No one likes to wait in a long line at airport security. Unfortunately, nowadays it happens much more than we’d like it to. Of course security checks are crucial, but we can all save time and trouble by being prepared to go through the process as quickly and smoothly as possible. Here are a few tips to always keep in mind:
1. Check the Rules
Every airport (seemingly without exception) has information posted about its security screening rules and procedures. Look out for these signs as you wait in line, so that you know exactly what to expect. This is the best way to try to ensure a seamless process for everyone involved. Although it’s not unusual for procedures to vary (e.g. in the use of plastic bins or presentation of electronic devices), the next 4 tips should apply in virtually every case.
2. Have Your Liquids Ready
If you have any liquids over 100 ml, you can safely assume they’re not going to make it through security, so you might as well throw them out before you get to the front of the line. You’ll also want to have all your 100-ml liquids on hand—and ideally in a clear plastic ziplock bag—so that you won’t be digging through your bags at the last second and holding up the whole line.
3. Take Off Your Outerwear/Shoes
If you’re wearing a bulky second layer, just assume you’ll be asked to take it off and save the security officer from having to ask you. The same goes for shoes: don’t always assume that you’re not wearing suspicious-looking footwear. I once got asked to take off a pair of flip-flops (not kidding).
4. Check Your Pockets
Please, oh please, make sure you don’t have any metal in your pockets (coins, keys, etc.). It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen people have to do double takes through the metal detector because they forgot about some loose change.
5. Be Ready to Show Your Boarding Pass
Assume you will be asked to present your boarding pass to the security officer before your things go through the x-ray machine, so have it ready and not inside one of your bags.
Now, this may all seem obvious to some of you, but it’s good to get a refresher. Forgetting one of these tips can delay not only you, but everyone in line behind you. Let’s all do our part to help each other get to our gates and onto our flights as quickly as possible.
As always, happy travels!