No matter where or when you fly, you need (and want) to be able to spend the least amount of time in the airport. We all want not to waste our time on trifles… such as checking-in. We all want to get into the plane ASAP, right?
Our first piece of advice? Be a quick-witted packer.
Avoid packing large or oversized devices such as laptops or DVD players. And do keep in mind that you’ll be required to take them out of your carry-on in order to place them on the X-ray machine – and this may take up some of your time. However, if you choose to take a small gadget with you, you won’t have to take it out of your handbag. If you’re after a checkpoint friendly laptop bag, you may also check TSA “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag procedures.
Besides, we agree that it is a bit of a struggle to decide what to pack and what not to. It is not at all easy to pack the perfect suitcase. And, if you’re after a light suitcase, feel free to browse our two articles, i.e. Things To Remember When Packing Your Bags and Packing No-No’s.
You should then remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons or, to put it in a nutshell, just put your liquids in a quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag beforehand. Moreover, if you’re after speed and efficiency, don’t pack your coats or jackets in your handbag. They’ll be X-rayed and this will cost you time.
Are you planning to pack a present for someone in your carry-on? Just DO NOT WRAP IT. It will, more than likely, be unwrapped not by the person you aim to impress with your gift but by the security officer. You’d better wait until you get to the destination to wrap your prezzie.
Whenever you’re not sure if a certain item is allowed or not, just check it out. If you want to see a list of prohibited items, click here. You also need to take into account that packing is not all there is to a speedy journey through the airport. You’ll need to be dressed accordingly, as well. If the metal detector or the advanced imaging technology unit detects anything suspicious about you, than the security officers will certainly carry out further investigations. But may lead to a suspicious spotting? There are some body piercings that may alarm the screening devices and you’ll probably be required you remove them in such circumstances. Passengers are also allowed to have their head covered only for religious reasons. But they will also be subjected to additional screening if the head covering is too large or sloppy.
And then…there are the shoes…take them out before stepping on the screening technology unit and place them on the belt to go through the X-RAY MACHINE. The only passengers who are permitted to go through this procedure with their shoes on are the passengers suffering from disabilities, medical conditions or a prosthetic device. If you happen to fall into one of these categories, you need to tell the security officer about your case. You will be inspected additionally.
Anyway, probably the best strategy to finish with this procedure faster, would be to consider wearing slip-on shoes. You’ll be able to take them off and put them on again in a split of a second. Moreover, traveling with children, presupposes a bit of extra preparation. Both strollers and baby carriers will have to be security screened so you have to take your time to deal with this. You’ll find more information on this topic in our article TSA Airport Security Rules when Traveling with Children.
Besides, if you’re traveling with your pet, consider taking it out of its kennel so that it may be screened. You may hold your little companion in your arms during this procedure.
What else should you account for? Don’t forget about paperwork. Have your boarding pass and identification documents ready. If you’re not sure what exactly is considered as an acceptable ID, just have a look at the TSA list of acceptable IDs.
Finally, just make sure you get to the airport on time and enjoy your flight.