Going through airport security is one of the necessary evils of travel. Don’t waste any more time than you have to by following our tips on how to make the experience a breeze.
Wear Slip On Shoes
Removing shoes is a still a part of going through security (unless you’re under the age of 12 or have a disability/medical condition), so wearing a pair that is easy to get on and off is your best bet. It’s best to avoid shoes with buckles, laces or require you to sit down to remove. We’re fans of slip on sneakers, ballet flats, or riding boots — not to mention all are comfortable options for your travels too.
Keep All Your Liquids in a Zip-Lock
There may be rumblings that under 100ml (3.4 ounces) for liquids is going to be a thing of the past, but until that time comes you’re still required to present all liquids you plan to carry on the plane in a clear, plastic bag. This includes liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes — so things like toothpaste, lip gloss and hand cream fall under this list. A 1L Zip-Lock bag is the cheapest and easiest way to keep your items organized.
Travelling Carry-On: Throw this bag in your purse so it’s easy to access when it’s time to place in the bin. After screening you can put it back into your carry-on luggage.
Opt for Minimal Accessories
That statement necklace and cute belt? You’re better off leaving any added accessories in your luggage, at least when it comes to going through security. Because metal items set off the scanners, you must remove them before going through. Save yourself the time and hassle and just don’t wear any.
Have Electronics Ready and Charged
From US bound to international flights, the TSA is cracking down on electronic devices that are without power. Don’t risk being stopped at security (and potentially not being allowed to board), by fully charging all of your devices prior to heading to the airport. Once you’re going through security be sure to take our your laptop and place it flat in a bin without anything on top of it. Small electronics like cellphones and tablets can stay in your bag for screening.
Don’t Carry-On Forbidden Items
It’s pretty obvious to say you can’t travel on board with items like firearms, flammable materials, and explosives. But there are some non-obvious items you should avoid carrying-on with. Smokers leave your lighter at home, as well as matches (the TSA allows one book of safety matches) and nail polish remover (it’s flammable). During the holidays make sure to leave your gifts unwrapped and if you’ve got a snow globe, but sure the liquid in the ball is less than 100ml!
Beware of Your Souvenirs
Leaving your beach vacation? Don’t travel back with any shells, flowers or plants that you picked up on the beach because you’ll be asked to remove it from your bag. Hawaii, for example, is extremely strict when it comes to leaving with agricultural goods. All bags (checked and carried on) are put through an x-ray scanner for examination to ensure you don’t leave with any vegetation.
When you’re in a rush it can be easy to just throw everything into your bag or carry-on luggage. Unfortunately an unorganized bag can make it difficult for security to identify items as they pass through the x-ray scanner, particularly when dense items are clustered together they can appear suspicious. Separate items like curling irons, electronic cords and spread out books and papers, so your bag can easily be examined.
Think Beyonce — to the left. According to science, right-handed people tend to favour turning to the right, so avoid where the majority of people are going and head towards the left. Also try to pick a line that’s moving efficiently (shorter doesn’t always mean faster).
There are more perks to travelling business than just the extra legroom and better food. If you are travelling business class, many airports offer expedited “elite” lines for you to use. It’s not fair, no, but it is a way to breeze past the long lines. Didn’t book a first class ticket? If you’re a frequent flyer and part of a rewards program, try showing your rewards card to the ticket agent who will more often than not let you use the priority line.