7 Airport Security Check-in Tips
People have varied reactions to traveling.
Some people enjoy going to exciting or restful destinations.
They are not disturbed by the vagaries of travel. They just look on the security checks, delays, and the other aspects of travel as part of the experience.
For some people travel is a necessary part of their job. They learn how to manage the travel experience to minimize discomfort and maximize the use of travel time.
For yet others, travel is a frustrating, and at times maddening, experience they either put up with or hate with a passion.
Whatever category of traveler you fall into, airline travel is harder than you think. This is because every form of delay and inconvenience that you can imagine (and even some you would never imagine) may occur with any flight.
I have personally had many unusual experiences traveling by air. I have also heard endless stories from other people who have had many of their own adventures in air travel.
One of the most potentially frustrating aspects of air travel is the security check. However, it does not have to be so bad. This article will relate 7 tips that I follow for getting through security with the minimum of hassle. It is not an exhaustive list, but future articles will expand on the topic with additional suggestions and stories. Feel free to share yours.
- If you don’t have to bring it, don’t bring it.
Yes, this sounds simple, but many don’t follow this simple suggestion. Many years ago when I flew, I carried a toolkit that I had received as a gift. The ratchet in the toolkit had a pistol-grip. After being pulled aside by an overly nervous agent, I decided that I really did not need to carry the kit. This suggestion also goes for over packing your carry-on with every gadget that you will never use anyway.
- Have your boarding pass and ID ready for security.
Now, c’mon this is a no-brainer. Just make sure to have your boarding pass and your driver’s license/passport in your hand when you are called by the security agent. Just in case this happens to be a really bad day for the agent, you won’t be the person that wasn’t ready to present their ID.
- Be polite.
If you prefer to be rude and difficult, then you should also plan on extra time in the security area. I am not saying to act servile, just polite.
- Plan what to wear.
This can prove complicated if you are flying directly to a business meeting, but even then, it helps to prepare. Typically, you would plan to wear something comfortable for your flight. In addition, you should now think about how your outfit will work going through security as well. Wearing high boots and a couple of pounds of bling will not help you get through security quickly.
Make sure you can get your shoes off and on easily. Decide what belt you will have, and make sure that you can you take it off, and put it in your bag quickly. Don’t wear the socks with holes that day.
- Plan to put everything normally in your pockets into your bag.
I always have all metal objects (my belt, keys, glasses, etc.) in my bag to go through the x-ray. It is best to not have anything in your pockets when you go through the scanner.
- Have your liquids bag in an accessible front pocket of your bag.
This is definitely inconvenient for me, because I like the liquids in my shaving bag, but that won’t fly (pun intended). So, I have the bag in an outside pocket, and I just pull it out and dump it in the bin with my shoes.
- Get a TSA compliant laptop bag or have your laptop ready to pull out.
Yes, there are TSA compliant laptop bags. See the Tom Bihn website for an example laptop bag. Otherwise, make sure that you can easily pull out and replace your laptop in your bag. If this is difficult, then repack or consider a new bag.
Taking these steps usually helps the security process go smoothly. Even though, sometimes, things will still be harder than you think.