Airport security and security checkpoint are a necessary evil when you are travelling. Fortunately, nobody can avoid them and, even if they are annoying, they have to be meticulous and complete in order to guarantee our safety within the planes and in the air.
Everyone has had to wait long hours to pass through a security checkpoint at any airport in the world. Sometimes passenger traffic is so high that it is impossible to speed up the process and go and sit to wait for your flight. And if you are running late, well, it could be a nightmare. Other times it is just people who are not aware what the regulations are and stop the flow while they empty their whole hand luggage.
We give you some pointers to not be the person who slows up the process and have a smooth walk through security checkpoints.
- Carrying more than 3.4 ounces of any liquid. There are some exceptions like medications, breast milk and baby formula. Frequent travelers know this, and it is a well-known rule. But many infrequent travelers forget it or ignore this rule and always have full-sized bottles of shampoo, perfume or strange liquids that are banned to take on carry-on bags, thus, slowing up the line and earning the head shakes from people in the line. However, since 2014 , in the United Sates, bottles purchased at airports that still have the “secure, tamper-evident bags” (STEBS), are allowed to be carried inside the carry-on bags.
- Choosing the wrong security lane. As simple as it seems, this is one of the reasons, and you can see it at every airport, that lines get stuck and a lot of time is wasted. While not all airports have these special designated lines, most of the busiest airports do have them. Some of them are for big families or frequent more efficient travelers. This could mean that you get your time wasted waiting in line behind a big family of seven; or you are the one that makes everybody else wait when you have a special need or an inconstancy in your paperwork.
- Making jokes about bombs or national security issues. Well this one seems strange. Strange as it is, it will give you a hard time and delay your walk through security checkpoints. It is not illegal to make jokes of any kind but it will get you into trouble or at least give you a really hard time. There is one case to take as in example, and it was of a man called Edgar Fabian Navarrete, who made a joke about his friend having a bomb when they were at the Miami International Airport. Take into account that Airport security staff take their job very seriously and they do not have a sense of humor when it comes to providing safety for airports and flights.
- Taking off garments at the last minute. We all know we have to take our belt, watches, jackets and shoes off at certain airports. Some local flights don’t demand this to happen, but when at international airports be aware of it. If you see the people in front of the line taking off their shoes, for example, please do as the romans do. Take your shoes off before you are asked to do so. This will speed up the process. If you are wearing jewelry, a watch and even if your shoe laces have a piece of metal on it, be prepared. At least have your shoes untied and your jacket in your hand to be ready to place them in the conveyer belt as soon as you get there. Also, don’t remove items like phones, handheld dvd palyers, ipods and small electronic devices as they can remain in the carry-on bag. Only devices the size of a standard laptop have to be removed to be scanned.
- And last but not least. Giving the security staff a hard time is not going to speed up things for you or for anyone. Maybe the last time you went through an airport security check they didn’t mind your shampoo in your carry-on bag, or they let you through because you are a frequent traveler in your country. But this time it is not the case. Don’t argue with security as they are only doing their job. They could be wrong for all it matters, but arguing and getting upset will not get you anywhere and evidently will delay everybody else.
These are simple things to remember when you are travelling by plane. Next time you are packing or even arriving to the airport, keep these small tips in mind. You will be amazed how they help you speed up the process. And pay attention to the people ignoring these little things. You will be amazed to see that they are the ones delaying everybody in line.