The number one most hair-pulling and infuriating task of flying is getting through airport security. It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new rule about what can and cannot be brought through security. No matter how well I prepare, I always forget to take something off or pull something out of my bag. Here are my top five tips to get through airport security quickly with your sanity in check!
Traveling is life, but it’s also a kinda a hassle.
Especially post 9/11 travel (with good reason, of course!). Safety first! But I dread waiting through airport security sometimes.
Every trip I learn something new, however, and here are 5 tips to get through airport security quickly without losing your -ish.
5 Tips To Get Through Airport Security Quickly & Sanely
1. Pack Smart to get through airport security quickly
Try to stay as organized as possible in your carry on.
If you have liquids, keep them all together in the ziplock bag, and keep that bag in an outside pocket so it’s easy to remove.
Also, if you’re bringing a laptop make sure it is easy to get in and out as well. Most of the time, larger tablets can be left in your bag, but some airports do require them to be removed.
So pay attention to the signs and feel free to ask a TSA agent before you get to the belt.
Also, if your carry on bag is organized, it’s easier for transportation security officer to actually see what is in there. Innocent items can appear potentially dangerous in an x-ray image if they can’t be seen properly!
It is also a good idea to keep small electronics (such as your cell phone) in your bag versus your pocket. This way you won’t forget it’s in there, and you won’t have to run it through on its own.
2. Dress Smart to get through airport security quickly
Shoes and jackets that can be easily removed for security are ideal.
Also, if you don’t *need* a belt, leave it off!
I try to also not travel wearing a ton of jewelry or anything that could potentially set off the metal detector.
Alex and Ani bracelets stay in my purse until I’m at my gate.
Not only does this make it easier for me to go through the metal detector, but it also safeguards me from leaving anything important at the security checkpoint.
If I’m not wearing my favorite watch while I travel, I’m not going to have to take it off, and I’m not going to accidentally leave it behind!
3. Be Prepared to get through airport security quickly
Make sure your documents are out and ready to go.
You’ll need your government issued ID and boarding pass. If you are using your smartphone for your boarding pass, have that screen ready to go.
I also like to take a screenshot of the boarding pass, just in case there are any random issues with the app or the internet browser. It’s easy to keep a second copy handy!
If something happened and you do NOT have your ID (like if it is lost or stolen during travel), you can still travel.
As long as you’re willing to provide some additional information, TSA has other means of figuring out your identity (such as using publicly available databases).
As long as you are compliant and they can confirm your identity, you’ll be cleared to fly! However, you may also have to go through some additional screening! So- really- just try really hard not to lose that ID.
4. Be On Time to get through airport security quickly
This one seems like an obvious tip, but I’m amazed all the time at how many people I am in line with who are *thisclose* to missing their flight.
Arrival time recommendations vary by airport and by airline, but I try to be at the airport 1.5-2 hours before my flight is scheduled to leave.
This gives me plenty of time to make it through security, find my gate, browse some airport shops, and get a latte!
Some airports also have apps that can help you determine if there are any additional waits or delays.
5. Be NORMAL to get through airport security quickly
Again, this seems obvious…
Unusual behavior, extreme anger, inappropriate jokes and threats are flat out not tolerated. Behaviors like that will result in delays and you could even potentially miss your flight.
Just be yourself, remain calm, and it will be over before you know it!
Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I can do about the folks in front of you who didn’t read my list and are doing everything possible to slow up the process… but just take a deep breath and keep a cool head.
You’ll be at your gate soon enough.
When you get to the airport, check to see if there are any other security lines.
Sometimes, during busier days, airports will open up a few extra security lines at the ends of the terminals where you could potentially have less of a line to stand in.
It never hurts to ask!
Sarah is a minivan driving, coffee drinking, runDisney running, business owning, Netflix watching, mother of two little girls. She married her big burly husband, Brandon, 8 years ago in a small chapel in Maui. Then she had 2 babies in 2 years – Evelyn and Olivia. She lives way too close to her parents, and her toenails are always painted red.