Have you ever thought to yourself, “The worst part about airline travel is getting through the security checkpoint?”. I recently experienced the woes of security checkpoints when I traveled through Denver and Indianapolis, but I feelÃ‚Â that I came out on top because I was prepared. Undoubtedly, moving through the checkpoint can take much of your time and create a frustrating situation between you and those around you. To counteract finding yourself in this situation it is a good idea to prepare ahead of time so that you can move more quickly and smoothly through the security process. Here are a few suggestions to help make your travel experience run as smooth as possible.
TSA (Trasportation Security Administration) officers are there to help make your travel experience quick and safe. One of the ways they do this is by screening at the security checkpoint. To make yours and the TSA officers’ lives easier, here are a few ways to prepare ahead of time to simplify your experience.
- When bringing a carry-on bag through the security checkpoint, it is a good idea to pack in layers. By doing so the x-ray machines can better view what is or isn’t in your bag to prevent a misdiagnosis of threat.
- When you get to the security checkpoint stand, it slows everything down if you have to rummage throughÃ‚Â your bag to find your ID and boarding pass. To move through more quickly, make sure to have these two items readily available.
- Bulky clothing, like coats, jackets, and shoes need to be placed in a security bin to be examined by the x-ray machine. Disposable booties are available upon request.
- Passengers must follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. This means that you can only carry on with you liquids of 3 ounces or less, in a one quart baggie, and only one baggie per person.
- There’s a common saying that TSA officers refer to, which is “When in doubt, leave it out”.
The Screening Experience: Dread or Embrace?
There are no exveptions to one rule at the airport: Everyone who is traveling goes through the security checkpoints. As mentioned earlier, Transportation Security Officers from the TSA operate these checkpoints with efficiency and detail.
Security checkpoints prevent possible terrorists from taking over or destroying the aircraft or the airport. TSA officers want to make sure that terrorists won’t be able to bring anything on board an airplane that would help them in following through with their purposes. Items that you cannot bring with you onboard an airplane are called “prohibited items” and cannot even be brought to the checkpoint, let alone the secure area of the airport or airplane.
By using the points above, you can better prepare yourself to arrive at the airport ready to move quickly through the security checkpoint.
Dress the Part
When going through an airport for travel, there is no particular dress code. You are free to dress in your pajamas, or even a suit. If it is necessary to wear head coverings and religious garments during the screening process, you may do so without fear that you will be going against security policies.
Be aware that clothing and accessories have the possibility of setting off an alarm when going through the metal detector, and so may slow you down. It is a good rule of thumb to not wear any metal to avoid this situation. These items include, belt buckles, metal buttons, jewelry, hair barrettes, earrings, etc.
TSA officers have to identify any metal that is detected at the checkpoint. If you set off the alarm, you will undergo additional screening.
What You Need
Each adult traveler needs to keep his/her boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available at all times until he/she is cleared from the security checkpoint. Children are not required to show identification, but if your child is under age two and does not occupy a seat on the airplane, you will need to provide a birth certificate or immunization record to identify their age. If you do not approach the security checkpoint with the above mentioned ID”s you will be asked to undergo additional screening.
It is easy and may prove to be a time-saver to obtain your boarding pass ahead of time. There are four ways to do this.
- Get it at your airline’s ticket counter at the airport
- Use curbside check-in (which usually has a fee associated)
- Use the airline’s self-service ticket kiosk
- Print the boarding pass at home from your airline’s website
There really is no excuse not to be prepared when you go to the airport.
Removing Your Shoes
It is required of each passenger checking in at the security checkpoint to remove their shoes and place them directly on the belt moveing through the x-ray machine. Shoes can be easily tampered with, so it is of extreme importance that they be inspected.
“What if I have a disability or a medical condition that prevents me from removing my shoes?” This may be a question that some passengers may ask. If this is the case, simply notify the security officer and he/she will give you additional screening which includes a visual and physical inspection while your footwear remains on your feet.
This is just another masure to increase the security that is felt at the airport.
By following these guidelines, you will experience a worry-free travel experience. It is no question that once you are through the security checkpoint, blood pressure seems to drop back down to a normal range, and this will be even more the case if you are prepared. Going on a vacation is exciting and isÃ‚Â a fun experience for you and your traveling companions. The fun doesn’t have to begin when you reach your destination, enjoy the trip all along the way. By preparing yourself to encounter the security checkpoint ahead of time, the fun really will start once you reach the airport and not when you step off of the airplane.