How to minimize airport security hassles
How to Go Through Airport Security Smoothly
As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, airport security has heightened drastically. It leaves most travelers dreading the once enjoyable airport experience. Long lines, intrusive officers, and grumpy flyers make the Airport Security Checkpoint a less than desirable aspect of air travel. By following these steps, you will "soar" through this portion of your journey with ease.
Pack light and follow any rules your airport has on sizes, quantity, and restrictions.First, pack only what you need to survive; second, what you need to do first; and third, what you need to do last. If you question anything you're packing, then don't pack it. You'd be better safe than sorry. Remember that you can most likely buy it from where you're going. If not, and you don't need it to survive, then don't worry about it.
Be prepared.Before you get to the airport, take the necessary precautions to make your experience as simple as possible.
- Wear practical shoes. Slip-on shoes will be easier to remove quickly. Of course, make sure they are comfortable enough for standing in long security lines. If you're under 13, you can wear any types of shoes, as long they don't set off the metal detector.Also if your 75 or in precheck you don't have to remove shoes either.
- Avoid metallic clothing or accessories, as you will have to remove these before going through a metal detector. The same applies to metal items in your pockets.
- Package liquids and gels appropriately. All liquids in your carry-on bag must be in bottles of three ounces or less, and all these bottles must then be placed in a clear, quart-size, zip-style plastic bag. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including milk for infants and liquid medications, but be sure to check before you pack anything.If your in precheck you can keep your 311 in your carry on.
- Pack your belongings in an organized way, so that if there is a problem, they can open your bag, check things out, and move on.
- Avoid contraband. Check beforehand to make sure that anything you will bring along, whether in your checked luggage or your carry-on, is allowed on the plane. Otherwise, you may be forced to throw these items away or even face questioning and/or prosecution.
Have your boarding pass and Photo ID (driver's license or passport) in your hand prior to getting in the security line.The line, although long at times, can move quickly, and seasoned travelers can get irritated with anyone that holds up the line digging for the necessary papers.
Pay close attention to directions while you wait in line.It pays to see what other passengers forget.
Put your boarding pass and ID away as soon as they've been checked.Keep your boarding pass in your pocket, as it will be screened again, but put your ID back into your bag to keep it secure.
Remove the necessary items from your carry-on as soon as you get to the belt.Place these items, along with your carry-on, directly on the belt or in the provided bins. Most airports require that you remove any plastic bags full of liquids and any laptops from your carry-on bag, but be sure to follow instructions. If you have completed a "TSA PRE CHECK", then don't remove your 311s from your bag or your laptop from its case.
Make removing your shoes easy.The requires passengers to remove their shoes when passing through the metal detector. There is not much room to squat down. People will try to pass around you, and benches are inconveniently far from your bags. Wear shoes that you can slip off without bending down or undo your laces before getting in line and tuck them into your shoe. This way, you will be able to slip them off easily to be placed on the X-ray belt. If you're under 13, keep your shoes on while walking through the metal detector, unless they have metal on them. Also, if you're over 75, you can your shoes on. Keep your shoes on if you have completed a TSA PRE CHECK.
Remove all necessary clothing and accessories from your body.Take off any metal objects, as well as jackets and hats, depending on the airport. If you're under 13, over 75, or in TSA PRE CHECK, leave your jackets on unless if they have metal. Kids under 13 can leave their hats on.
Stay calm before your flight.Don't think about work, bills, or anything that could stress you out. Think about the adventure you're about to have or just had, and how long you're going to remember it for.
Don't be afraid of the security guards.Be polite and respectful, and do as you're told. Remember, if you don't have anything illegal on you, you're good. The security guards are there for your safety, not to scare you. If you don't have TSA PRE CHECK or anything that is "faster" than a regular line, you will have to take your shoes off and wait a little longer. This is nothing to stress about; it just adds to the safety of your flight.
Step through the metal detector when an employee of the airport waves you through.If you are selected for additional screening, comply immediately and politely. Tell security if you have any piercings or surgical implants, or any metal in or on your body that you can't remove. Remember to take off all jewelry that is metallic and lay it in the component bins that will be traveling into the X-ray machine.
Try not to be noticeably stressed out.This makes you look suspicious like you have something to hide. In your head, tell yourself "I have nothing to hide" repeatedly.
Tell the security guards that security checks make you nervous.It's okay to be nervous for a serious TSA check. They will most likely try to help you in any way you need or reassure you. They are people too, and you aren't the first person to be stressed by security.
Collect your belongings and put them away.Making sure you have everything you need. Leave the security area quickly, making way for other passengers.
QuestionWhere do you put your iPad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost likely, airport security will ask you to put your iPad and other electronic devices (laptops etc.) into the tray, though this varies by airport. Some will allow them to stay in your bag.Thanks!
QuestionDoes airport security now accept boarding passes on electronic devices? If so, how does one get the boarding pass to appear on their cell phone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost Airport have boarding pass scanners. If you want to get your electronic boarding pass you need to have the respected carrier's app on your phone.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I have a pace maker?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can request to have a pat down to avoid an x-ray, because x-rays can affect the programming of the pace maker. You could survive it, but I wouldn't suggest it.Thanks!
QuestionCan I wear partial dentures through TSA or must I remove them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could call the airline to make sure or tell security when you arrive to make sure they know what to do. It will most likely depend on if there are metal brackets on your partial or not.Thanks!
QuestionDo medications need to be in original bottles when going through security? Can they be in a medication planner?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAnything with a prescription needs to travel in the bottle with the appropriate label on it. Things like Benadryl or Tylenol don't have to be in their proper containers, but it's better if they are.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I am a child and I don't have a passport or ID?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are flying internationally, you must have a passport. If it is a domestic flight (within your own country) you generally will not need ID.Thanks!
QuestionCan I take a loose coin collection in my carry-on bag?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but be prepared to be checked. Large amounts of loose coins cause a problem, if you have some, put them in a plastic bag and run them separately. It will speed up the screening process.Thanks!
QuestionCan I wear my medic alert necklace through security?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOnly if it is visible. It will be easier for all involved, however, if it goes into the basket for those few moments. If you ask the guards, they will make sure it goes through and is returned to you immediately after you pass through the detector.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get a card that tells airport security that I have a pacemaker?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should talk with your cardiologist. He or she should be able to guide you in the right direction.Thanks!
QuestionIf I have a pig valve in my heart, will this cause the scanners to go off?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it shouldn't cause any problems with the scanners, but if you're concerned, get a note from your doctor explaining the circumstances prior to your trip.Thanks!
How can I help my daughter who hates airport security manage going through security? She is 12 years old and has possible ADHD.
Can I go through security wearing hearing aides?
Does one have to put passport into security bin?
Can I use a walking stick instead of a cane
I have an air cast boot on my foot. Will I need to remove it?
- While waiting in line, take this time to prepare for getting through the security metal detector/x-ray conveyor belt. Remove any laptops from bags, remove your footwear, etc. When you get to the "buckets", all you need to do is drop your items and slide them onto the conveyor belt. If you are traveling with another person, have them assist you with holding things and vice versa.
- Remaining calm and avoiding suspicious or anxious behavior will go a long way, especially if you are pulled aside for additional searches.
- If you are asked to step aside for additional search be courteous and respectful. The security people are only doing their job.
- Try not to have a lot of change in your pockets. You will have to drop all of it into the bins. Picking up a bunch of change, coupled with putting on shoes and rounding up your possessions, can be tedious.
- Place small items such as loose change, watch, mobile phone or keys into your coat pocket or carry on luggage while in line. You can sort out your items at your leisure in the departure lounge.
- Put all your loose change in a purse or wallet. Put all the things that are likely to cause you to get searched at the top of your bag so you can take them out quickly and easily.
- If you're under the age of 13, you generally will not have to remove your shoes during the security screening.You may also get multiple passes through the metal detector or advanced technology, and you are likely to have your hands swabbed.
- If you are part of the TSA approved traveler program, then you can keep your shoes on along your belt and your jacket. You also keep your 3-1-1's in your bag and your laptop in its case.You also take kids under 13 with you through the pre-check.
- Visit for rules and regulations regarding security checkpoints so you can be prepared ahead of time.
- Don't forget to check your pockets for loose coins.
- Don't make any jokes, especially those that relate to bombs or terrorists, when going through security. Airlines are required to take possible threats seriously, and you could get into huge trouble.
- Keep your boarding pass and passport handy. Do not put them in the checked in luggage, as this will cause a lot of problems.
- Listen to any security screener instructions and do as they say. Remember that all this security is to help keep you safe.
- Be prepared for searches on certain kinds of connecting flights, such as if you are flying standby and must get off, claim baggage and check in at a gate to get onto the next leg of your trip!
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Video: HOW TO GO THROUGH SECURITY AT THE AIRPORT FASTER & SMOOTHLY WITH NO HASSLE?
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