Getting through airport security as quickly as possible is most travelers’ goal, whether they’re flying for business or leisure. It may be impossible to whisk through the TSA checkpoint in just a few minutes. However, there are a few ways get through airport security faster, which in turn speeds up the process for those around you.
1. Be polite and cooperative.
Everyone you encounter, from the airline employees helping you print your boarding pass to the TSA agents watching you walk through the body scanner, is trying to do their job well. Treating them with respect is one of the easiest ways to breeze through security. Make a rude remark and you may find yourself waiting much longer for your items to pass through the x-ray machine or subject to a pat down.
2. Listen to TSA officials.
Every airport’s security staff operates a little bit differently, prioritizing different rules. Listen to the agents’ directions to get through airport security quickly.
3. Fly at less popular times.
With more flights in the air during holidays and business travelers departing and arriving on Mondays and Fridays, airport security lines can get long. Choose less popular times of the week and year (if possible) to make your trip through security faster.
4. Check your bag.
This can add time to your trip as a whole, as you’ll have to wait for your luggage to arrive at your destination. However, not having a large bag with you as you pass through the TSA checkpoint can make your security experience much less of a hassle.
5. Don’t pack gel-like food.
Each traveler is limited to one quart-sized bag of liquids and gels, each of which can only be 3.4 ounces. Gel-like food counts towards these limits, so leave peanut butter, jelly and condiments at home.
6. Keep documents accessible.
The people waiting behind you will not take kindly to you losing your passport and boarding pass in the depths of your bag. Keep documents you’ll need to access in a zippered coat or carry on pocket.
7. Slip loose items into your bag.
While waiting in line, empty the contents of your pockets into a pocket in your carry on bag. This way, you won’t have to spend time placing loose items into a bin. You also reduce the chance you’ll leave jewelry, keys or change at security.
8. Wear slip-on shoes.
Shoes that are easy to slip on and off make getting through airport security faster. You’ll also want socks to protect your feet during the time you have your shoes off.
9. Make it easy to unpack tech.
All electronics larger than a cellphone need to be placed in their own bin, unless they’re in a TSA-approved case. Don’t pack your laptop or camera at the bottom of your bag, or you’ll spend a lot of time unpacking (and repacking) your carry on for the TSA agents.