Getting through airport security can be frustrating and a huge hassle. Lines can vary greatly depending on the time of the day, how many security lines are actually open, the security machines being used, and whether or not you are traveling during a peak travel time such as Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Here are 5 tips that may help you get through airport security a little quicker next time.
Tip #1: Most airports have multiple airport security screening locations for the same terminal
After you get your boarding pass, look both ways down the terminal. Often, there are multiple entrances for security and most people seem to head towards the closest one which often results in the longer lines. If you have time, walk a little further and see if you can find another security entrance that might not be used as much. Often lines can be much shorter since most people do not want to walk the extra couple minutes
Tip #2: Which line to select can save you precious time
When you get to the front of the line and show your boarding pass and ID to the security agent, often you will have the choice to select a line. By selecting the right line, you might save yourself some time. The one with the least amount of passengers waiting is not necessarily the quickest. It is best to avoid lines with families with small children. They often take longer to go through screening and the kids will slow the process down.
Another one to avoid is those with a lot of luggage. If line one has eight people with carry on luggage and line two has three people with carry on luggage, go with line two, even if it has more passengers.
Finally, most large airports have scanning machines that require each passenger to step in, raise their arms into the air, and wait a few seconds to be scanned. These machines slow down the security process. If you notice a line that only has a regular metal detector, go for that line. It will be quicker.
Tip #3: Liquids, shoes, and laptops
If you are traveling in the United States, you are required to have your liquid toiletries in a zip lock back. If you have carry on luggage, place this bag in an easy to reach location so you will not have to search around for it which slows the line down.
Outside of the United States, rules may be different. In other countries, you often do not have to remove your shoes when passing through airport security. If you are unsure, just look at the other passengers. If they are not taking their shoes off as they pass through security, then you do not have to take your shoes off either.
Your laptop will have to be removed from your luggage and placed in its own security bin. If your laptop is in a case with nothing above or below it, then you do not have to remove it from the case. If you are traveling with an iPad, you will also have to remove it from your luggage but often you can place other stuff in the bin along with it.
Tip #4: Arrive with enough time before your flight departs
This is not really a new tip but arrive as early as possible to make your flight. The more time you have, the less stressed out you will be, which will make the whole experience easier and quicker.
If you are late, and you know you might miss your flight if you stand in the security line, then go up to the front of the line, or to the entrance for first class if there is one. Most of the time, airport workers will allow you to pass everyone else, even though the other passengers might not be too happy. Oh well though, do what you must to make your flight.
Tip #5: Check in your luggage
The easiest way to get through airport security is to check your luggage. Just walk right through without having to worry about taking out your laptop, your iPad, or liquids. International flights usually allow you to check in luggage for free but other flights often require additional fees to check in luggage these days. This might not always be the best option for everyone, but take it into consideration if you want to cut out a lot of stress.