Here is my personal 7-step process that makes airport security a breeze. These tips come from years of travel and hopefully will ease some stress for you!
Disclaimer right up front – these tips are from my own personal experiences, they may not be a cookie-cutter fit for all travelers. However, I have had friends get so stressed out about flying and airport security, so I thought, “Why not write a post about it?”
Usually I will be traveling with a laptop, carry-on suitcase, and purse. These steps use that formula. If you have less luggage with you (a.k.a. checked your suitcase) things just got easier for you.
Dear Reader, here you go….
How to Breeze Through Airport Security
1) Prepare before you even set foot in the airport!
Have your liquids in a ziploc and put that ziploc in your purse or briefcase, don’t shove it into your carry-on suitcase just yet. Make it accessible and easy to grab quickly. Also have your pockets empty, laptop easy to pull out, and wear an “airport friendly” outfit (easy slip-off shoes, easy to remove layers).
Forward planning will set you up for success in every way when it comes to travel. Take the extra ten minutes and prep.
2) With boarding pass and ID in hand, jump into that line.
Once through the checkpoint, IMMEDIATELY put your ID and boarding pass away in your purse/wallet/briefcase/whatever. Once you are through the checkpoint and in line for the screening you do not need to show anyone your ID or boarding pass until you board the plane.
Don’t ruin your holiday by losing your ID or boarding pass, put it away before going through security. Plus, one less thing to worry about going through the screening.
3) It’s your turn – don’t panic! Grab one or two gray buckets for your belongings.
Bucket One: Laptop. It gets its own bucket. iPads/tablets do not need to be taken out, only full-size laptops.
Bucket Two: Shoes, Coat, Purse, Liquids (put on top for visibility), Phone, Jewelry, etc. Empty your pockets!
4) Placement on the conveyor belt should be….
1) Carry-on suitcase
2) Bucket One with your laptop
3) Bucket Two with your personal belongings
You must wait for all of your belongings to go through the x-ray before going through the screening. Not only is this common sense to prevent theft, but it helps the security guards keep track of who belongs to what.
5) Do your screening, grab your suitcase and buckets, and carry them over to the seating area.
I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to get stuck behind someone with 80 million bins who is trying to put their whole life together while still on the conveyor. Pick it up, find a spot, and take your time. Less stress all around, hooray!
I do however usually take a moment to quickly put my laptop away before moving bins, less to carry.
6) Take this opportunity to put your liquids into your carry-on suitcase.
If traveling in the winter months, I will usually put my giant coat into my carry-on at this point too.
Unless I want to use it as a blanket later….
7) Double-check you have everything…
…then make your merry way to the gate! Congrats, you survived security and hopefully had a much less stressful experience! I’ve got this process down to where I can be through security, unflustered and on my way to the gate in a few minutes (not including wait times in line).
Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.