Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tips for Airport Security

Airport Security Tips

I'm not trying to brag, but I'm kind of a pro at getting through security really fast. I seriously impressed a security guard at the Amsterdam airport with my efficiency. I thought the following tips were common knowledge until I traveled with Mama and Will. Those two were like helpless baby ducks, but I had them in better shape after showing them the ropes. So here are some of my tips:

1) Put your jacket/sweater in your bag while you're waiting in line. This is one of the top things that slows the line down...people who struggle to take off their jackets. They feel the pressure to hurry up and get through the process, but they choke and get tangled in their sleeves compounding the pressure to hurry up. It's a vicious cycle.

2) Watch the people ahead of you. If they're taking off their shoes, start getting yours untied or unzipped so you can kick them off and toss them in a bin. I usually wear sneakers that I can easily slip them on and off without having to reach down.

3) This kind of falls under #1, but have your belt/jewelry/metallic pieces off and stowed in your purse or bag. I just don't wear any of the stuff to avoid the hassle. To me, it feels really awkward to take a belt off in public. I know I'm not actually undressing myself, it's just a belt. But it just feels like I'm getting naked. Am I the only one who feels that way?

4) Have your baggy of liquids/creams in your hand or have the pocket of your bag that it's in unzipped so you can just pop it out and into the bin. Remember that Amsterdam guard I impressed? He was rambling through his spiel about electronics, metals, and liquids and I had everything popped off and onto the belt before he was done. By the time he got to the liquids I was brandishing it with a flourish. After shooting me a quick impressed look, he responded by offering me my bin with a sweeping gesture and a cheesy grin.

5) This isn't tried and true for all airports, but usually once the security guard at the head of the line checks your ticket and ID, you're good until you get the gate. So stash it in your pocket or purse or wherever after they mark your ticket so that your hands are free to get yourself prepped for the actual security check.

If you forget all of the above, the basic thing to remember is to utilize that time you're standing in line. Take your outer layers/belts/metals off and put them in your bag, get your shoes loosened, have your hands free and ready to go, and you'll be set for a quick check.

...unless of course you get picked for a random pat down. Those are always fun.

Do you have any tips to add to my list? I'm always looking for ways to get through those checks faster.


  1. Yes!! I'm always surprised by people who don't 'know the drill' and are seemingly surprised by everything they have to take off. I don't wear belts or jewelry while traveling....though I was surprised this last trip to find that even buttons on the back pockets of your jeans are a problem and I kept having to be patted down. Oh time, I'm wearing leggings!

  2. I love this. I'm totally someone who feels the pressure. I don't usually choke and flail and hold up the line, but I always feel super slow compared to Pat, who once flew 20+ times in one year. I've flown maybe 10 my whole life. Which isn't quite a newbie, but not often enough to get a system down.

  3. yes yes yes! I make sure i have everything ready to go when i fly. When we were on 3 different planes within 24 hours it was just "no jewelry, no nothing, have everything in bags, LETS GO!" hahaha.

  4. Great tips! I've also flown a lot too so I'm basically a pro. Although when you add kids to the mix, it can complicate things.