How to Get Through Airport Security Quickly
Going through security at an airport can be quite an ordeal. Long lines, specific rules, and invasive screenings make the process a hassle for everyone and it starts and ends your vacation on a bad tone when it doesn’t go smoothly. You can’t control everything about your trip through security, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make the process a little less stressful.
Get to the airport early. It’s always best to leave a little extra time when travelling just in case there is an issue. This way, if something does come up, you won’t be panicking and worrying about missing your flight. You can stay calm and level-headed and this will help you to make your way through security more efficiently. Check-in for your flight in advance online. This will cut down your time before the security line, even if you have to check a bag. You can download your boarding pass to your phone so you don’t have to keep extra items around and worry about losing your ticket.
Make sure you know the TSA rules for checked luggage and carry-on. Follow the 3-1-1 liquids rules.You may carry 3.4 ounces of liquids in a 1-quart ziplock plastic bag in your carry on. One plastic bag of liquids per passenger. Have this bag ready to go and accessible before you get into the security line. Have laptops and other large electronic devices easily accessible and ready to remove to place in a separate bin. Know which items are acceptable to carry on board. Have the proper sized carry on luggage, and don’t try to bring more than one carry on bag and one personal item.
Dress appropriately for the occasion. If you need a jacket, make sure that it is easily removable and can be folded into a bin. Do not wear excessive jewelry that you will need to take off. Don’t wear a belt or remove it before getting into line. Remove all items from your pockets and place them in your carry on or in a bin. It is best to do all this before you get in line so you are ready to go. Wear slip-on shoes or shoes that are easy to take off and put back on. It is wise to wear socks as you will have to walk barefoot and don’t want to pick up any bacteria that may be on the airport floors from the many other passenger and people who traipse through.
Make sure you have the proper form of ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, and your boarding pass out and ready to show the TSA official.
Many airports and airlines now offer a pre-screening service that allows you to bypass the long lines at security. If you are eligible, sign up and follow all of the instructions. There are also often shorter lines for passengers with priority access boarding. A few airports have different lines for different types of passengers. For instance, if you are travelling with medications in liquid form that exceed the 3-1-1 limit, there may be a separate line that is set up for the extra screening you will need. Remember that everyone is going through the same struggle, so be courteous to other passengers and stick to your appropriate line. Don’t try to fight the system, just follow the rules and move as efficiently as possible.