This must be something near and dear to my heart since I just wrote about Travel Day Hacks a few weeks ago! But seriously, who else loves efficiency and hates waiting? Can I get an amen!?
Sure, you can’t control the guy in front of you, but you can be the change you want to see. Here are sure-fire ways of making Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers happy, minimizing your time in long security lines and making the patrons behind you happier!
Pack you belt and put it on after you’ve cleared security. It saves a step and therefore saves time and this makes everyone happy!
Wear shoes that are easy on and off. No matter the weather, you destination, or your fashion sense. Do not be that person holding up the line as your boyfriend pulls your knee-high, lace-up pleather boots off for you. You just can’t make this stuff up!
Make sure you do not have anything in your pockets. I learned this the hard way when I had a bobby pin in my pockets. I did not bother to check them prior to going through the scanners. I held up the line because I was not proactive.
Have your boarding pass and driver’s license or ID ready prior to getting to the first TSA officer. They like that – and so do the people behind you. You might as well be productive while standing in the line anyway. It seems so darn obvious to me, but I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed people fumble around in their wallets at the podium. What were they doing for the last few minutes?
Pack your carry-on bags wisely. Liquids in 3 ounce or less containers are a must. I know, I think it is a silly rule too, but just follow it if you are flying in or to the United States. Also, pack all of these liquids in a larger bag, such as a cosmetics bag or large, seal-able plastic bag, at the top of your suitcase. This way they are easily accessible when you unzip your bags at the scanners.
Separate your electronics. The TSA officers say it a hundred times while you wait in line, so do it! Just remember, it is best to use one bin for toiletries, shoes and small bags, like a purse and one more for all electronics.
Grab your bags once they are cleared and then get out-of-the-way. I find it so rude when people stop their bags and put their shoes and belts on, repack their liquids and electronics, re-do their lipstick … OK, maybe not lipstick, but you get my drift. There are benches near these areas for a reason. Grab your bins and bags and move to the benches and get organized. I know I get flustered when others crowd around me, so alleviate that stress and let them get their belongings quickly.
If all else fails, you can also get pre-approved by the TSA. The TSA Pre-Check program helps travelers, especially frequent travelers, get through security quickly and with fewer stipulations. It is well worth the fee if you travel a lot, otherwise, just hope that a lot of people read this article and learn to hurry through the lines.
Helping the line move smoothly and quickly is not just about making you happy. It really isn’t. It is about that person behind you who is running late. Or the mom with tired arms from carrying her crying baby. Or for the people next to the crying baby with a headache. It is about making air travel easier, more accessible and less stressful that more people do it. So more people get out there and explore, discover and learn.