How to Breeze Through Airport Security - Page 2

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Empty Makes Easy
Make use of your time in line by taking off metallic items like your belt and watch, and by emptying your pockets into your carry-on bag or into secure pockets of the coat you’ll have to remove for scanning. Then, once your time comes to step up to the security belt, it’ll be as easy as 1-2-3 to get your gear in the bins and walk through the scanner sans buzzing. And don’t forget that the laptop gets a bin of its own (even better—leave the computer at home whenever possible). And most of us still have to remove our shoes to go through TSA airport security, so think ahead and pack your lace-up steel-toe boots instead of wearing them to the airport.

Checkpoint Charlie
Backscatter weapon-detector machines are now in nearly every U.S. airport. They are admittedly slower than the far simpler metal detectors we’ve been passing through for decades. That’s partly why many TSA teams choose to send only randomly chosen passengers through them, and they sometimes choose to keep them powered off altogether.

In the event that you must pass through them, you have the choice to “opt out” and be patted down by a TSA agent instead. This usually will add no longer than 10 minutes to your security time—just be sure to tell the agent before sending your luggage through on the belt. (And remember to be friendly about it!) The other option is, of course, to fall in line and get scanned. After all, they say the amount of radiation involved is negligible and that the images they capture don’t reveal full nudity. But the real secret is to scope out which line may be only using the old-school metal detectors and head that way to save time.

Enjoy Solo Travel
Jetting off with family or friends on vacation is a surefire way to create lifelong memories—and a long wait for the whole group to get through airport security. Enjoy one of the greatest perks of solo travel and breeze on through the checkpoints with only yourself to consider. If you follow these rules, you may find yourself sipping coffee at the gate while that family of four is still putting their shoes back on.

Why Not a Pre-Screened ID?
New pre-screened passenger ID cards are now on the market through programs like TSA Pre-Check and CLEAR. However, many airports and airlines are not yet outfitted to accept them, and at some airports you will still need to wait through the regular security line. Keep an eye on the cards for the future, but for now their time is not yet ripe.

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