3 steps to a smooth airport security experience (plus a wrinkle bonus)

If you can at all avoid it, you don’t want to have a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles moment. Sitting on a plane for hours at a time isn’t fun for anyone, but it can be much worse if you get into it with airport security. You never want to be the person who draws the angry stares as you hold up the line for 15 minutes while you get all your stuff in the little gray bins.

How can you expedite this process? Here are 3 tips:

1. Prepare before you go to the airport

The important factors are to wear slip on footwear if at all possible so you don’t have to deal with those double knotted shoes you put on and make sure that when you pack your little sandwich baggie of aerosols, liquids, and gels that you have it in an outside pocket of your carry on as digging for it will cost you time. A little bit of planning goes a long way to prevent those stare downs.

2. Stuff your bag while you’re waiting in line.

While you are in line and before you reach the stack of bins, stuff everything you can in your carry-on. This saves you from having to place things like cel phones or keys in the bins since they’ll already be in the bag. They don’t care how much you have in the bag and you’ll save time when you’re on the hot seat right before the x-ray machine. Just be sure to have your ID on you, though, since some airports still check it at the metal detector.

3. Take your 3 bins, get in, and get out

Get yourself 3 bins from the stack. Slide off your shoes and put them in the first one and get your little baggie and put it there too. Assuming you are toting a computer bag as your carry on, get that in the second bin. While you are sliding those first two bins along the stainless steel tables, pop your computer out of your bag and place it in the third bin. Once you do this a few times, you’ll be able to do it in quick, well-practiced motion and be ready to walk through the metal detector inside of 30 seconds.

Bonus hotel arrival tip

I like to arrive the night before for a morning meeting, even if I’m traveling westbound so that I don’t put my attendance at the mercy of the airlines. That means that I usually have my clothes for the next day in my carry on, getting more and more wrinkled by the minute.

The first thing I do when I get to the hotel room? Turn on the shower with really hot water. While that’s heating up, I take hangers out of the closet and place tomorrows clothes on them. Hang them in the bathroom with what should by then be a pretty good steam by that time for 20 minutes and any unpleasant ironing (or embarrassing wrinkly appearance) is avoided.


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One Response to “3 steps to a smooth airport security experience (plus a wrinkle bonus)”

  1. lucidTipster Says:

    I like the wrinkle free tip – will give it a try during my next trip.


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