Breeze Through Airport Security—Without the Perks

With plenty of programs making it easier than ever to get through airport security swiftly, it’s a wonder why anyone would pass on them, although it may not be worth the cost for those who don’t fly as often. But even those without such programs as Clear can get through airport security swiftly by following these six steps.

Double Check the TSA List

Remember how many ounces of liquids you can bring (3.4 in a one-quart bag), which items are forbidden and which items must be taken out and placed in bins to avoid the toss-of-shame. For items that must be taken out of your carry-ons, place them on top of the rest of your luggage so they are easy to access when removing and repacking.

Dress for Success

We get it: You want to look professional for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’ll be heading to a social hour directly after you land, or you might just like to look the part of an important businessperson. You don’t have to sacrifice fashion for ease, but there are a few ways you can avoid being delayed. Keep all large jewelry in your carry-on until you pass through security, wear shoes that slip on and off easily, avoid accessorizing too much and pack your jacket rather than wear it. Not only will you fly through, but others will be grateful to you for your quick exit.

Arrive ASAP

If you’ve flown before, you know that the airport security lines will be long, people will meander to their gates slowly and boarding begins about 20 minutes before take-off. Take this all into account when deciding on what time to arrive at the airport. A 30-minute excursion through the airport can easily turn into an hour, so plan ahead. It’s better to be sitting around than missing your flight.

Use Your Phone

Many apps now allow you to access your plane ticket electronically. This can reduce time standing around, locating your confirmation code among tens of other emails and typing in the code to print your ticket. Self-kiosks may be more efficient than waiting for an attendant, but having your ticket ready on your phone can help you glide through the check-in process.

Analyze the Lines

Unless you’re there for the first and last flights, it’s likely that the lines will be long, leaving you tapping your foot. So, look ahead at your fellow peers. Avoid lines with children, as they can be difficult to get through security without a hassle; stand behind fellow businesspeople who are wanting to get through as quickly as you do; and check for those who aren’t traveling with others, thus limiting the number of bags they have.

Put the Walk in Moving Walkways

If you’re running through the airport to locate your gate, it may be tempting to catch your breath on the moving walkway. The rest may be nice, but you can lessen the time reaching your gate by power-walking along walkways, giving you more time to sit and relax as you wait for your flight—eliminating stress while giving your feet a break.