The unanimously worst part of going on vacation is waiting in airport security lines. From the bigger airports like Los Angeles International to even the smaller down-home counterparts, security lines can put a dent in any travel itinerary. However, the good news is there are ways to minimize the wait. Check out these tips to speed through the lines next time you fly.
1. Look at the PreCheck™ Program
Transportation Security Administration PreCheck™ allows a select group of passengers to go through a presceening, meaning they no longer have to remove certain items (shoes, 3-1-1 from carry-on, laptop, jacket and belt) and can move through security checkpoints more quickly.
Eligibility criteria includes: TSA PreCheck™ application program members, participants in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program (such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI) and other individuals who have been provided a Known Traveler Number. To sign up, complete an online application for the program.
2. Get a Checkpoint-Friendly Bag
Specially designed laptop bags produce a clear and unobstructed image of a laptop when undergoing X-ray screening. This reduces the likelihood you'll have to step out of line while security double-checks your electronics.
3. Pack Wisely
Wallet? Check. Boarding pass? Check. Liquids? Check. Put these things in your pockets or at the top of the bag so you can access them easily.
4. Check Prohibited Items
If you're uncertain whether an item is allowed through a checkpoint, take a minute to find out before you leave for the airport. So long, Swiss Army knife and fireworks.
5. Wear Slip-On Shoes
Avoid hiking boots, knee-high lace ups or any other footwear that will take a long time to take off. Efficiency and comfort is the name of the game here.
6. Avoid Distraction
Always keep an eye on the front of the line to make sure that you don't hold things up or miss a key step. Talking with others in line is fine, but don't get distracted.
7. Remove Your Accessories
Since it's hard to tell if you'll be going through a metal detector or whole-body scanner (which have different requirements for items to take off), it's better to be safe than sorry and remove accessories. Belt, necklace and jewelry are included. If you're unsure, simply ask the TSA employee.
8. Empty Your Pockets
This is Air Travel 101, but while everyone knows you to remove all items from your pockets, every now and then we forget something's in there. Pat yourself down so they don't have to.
9. Keep Your ID and Boarding Pass
Without these, you're not going anywhere. Your ID and boarding pass are the only items you'll need when you go through screening. Hold onto them as you step through the metal detector or whole body screening.
10. Organize the Bins
Load the bins like you would a grocery bag. Place your laptop and heavier items at the bottoms and accessories on top. This will streamline the end of the process.