How to breeze through airport security

Everybody hates it: Getting through airport security. Fear not, I know the secrets of how to breeze through airport security. Long lines, beeping machines, and prison-esques body searches. Only masochists enjoy the possible horror of airport security checks. But, there are some easy things you can do to breeze through airport security. All it takes is a little planning ahead.

Take inventory
What do you have on your person that will set off metal detectors? While you can do little about a plate in your head or a titanium hip joint, you can think about what’s in your pockets or on your body. A watch, coins, keys, pens, and the foil in cigarette packages, will all cause airport security machines to beep with abandon.

Dump what you don’t need
Lighters, bottles of water, brass knuckles? Trash them before you get in the security line up. If you don’t want to keep your Thai baht give your coins away before you get to the airport. Or…

Use your carry-on luggage
The key to breezing through airport security is the use of your carry-on. Before you join the security queue empty your pockets into your carry-on bag. Wallet, watch, keys, glasses – anything metallic -should be stowed in your carry-on luggage. No one likes emptying their pockets into a plastic tray. Remember: If in doubt, put it in your bag. Keep your boarding pass and passport handy. You can refill your pockets after you’re past the security personnel.

Pack your toiletries on top
As airport security personnel are on the look-out for liquids and aerosol cans, pack your toiletries last, on top of the rest of your belongings in your carry-on. Chances are the guards will want to inspect that material after it runs through the mysterious x-ray machine. If not checking your luggage, packing this material on top will allow you easy access when airport security asks to see it.

Keep your computer easily accessible
Like your toiletries, keep your computer, cell phone, and PDA, in an easily accessible area in your carry-on. You can have them out in a jiffy when prompted by the security personnel. The size of new Netbooks, Notebooks and Laptops makes this very easy.

Wear slip-on shoes
If you’re traveling from a country that inspects your footwear make sure you’re wearing something easy to take on and off. Knee-high hiking boots, while useful for trekking, will do nothing but slow you down when stopped by airport security. Easy off, easy on. You’re done.

Wear socks
Do you want to walk barefoot in the airport? Your feet may be clean enough to eat off of but the same cannot be said for the thousands of others who walked through the airport security checkpoint before you.

Follow the above tips and you will breeze through airport security. Plan ahead and you’ll have more time in duty-free and the airport bars. Then, at your destination, you can Breeze Through Customs.

Creative Commons License photo credit: six million dollar dan

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Shawn says:

    Great tips, Stevo.

    It also helps if you watch what you say, and for Pete’s sake don’t get smart.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..I Stole It From David =-.

    1. Stevo says:

      So true, keep it zipped!

  2. Graham says:

    Great tips Stevo. I follow most, if not all, of these tips while flying. Particularly because I hate being delayed in the security queue. Also, because I hate the people who don’t follow these tips and cause me unnecessary delay. Lord how I hate them.

    I think the most important point of your post should be reiterated. Less time in the security queue means more time in the airport bar. Cheers!
    .-= Graham´s last blog ..The Past Few Days =-.

    1. Stevo says:

      It queues of all types, airport security being to worst.

  3. Anil says:

    I’d also add, don’t cheat! After a few connections sometimes we tend to try and get away with keeping our belts on, or leaving change in our pockets. Items like these sometimes set off the metal detector, sometimes they won’t. It’s easier to follow the tips above consistently than have every other time be a prolonged affair.
    .-= Anil´s last blog ..UFO Sightseeing Hotspots =-.

    1. Stevo says:

      So true. Without my belt on, at Heathrow earlier this year, I almost had my pants around my knees as I was searched. hehe.

  4. BiblioMom says:

    Also it depends on what airport you’re going to. Minneapolis is a breeze and designed well and even has lanes for families. Seattle, my most recent airport security adventure, is a ridiculous MESS when it comes to the design of the security area.

    1. Stevo says:

      Lanes for families is a great idea. At one China security point I always seem to get stuck behind the same woman and her kids. I want to ask for phone number so we can arrange our travels for different days or checkpoints.

  5. mike says:

    Very good tips. I only flew on a plane once in my life. Im kinda afraid of heights.
    .-= mike´s last blog ..Buenos Aires – facts 1 =-.

  6. Daniel Rose says:

    I know this is an old post, but it’s still extremely relevant. All of the tips still apply. In fact, it may have gotten worse lately – I hear the TSA are doing more body searches now.
    .-= Daniel Rose´s last blog ..Start at the start =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *