Getting to the airport and checking in can be the most annoying part of air travel, but then the joy of knowing you have to get through airport security awaits. I’m sure every one of us accepts that the process is there for our safety, but it doesn’t stop us being frustrated or impatient. Want to know some tips to get through airport security quickly and hassle free?
If you are a frequent flyer, you can get through airport security quicker by joining the TSA PreCheck Program. If you are a regular user of one specific airline, they are likely to contact you with details of how to join – essentially you can register and are virtually guaranteed to not be subjected to the same security protocols as infrequent flyers. If you use lots of different airlines but are interested in the program, become a member of the Trusted Traveler Program and you will find getting through airport security a lot easier.
Although it might not seem like a big deal, around the holidays airport security agents are often required to tear wrapping paper off of gifts to look at what is contained inside. The rules set out by the TSA give agents clearance to open any parcels which are suspicious in any way, and thus the time that you spend wrapping up your presents could have been in vain.
There are lots of benefits to joining a frequent flyer program, but one of the best is the better treatment that you get when passing through airport security. A lot of airlines have special lines for frequent flyers, so that you don’t have to wait around as much. It’s not something that everyone can do to get through airport security speedily, but if you can join a program, do so.
Sure, first and business class can be extremely expensive, but if you can afford it, you will find that you pass airport security checks quicker. If you are cheeky, you might even want to ask at the check-in desk whether there are any free upgrades available – you never know! Often airlines will merge the first and business class passengers with their frequent flyer lines, so that you will get a much quicker airport security experience.
Nothing slows down an airport security line like people struggling to find passports and boarding tickets. Make sure that you pack these on top of any other items in your carry-on, so that they can be easily found when requested. Even better, have them in your hand ready to give to the agent.
Infrequent flyers might not know about the 3-1-1 rule that airports have imposed in the United States since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Gels and liquids must all be placed in containers which hold less than 3.4 ounces, and must be with a zip-lock fastening at the top. Knowing and abiding by these rules can you get through airport security as fast as possible; otherwise you’ll be waiting around for the agents to check that you aren’t carrying forbidden items.
Common sense indicates to us that the line with the fewest people in will get through airport checks quicker. However this isn’t always the case; if there is a trainee security officer in the line with the shorter line, you might find that you actually take longer. Take a quick scan of those available and opt for the agent who is being most efficient at his job.
We’ve all been there: trying to fit the extra t-shirt into our bag so that the zipper won’t break on the outside, yet getting as much in as possible. If you find that you have to force your bag closed, you will have to do so again when the TSA agent decides to take a look around your suitcase. You will hold up those behind you, and furiously delay your own security time. To pass through airport security as quickly as possible, pack lightly.
Coins, belt buckles and keys will all cause the alarms to sound when you are trying to pass through airport security. If you have all of these items off and ready to set in the tray before you arrive at the agent, you will move through airport security much faster.
There’s no guaranteed way to get through airport security quickly, but do what you can from these tips for the least hassle and hold up. Remember also to keep up with the changes that are made to airline security regulations. Do you hate airport security or are you usually too excited about your trip to care?
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