Airport Security Line Tips to help you Speed through Faster
Go to almost any airport in the world these days and there are security lines you have to go through. If you want to get through those lines like frequent flyers do, there are a few tricks that will make it easier for you and everyone around you. You need to think ahead, so you’re not doing everything just as you get to the head of the line.
Remove all the loose change from your pockets. Place your wallets and cell phones into one of those little bins they provide. Don’t forget heavy watches, belt buckles, and bracelets can set off the alarm. So be sure to take those off and stow them in your carry-on bag or put them in the bins before you get to the front of the line.
Consolidate books and snacks so you won’t have as many things to gather back together once you’ve been screened.
In the United States, you have to take your shoes off. Slip-on shoes will come off and go on faster. Zippers and laces might look nicer, but they will slow you down. Untie or unzip your shoes before you get to the front of the line. Take care when you put your shoes back on that you don’t trip while trying to gather all your things!
You’ll need a one quart/one liter plastic bag for your liquids, creams, and gels, so with them in it leave it out of your carry-on and put it in a bin. Remember each liquid should be 3 ounces/100 ml or less, right? They sell these smaller sizes at various stores so be sure to get any you need before you arrive at the airport. There shouldn’t be any loose liquids in your carry-on bag. If you have any “medically necessary” liquids or baby food, in most countries, those can be outside of your plastic bag allowance, but you must notify a screening officer.
You should have a plan when you put things into bins on the screening belt. If you put things through the screening in the right order, you’ll be able to put yourself back together faster afterward.
Here’s a good way to do this.
- First put your shoes, coat and your carry-on “personal item” (usually your smaller bag) in the first bin. They will come through the x-ray first, and you can be putting them back on while you’re waiting for your other items to be screened.
- If you’re carrying a computer, put your carry-on bag for your laptop in the bin ahead of your computer, then when your computer comes through, you’ll have the laptop bag ready to slip the computer right into it.
- If it’s going to take you a long time to put your shoes back on, collect all of your belongings and move to the side so the line doesn’t get jammed up. There are usually a few chairs against a wall or in an area nearby where you can sit down and put yourself back together – go there and do it.
You will annoy your fellow travelers and the screening agents if you stand there and try to put those shoes on…. leaving your bin on the screening belt with others backing up behind yours. Airports report that almost half of all security checkpoint bottlenecks are caused by people putting themselves together after screening without moving to the side…. don’t let this be you!
Keep these tips in mind and next time you travel you’re going to move through that security checkpoint with a plan. Everyone around you will think you’re an expert traveler no matter whether you travel often or not.
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