip-on shoes or sandals to make this process quick and easy. However, passengers under 12 and over 75 are allowed to keep their shoes on in most airports.
- Remove jewelry and belts, as well as loose change from pockets
It’s best to keep accessories to a minimum when you’re heading through security. You will be asked to place all jewelry, change, belts and other metal accessories in a bin to pass through security. Although most piercings won’t set off metal detectors, check the TSA website to see a full list of the metals that will set off detectors and plan accordingly.
- Follow the 3-1-1 rule
The 3-1-1 rule says that all liquids and gels must be placed in a 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle or less (by volume). Those bottles must then be placed in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. The TSA only allows 1 bag per passenger, which must be placed in screening bin. To quickly get through security, have this bag easily accessible and ready to place in the bin as you go through the line.
- Do not wrap gifts
Gifts may have to be unwrapped and opened during a security screening, so it’s better to either ship your gifts to your destination ahead of time or wait and wrap them upon arrival.
- Collapse baby carriers and strollers before going through security
All strollers and baby carriers have to go through x-ray machines. This can be rather time consuming, so have them ready to go when you get to the front of the line.
- Prepare your laptop for x-ray screening
Most of the time you have to remove your laptop from your bag, place it in a separate bin, and run it through the x-ray machine by itself. The alternative is getting a checkpoint-friendly bag that allows you to keep your laptop safe in your bag during U.S. airport security screenings.
- Leave iPads, eReaders and tablets in your bag
Most airports allow you to leave iPads, eReaders and other tablets in your bag when it goes through the screening process.
- Be careful what you say
The TSA has taken a zero-tolerance policy regarding any statements that could be considered a threat to security. So make sure that any jokes or statements are in good judgment and good taste. Getting detained for questioning can cause you to be delayed and miss your flight or worse!
- When in doubt, Ask!
TSA officials know that the rules and regulations can be a bit confusing, especially for the casual travelers. TSA agents are usually readily available at security checkpoints and are more than happy to answer any questions that you have.