Airline travel is more accessible now than ever before with nearly 2.5 million people flying each day on over 42,000 flights. That is a lot of people going through security checkpoints at the airport. Depending on the airport and the time of day, lines can be long and frustration levels can be high. Here are 10 tips for making your way through airport security easier and quicker.
10. Dress appropriately
Travel is exciting and you may want to look your best for when you land, but adding loads of accessories and complicated garments can slow down your TSA process. Wear simple clothes, don’t layer on the jewelry, and be prepared to take off an outer layer in line.
Travelers passing through regular TSA checkpoints are required to take off shoes. Strappy heels, boots, and even lace up sneakers can slow you down before and after going through security. Make sure you have a shoe you can easily slip off and on like a loafer or ballet flat.
8. Remove unusual items from carry-on luggage
Most items in a carry on bag are commonly seen by TSA agents, but occasionally, there is an item that looks suspicious through the x-ray scanner. This can result in more thorough screening of your bag, which could be troublesome if your flight is leaving soon. If you think that an item will look odd or suspicious to an agent, remove it from your bag and place it in the plastic bin.
7. Keep liquids separated
While most travelers know this already, carry-on liquids must be kept in a quart-sized bag and each in it’s own container. These liquid containers must also be no more than 3.4 oz each. Following this rule will make life easier in line and prevent a hold up to gather liquid containers.
6. Don’t wrap gifts
Holiday travel increases the amount of people flying in and out of airports around the US. To avoid being held up and further screened, do not wrap any gifts that will be in your carry-on luggage.
5. Check additional electronics
When traveling with multiple electronics, choose the one or two that you need most during the flight and check the rest. When going through security, laptops and tablets must be taken out of luggage and put in a separate bin. In order to save time and energy, check the items that aren’t necessary.
4. TSA PreCheck
For a reasonable price, $85 for 5 years, travelers can sign up for TSA PreCheck. Frequent travelers will reap the benefit of added time with this program. TSA PreCheck allows travelers to pass through security without having to remove shoes, jackets, or belts. Travelers will also be saved from removing laptops from carry-on luggage.
3. Priority TSA Access Pass
Passengers can often purchase a one time priority TSA pass through their airline that allows for faster security checks. These passes allow you to pass through a designated, shorter line for a small one-time fee. Airlines with this option include United and JetBlue.
2. Global Entry
Global Entry speeds up the security checks for low-risk passengers once they are approved through an extensive online application and in-person interview process. There is a fee of $100 for this program and it is operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
1. Be kind
Kindness can go a long way. Following directions and being courteous can make travel less stressful. Almost everyone has arrived late for a flight or arrived to find out the gate has changed. By being polite to other travelers and TSA agents, you’re more likely going to be able to cut the line to get to your flight. It is also polite to let others do so if needed.
These are just a few of the ways travelers can make going through airport security checkpoints easier and quicker. Organization and planning ahead is key in these days of heightened airport security. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are great for frequent fliers in and out of the country.