The amount of travelers is up and so are the wait times to get through the TSA security lines at the airport. If you don’t leave enough time to get through security checkpoints you stand a good chance of missing flights and in some cases sleeping overnight in the airport.
Get through TSA security faster
Recent news headlines are full of record numbers of passengers in the U.S., coupled with a reduction of TSA screening personnel has led to passengers standing in hours-long lines at a growing number of U.S. airports. The TSA says it’s taking measures to solve the problem, but has nonetheless warned a difficult summer may lie ahead before a significant improvement in wait times is seen.
Speed through TSA with these 10 tips:
1. Sign up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. These services allow you to go through security much faster by using a line exclusively for TSA prechecked travelers. The cost is $85 for five years. Many credit cards with travel benefits cover the cost. Using TSA precheck means you hardly wait to go through security and you do not have to remove shoes, belts, or take laptops out of your bag. Joining TSA PreCheck is the single most effective action you can take to reduce the time you spend going through security. If you travel internationally sign up for Global Entry it includes TSA PreCheck and is also good for five-years.
2. Wear the right shoes: Skip shoes with buckles and laces, slip-ons are the fastest.
2. Don’t forget your socks to avoid having your feet touch the dirty airport floor. If you wish to avoid removing your shoes, join TSA’s Pre Check Program.
4. Pick the right line: Pick the TSA checkpoint farthest to the left. Research shows that the majority of people are right-handed and, therefore, head right. Do the opposite and go left. You’ll be breezing through security faster than most of your fellow travelers.
5. Don’t forget the 3-1-1 rule. You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
6. Remove jewelry and belt that might set off a metal detector and put it in your carry-on bag before you get to the bag conveyor belt. You can put them on again after going through screening.
7. Travel light. Don’t be that person who needs 17 bins for their belongings. Laptop in 1 bin. Keys, boarding pass, and wallet can be stuffed into your carry-on Shoes go into one bin so that they don’t get stuck on the rollers of the conveyor belt.
8. Empty pockets. Keep your pockets empty so they don’t set off the metal detector.
9. Gifts Gifts must be unwrapped, the TSA has the right to ask you to unwrap anything in your carry-on.
10. Keep your ID and boarding pass ( either paper or digital on your phone) and your hands free by using an antitheft neck pouch to hold your documents and/or phone.
Wear the pouch over your clothing in the airport and under your clothing when sightseeing at your destination.
Getting through the TSA faster helps you stay calm and not hurried in the airport. Lastly, the security bins are dirty. Don’t forget to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after going through the TSA security checkpoint.