For many travelers, the airport security screening is the most stressful part of the trip. Here are a few tips to get you through quickly and easily:
1. Check with the TSA before you pack.
Airport security rules are constantly changing. Some changes make things easier for travelers, some make security even more strict, some are well publicized, and some are made quietly. To make sure you know what pack and what to expect now, check the TSA’s web site for the latest news and advice.
2. Consider buying a “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag.
If you travel often with your laptop computer, you’ll want to invest in a laptop bag that will let you breeze through security without taking your computer out of the bag. “Checkpoint friendly” laptop bags are approved and encouraged by the TSA. They are designed to open out flat for clear, easy viewing in the x-ray machine, then close up quickly so you can be on your way.
3. Dress for the metal detector.
Think about details on your clothing that could set off the metal detector, and pack the items with those details, instead of wearing them through security. Consider your coat, clothing, shoes, and even your underwear. Details to avoid include metal jewelry, zippers, eyelets, buckles, tie studs, cufflinks, and underwire bras.
4. Travel often with one airline? Get elite status.
Many airlines offer an elite status for their frequent travelers, which allows them to go through a simplified, quicker security screening. A travel blogger, The Points Guy, lists major airlines that offer this perk. Once selected by their airline, frequent flyers may be randomly selected to be pre-screened by the TSA. After the pre-screening, a note is added to the bar code on those flyers’ boarding passes, which lets them into special Pre-Check security lanes at select airports. After waiting in shorter lines, they then go through simpler screening procedures, which don’t require taking off shoes or pulling laptops out of their bags. More airlines are added to the program as time goes by, so check with your favorite airline to find out whether they can help you get through security faster.
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