Tricks for Speedy Screening
No matter how many times per year you fly, the security gates will always be a hassle. Even if you use a Milwaukee airport car service to travel to and from the airport, the screening process inside can be exhausting. We understand that it may be necessary for our safety, but that doesn’t make it any more fun. You may already have your routine down, but there is always something you can learn about expediting your airport security screenings. Some of the tips listed below may seem like common knowledge to you, while others could come as a welcome surprise.
Investigate the TSA PreCheck Program
The Transportation Security Administration has a tough job keeping us all safe during air travel, but they do try to make things easier when they can. If you travel frequently, there is a good chance you’ll receive an invitation from your chosen airline to join the TSA PreCheck program. If you haven’t received an offer yet, you can check out Trusted Traveler Programs Global Entry or NEXUS to sign up for the PreCheck program. Just be prepared to hand over a lot of personal information, as you’ll essentially be prescreened for the service. Once you’re a member, you’ll enjoy certain perks like keeping your belt and shoes on in line and leaving the laptop in the bag during screening.
Choose Security Lines Carefully
The shorter security lines can be inviting, but they might not always be your best choice. You should keep an eye on those in the lines to determine which will move more quickly. Families with small children will definitely take more time to screen while a line filled with businessmen will likely move along pretty quickly. Jumping into the shorter line could mean you’re stuck behind first-time travelers when you could have lined up behind a larger group of seasoned flyers.
If you don’t check luggage on your business trip, and many don’t anymore, you should be sure you pack your carry on wisely. Any gels and liquids should be in bottles that hold no more than 3.4 ounces, and all of those bottles need to be contained together in a quart-sized plastic bag. Most travelers are already aware of this but forget to keep the bag close at hand. If you have to dig through your carry on to find the liquids and gels, you’re not only slowing your own progress, but also that of the people behind you. The same goes for your laptop, which must be placed in a separate tray for screening.
Choose a TSA-Approved Laptop Case
If you travel on a regular basis, taking the laptop out of your bag can be a serious hassle and can also cause serious damage to your delicate device. Fortunately, TSA approves several laptop bags for travel, allowing you to keep the computer in the case during screening. A little research will lead you to the best brands available, but you can start with the briefcases from Briggs & Riley, which have been vetted and approved for security screenings.
Select the Scan
While the idea of TSA agents having the ability to see through your clothes might violate your sense of modesty, it’s definitely the fastest way to pass through security checkpoints. If you choose not to undergo the full-body scan, you may be subject to the pat downs that take more time and get even more up close and personal. Keep in mind that agents are less concerned with what you look like underneath your business suit than they are with preventing possible attacks.
Leave the Change
Many savvy travelers are ready to whip off the belt, shed the watch, and step out of the shoes at the security checkpoints but forget other possible metals on their person. If you’ve recently purchased a pack of gum, the coins jingling in your pocket could hold you up during screening. Be sure to check for change while standing in line and have that, earrings, and even hairclips ready to set into the tray for screening purposes.
Find an App for That
Believe it or not, TSA wants you to move quickly through security, too. That’s why they provide the My TSA app for smartphones, which will keep you up to date on what you can bring on the flights, security wait times, weather-related delays, and general security information for your flight. You can visit the TSA website to learn more about the app and where to get the right version for your particular smartphone.
The most important thing to remember is that airport employees and TSA agents just want to keep everyone safe. Grumbling and complaining only adds to the misery of travel wait times, so try to keep an upbeat attitude and smile at those who work so hard to minimize threats. If nothing else, you’ll make someone else’s day.