10 Tips To Get You Through the Airport Faster

Need to know advice on how to get through the airport faster

Airport Terminal Get Through The Airport FasterIt’s time to face the fact that no matter how prepared you are, you’re probably going to be spending a few hours in the airport before your flight. Follow these tips and you can at last be spending that time relaxing at your gate instead of standing in lines. Here they are, 10 Tips to Get You Through the Airport Faster

1. Get to the airport 2 hours ahead of time, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the layout.

Check-in and security have always been ridiculously slow, but now they are taking even longer with the new regulations introduced in the last few months. (You can thank the guy who thought it would be a good idea to jump past security gates to kiss his girlfriend for some of that.) What if you actually make it through check-in and security quickly and you’re left with an hour before your flight? Enjoy it because at least you won’t be the guy running to the plane as the door closes.

2. Weigh your luggage beforehand.

Airlines are extremely strict about weight limits – it’s usually about 50 pounds or 23 kg.  If you’re over the limit, it may just be a case where you need to take out a couple of pairs of underwear from your suitcase, but I’ve seen a girl have to go and buy another suitcase in the airport because she was so far over the limit. Solution? Don’t wait until you get to the check-in counter to weigh your luggage, do it at your house. You could try to maneuver your massive suitcase onto a bathroom scale, or just use one of these bad boys.

3. Keep all of your travel documents in a document/ passport protector.

If there is a way to clip it to your body or strap it around your shoulder, that’s even better (less chance you get it stolen). If you’re studying abroad, or even just doing some weekend traveling, you’re going to want to keep copies of your passport, visas, plane tickets, hotel info, etc. with you while you fly.

4. Have your passport and plane ticket in an accessible but safe place on you at all times.

You’ll probably need them at the check-in counter, before you enter your gate, when going through security, and when you board the plane. Life is always easier when you don’t have to dig through your carry on just to give the flight attendant your boarding pass. Plain and simple, just get organized.

5. When you get to security, be prepared to take off boots, belt, hat, jacket, etc.

Unless you’re wearing sneakers or boat shoes, you’ll probably be asked to take off whatever you have on your feet. From personal experience, it’s better to wait until you’re asked to take your shoes off, but just be ready. Always take your belt off, it’s almost a guarantee the buckle is metal and it will set off the alarm. Same with your jacket – just take it off as soon as you get to security.

6. Wear a jacket or sweatshirt with pockets.

Instead of throwing everything you have in your pants pockets (i.e. money, wallet, keys, and phone) into one of those bins – which tend to be a black holes – put them into your jacket or sweatshirt pockets and then put that into the bin. That way you’re not holding up the line while you’re trying to find the 20 pennies you tossed in that endless abyss of the security bin. You can just grab your jacket and empty the pockets back into your pants when you have more time at your gate.

7. And on that note, avoid crazy belt buckles and lots of pocket change.

The more change you have, the more you have to collect when you’re done going through the metal detector. Big belt buckles are just a pain in general. They’re obviously going to set off the metal detector, so there’s no chance of wearing them through. It can also take time to reattach to the belt, and most importantly, security might consider it a weapon and confiscate it. Trust me, you don’t want your pants hanging at your ankles because security stole your giant flashy buckle.

8. Be ready to take your laptop out of your carry on.

You don’t bury it under spare clothes, toiletries, books, games, food, and whatever else you have in there because you’ll be required to take it out of your bag at security for obvious reasons. Just a side note, they usually have you put laptops in a bin separate from the rest of your belongings.

9. Be aware of the guidelines for taking liquids in your carry on.

There are different regulations in different countries, so check them before you start packing. I had a bottle of contacts solution that said TSA approved, but was confiscated in Scotland. In the U.S., containers can be no larger than 3 ounces, and they must fit in a standard 1 liter Ziploc bag. In most European countries, the limit is 100ml (close to 3 ounces), and just like in the U.S., they must all fit in a 1 liter plastic see through bag. Take the Ziploc bag out of your carry on, and place it in the bin to go through the scanner with the rest of your stuff. By the way, one of these might be more efficient than a Ziploc.

10. Dress nice.

You’re probably saying to yourself “someone who dresses nicely is just as likely to carry a bomb as someone who isn’t, and I don’t think security officers are biased”. Don’t kid yourself, its human nature to be more concerned by people who are dressed poorly. I’m not saying you need to throw on a tuxedo, I just don’t think it’s a good idea to wear your “I love pot” cut-off through security.

Final Note: If security does decide to confiscate something of yours or throw it away, don’t argue with them. They will always win, and they have the power to make you miss your flight.

Transportation Security Administration

EU Aviation Security Regulations

If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!

Don’t forget to Like The Blog on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, or create your own TSAB Blog!