Airport security tips

Hope everybody enjoyed their Memorial Day Weekend.  The busy summer travel season is fast approaching….which also means more metal detecting, body scanners, backspatters, millimeter wave, nude-o-scopes, and the lovely pat downs.  I love the Transparently Senseless Aggravation as much as everybody else does.  And by love, I mean absolutely loathe.  Here are a couple tips that I’ve come across over my travels to keep those Turgid Stinking Apes off your backs and out of your bags.

Obviously, before you leave for the airport (or at least before you’re waiting in line for security) make sure you don’t have any liquids/gels that exceed the 3-1-1 rule in your carry-ons.  3.4 oz or 100mL that can fit in a 1 quart ziploc.  Its just easier to fly with nothing.  Just borrow/get any toiletries you need at your destination from a friend or the hotel.  Though I do understand that for women, this is easier said than done.

Aside from your carry-ons, wearing cargo pants/shorts may trigger a random screening.  I have a friend who travels more than me who used to get additional screening a lot.  He also used to love flying in his cargo pants.  One time an agent tipped him off that they were part of the reason for the screenings.  While it probably doesn’t guarantee additional screening, it can increase your chances.

Besides luggage and clothing, our actions in line can also affect our experience at security.  One of the big ways agents can tell occasional flyers from frequent flyers is their “draw” of their belongings when loading the bins/belt for the x-ray.  Here’s what I do:

  • While waiting in line, I put all my metals and electronic devices in my carry-on.  The only items I carry with me through the metal detector is my passport and boarding passes.  Do a check from head to toe.  Earrings?  Necklace?  Watch?  Rings?  Belt?  Coins?  Empty everything out of your pocket.
  • If I’m wearing shoes with laces, untie the laces before you get to the belt.
  • When I get to the belt, I grab two bins.  One for my laptop and belt, the other for my jacket and everything else.
  • Put your shoes directly on the belt, not in a bin.
  • I always have my shoes go in first, then the bins, then my carry-on bags.  When collecting my things, its more likely I forget something in a bin than my carry-on bags.  That way I put on my shoes first, then put my jacket on, then grab my laptop and put it back in my bag when it comes out.
  • When loading the bins, move with a purpose.  It’ll look like you do this all the time.  Besides, why spend more time than you need to at security.
  • Lastly, don’t frown.  Honestly.  I thought that was little weird when I read it from this article.  Having a positive demeanor will benefit everybody.
Hope these ideas help you make your travel experiences smoother.  If you have any other tips/ideas, please leave a comment!

One Response to “Airport security tips”

  1. thanks for the tips!! …but i always travel in my cargos too! the extra pockets really help carry stuff, and keep things separate… like boarding pass for this flight with ID/passport ready to go, but boarding pass for the next flight and other things like other currency or phone (i have a cheap gsm phone for europe etc.) in the other pockets. i might have to re-think this… i have seen a few airports that have frequent flyer lanes so people like us can go quickly without the family of 7 with infants, parents who don’t travel much and grandparents that aren’t quite as quick as they used to be in front of us.
    also, i’ve seen the new computer bags that are TSA approved that fold out a certain way. i know i’m inefficient when it comes to my computer bag IN my backpack ;-(

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