Air travel these days feels a necessary inconvenience for many, what with the long lines, the cramped plane seats, the flight delays or cancellations, and the horror we all face: the dreaded walk through airport security. During a recent trip, I watched as harried travelers cowered before the bellowing TSA reps, flinging off their shoes hurriedly, dumping out their bags in panic, and generally looking shaken or disgruntled following the process.
You can’t avoid it completely, but there are ways to make your experience a lot faster and more pleasant, especially in larger airports with busier security checkpoints. Remember, everyone wants to get through the line as quickly as possible, and you can do it with a little patience and preparation.
–Wear slip on shoes. While your new lace up espadrilles may turn heads, they will cause eyes to roll as you struggle to take them off to get through security. The days of glamorous air travel for the average passenger are gone, so it may be a good idea to leave a bit of your vanity behind as well. Wear flats. Wear socks. Take off your shoes quickly and easily, and put them on just as fast.
Pro tip: keep your fancy shoes in your carry on luggage so you can still change into them later!
–Minimize your layers. Wearing several shirts may seem like a clever way to avoid checking a bag, but being forced to take off shirt after shirt in front of the bemused (at best) TSA representatives will likely offset your $25 savings. Maximize the space you have and keep your shawls or cardigans in your carry-on while you go through security.
–Limit your electronics. Yes, you have a Nintendo Switch, a 3DS, a Macbook Pro, and a DSLR camera – but do you need all of those? If the answer is a confident “yes”, then do yourself a favor and confine the electronics to one compartment in your bag. You will be able to easily take out everything at once and put it all back again without worrying that something has gone missing.
-Pay attention and follow the rules. The TSA line is not really the time to have “The Talk” with your significant other, or to help your grandmother repair her computer. Listen carefully to the instructions from the TSA and you can save yourself a lot of indignation and annoyance later on. (Remove those liquids and gels!)
-Sign up for TSA Pre or CLEAR. To avoid the mess altogether, you can sign up for a service like TSA Pre or CLEAR. Both paid services allow you to skip the line for the ID check and move straight on to the screening lines.
Easy Breezy Guide:
Any seasoned travelers have their own tips for getting through security with minimal headaches? Comment below!