6 secret hacks to get through airport security in the blink of an eye

Going through airport security can be a hectic experience no matter how used to traveling you are. The long lines, unexpected delays, and general chaos that comes with quickly removing your belongings from baggage and then putting them back in can seem downright disorienting at the best of times. But while it might seem like an unavoidable step on the way to your destination, experts say there are a few tips that can ensure getting through airport security is a breeze. Read on to see how you could make your next trip a little less stressful.

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Whether you pack with great precision or tend to get items stuck in your bag at the last minute, unpacking and repacking items while going through security is never easy. Experts suggest planning ahead by strategically packing items that might need to be taken out of your luggage at a checkpoint in an accessible location.

“To get through airport security as quickly as possible, have your laptop and other large electronics ready to be removed from your personal item or carry-on bag ready to be scanned into their own bin,” Becca Siegel of Halfhalftravel.com recount Better life. “What you don’t want is for your laptop to be buried under other objects that need to be stacked again like Tetris when you put the laptop back on!”

But it’s not just your computer you need to worry about. “Also make sure cameras and tablets are readily available to quickly remove from your bag, purse or luggage at security,” adds Siegel.

A TSA agent searches luggage at an airport.

There are a few constants when going through airport security, like making sure your liquids are the right size and that you’re not carrying prohibited items such as weapons. However, the experience may differ otherwise depending on the airport.

“Some checkpoints require you to take off your shoes, while others allow you to leave your shoes on. Some say take laptops and iPads out of bags, while others say leave them packed. The Lesson is that everywhere you go there is no firm standard for the process, which is frustrating,” Heidi Fergusonstewardess with 20 years of experience in the commercial and private aviation industry, says Better life.

To prepare for this, she suggests always wearing a pair of shoes that are easy to put on and avoiding wearing a belt if possible. And in addition to making sure your bags are packed efficiently, you also need to make sure that anything, like liquids, that might need to come out of your luggage is easily accessible and already in your hand before you even reach the plastic bins.

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tourism, business trip, people and luggage concept - close up of female hands packing things for new trip in suitcase.

The fatigue you feel after a long trip can make it difficult to do anything but throw your bag away as soon as you walk through the door. However, it may be important to completely empty its contents at some point between trips if you want to save valuable time the next time you travel, Sarah Nelsoninternational president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said The Washington Post in a December 2021 interview. Specifically, you should look for anything that might cause your bag to come out for a deeper search, such as liquids or sharp objects you may have picked up while traveling.

Golden chain close-up.  Fake jewels

There’s nothing wrong with dressing in a way that suits your personality. Unfortunately, metal detectors have little to no respect for your daring fashion sense.

“If you’re someone who wears a lot of jewelry, keep them in bags or cases until you’ve cleared security. That way, you can leave them inside your luggage or bags. , and you’re not at risk of being stopped and patted down after going through the detectors,” says Siegel. Better life. More importantly, it can also ensure that you don’t accidentally leave anything in a tray if you need to remove a piece while going through the checkpoint.

TSA PreCheck banner at the airport
David Tran Photo/Shutterstock

Long queues at the airport can seem unavoidable during the boarding process. But if you’re a frequent traveler, experts point out that there are services that can greatly speed up the process.

“For those who really hate lines, there’s always TSA PreCheck and the Clear service if you want to get through it, which I highly recommend,” Ferguson said. Better life.

According to the TSA, PreCheck is in place at more than 200 airports and reduces waiting time to less than five minutes for 95% of travellers. The program costs $85 for five years, but accepted applicants will no longer have to remove their shoes, belt or light jacket and can leave their laptops and regulation-sized liquids in their bags at most checkpoints. of security.

Although only available at around 40 airports, Clear works by verifying your identity through an eye or fingerprint scan that puts you at the front of the queue for a physical check. At $189 per year, it’s best suited to frequent travelers with tight schedules that may not allow for early arrivals at the airport. But when used with PreCheck, the combined services offer an unbeatable way to get past security. And since many credit cards offer partial or full coverage membership fees as a benefit, it may not cost you anything for the convenience.

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airport security line
Bignai / Shutterstock

The recent influx of air travelers can make it difficult to fly these days, but it also creates a problem when it comes to even getting into the airport. The TSA even warned flyers in June that the number of checkpoints had finally reached pre-pandemic levels, urging travelers to “get to the airport early” to avoid the crowds.

Experts point out that on busy holiday weekends in particular, it can be crucial to budget your time accordingly. “Understand that there are people coming into the airport who won’t be regular travelers, which means they’re going to take longer in security lines,” Nelson said. The post office. “Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed and anxious.”

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