Security is always changing, so read details online about the particular airport you are flying into or out of to insure you know what to expect. I was in too many airports to mention this past summer, and one airport in particular asked me to remove my watch…which was a first for me. Chatting with a woman in the same line, she said she’d been asked her to remove her earrings. As I travel often, I wear either open-toed sandals or slip on shoes and minimal jewellery; all my liquids are carefully measured in a clear zip lock bag. It doesn’t mean I don’t get pulled out of the security line like everyone else because of some new ruling. Most recently, security staff took my tote bag in one direction and my purse in another.
Pick the Right Line
If you can, get behind as many adults on their own as possible. Business travelers know what they are doing and will keep the line moving quickly. Avoid families, especially those with several small children and strollers and first-timers (easy to spot) who don’t know the ropes and slow things down.
The agent screening you wants to see one thing – your boarding pass. So put the rest of your ID away and have your pass in your hand as you approach. If it’s on your phone, have the screen up and ready. Forget about using a smart watch – it’s difficult if not unmanageable to fit your wrist under the scanner.
Upgrade Your Gear
Laptops must be placed in a separate bin. If you frequently travel with a computer, think about getting a bag with an exterior pocket for your laptop. This makes it easier to take the device out, and even better, makes it easy to pop back in. I have a tote bag on wheels with a handy outside compartment; my laptop or iPad easily slides out and back in without stopping and disrupting the line behind me.
If you are chosen for secondary screening, you might have to turn on your electronic devices. Make sure they are charged ahead of time. Failing that, you better hope you packed your power cord in your carry-on.
Prep in Line
Take your jacket off, along with any zip-up or button-up cardigan or sweatshirt and drape them over your luggage or arm. If you know you are going to have to take your shoes off, consider undoing the laces in advance.
Have your Liquids Ready
Know the amount of liquids allowed on your plane and have them ready in a clear zip lock bag. Airports regularly provide them at the beginning of the line, but I like to have mine sorted at home, so I don’t have to juggle things around at the last minute. A clear standard zip lock bag is perfectly acceptable. Keep it at the top of your carry-on to place in the bin with everything else.