Getting Through Airport Security

Getting Through Airport Security

Today we return for the final parts to Making Travel Easy and Fun!  Enjoy!

Be Sure to Prepare for Security Ahead of Time

First of all, let me say, I LOVED the movie, “Up in The Air”. George Clooney’s addiction to movement, to the “lifestyle” of travel, and ohhhhh especially his love of airports was infectious. I don’t travel weekly zigzagging across the country but more like monthly on long hauls over the pond or trans-Pacific. But the feeling is the same….

So…as I get ready to talk about TSA and getting through security I am reminded of him instructing his protoge on the finer points of security lines. And I have to agree 100% with George. Get in line behind businessmen (and yes, Asians are quite efficient!), avoid families and people carrying their things in plastic shopping bags. Get behind the pros and make your life easier.

Your goal, then, is to become one of those people everyone wants to get behind. What do you do?

Prepare yourself before you get in line..this means before you even leave home!

What are you wearing through airport security?

Shoes-they have to come off no matter what..so avoid bulky, hard to get on and off, lots of laces. I travel in cowboy boots, slip on slip off, or if traveling to the tropics, flip flops (pack a pair of socks for the plane).

Layers– If you are wearing a jacket or sweatshirt you will be asked to remove it. Before you get to security put it in your carry on.

Belts– Just don’t wear one (of course, I never travel in a suit!)

Jewelry– WHY???

Overalls– Here’s a funny one! I was traveling through Rapid City, South Dakota in overalls one day and when I walked up to security I was told to unhook one side and throw the clip over my shoulder. This separates the metal and would not set off the machine, CLEVER! Just another reason to LOVE regional airports..they know their stuff!!

What are you carrying through airport security?

You truly don’t need anything liquid when you travel, except maybe a small tube of face cream for o/n flights. This way you won’t have to pack it in a ziplock, take it out, blah blah blah. But if you do remember the quart size ziplock bag (bring a couple extra) and nothing over 3 oz.

When you leave home, put all your “pocket” stuff in your carry on. Change, phones, pagers etc…. it’s all tucked away in your carry on…no need to unload at security.

Laptops. Now if you have a separate “case” for your laptop you don’t have to remove it. But if you can, remove your laptop when you get in line and tuck it under your arm then just throw it in the bin.

Water bottles. If you are like me, you like a bottle of water on the way to the airport in the morning. I travel with my bottle of water resting on my roll aboard. Easy access and when I get into the security line it’s obvious to me that I need to pitch it or empty it before I get to the front of the line.

Weird Stuff. What I mean by this is that fragile camera/video/other electronic gear that you don’t want to put in your checked bag. Here are a couple of thoughts. Be sure you DO NOT have any “tools” that will be taken away from you. If you have special tools for your gear and they get taken away, it’s really hard to replace at your destination. Make a habit of putting it in your checked bag.

I travel with an underwater video housing. It’s a weird looking contraption and always gets me “pulled over” at security. I know it’s coming so I am pro-active. As I walk up I tell them, “I have a video camera and underwater housing in this bag”. Now they are alerted to it and often will just let it go. I have stickers on my laptop that show I am an underwater enthusiast so they “get it”. Often this leads to conversations about diving, sharks and getting certified. What usually takes me the longest in security is just that, the cool conversations and passing out business cards!! If you base yourself in the same regional airport (did I mention I LOVE regional airports?) and carry weird gear, they get to know you and it makes it a breeze! So now, it’s a pleasant experience with the TSA guys instead of sitting there with your eyes rolling out of your head as they dismantle your carefully arranged carry on!

Using these easy methods of preparation before you get to the security line will make traveling in today’s TSA world a more pleasant experience. And if they do dismantle your gear, remember they are doing it for YOUR safety!

Do you have any special things you do for slip through security easier?

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2 Responses to Getting Through Airport Security

  1. Mrs_H March 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Like you, I am proactive in telling the guards what’s in my bags. For instance, I carry a small pouch that deflects X-rays to protect the memory cards for my digital cameras. It shows up as an impenetrable rectangle in my camera bag. So I always show the bag to the first person, before it goes on the belt, and say, “There’s a lead-lined pouch in here to protect my memory cards. I know your equipment probably won’t hurt them, but that isn’t true everywhere.” They usually go ahead and pull it off the conveyer belt to hand-check, which keeps my camera gear from being squashed by someone else’s bag while they’re pulling on their shoes. ;->

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