Once you step off our shuttle and into the airport, however, your trip can easily come to a screeching halt at the security line. Never fear! There are things you can do to improve your chances of getting through the line faster and without headache. Take a look at these helpful tips and plan ahead for a smooth flight:
- Be smart about what you wear. Try to wear slip-on shoes and skip the metal accessories. Avoid wearing too many layers and always take off your jacket while you are waiting to be screened.
- Buy the right laptop bag. You no longer have to remove your laptop if you put it in a bag that gives screeners an unobstructed image of the device. With a sleeve style bag, your laptop can stay put and you can breeze through the metal detector.
- Don’t travel during peak times. If you can, try to avoid traveling from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. However, keep in mind that during holidays, spring break season and special sporting events, you may see longer lines no matter what time you travel.
- Be prepared. If you are a traveling pro, you are likely aware of most of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules. This includes the 3-1-1 rule for transporting liquids (3.4 ounce bottle; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger). To review all TSA traveling rules consult the organization's website.
- Pick the right line. Shorter lines do not always mean faster lines! A long line filled with seasoned business travelers will likely move faster than a shorter line of leisure travelers.
- Take Advantage of Your Road Warrior Status: Many airports have dedicated lines for frequent travelers and/or premium credit card members. For example, American Express offers special lanes at some airports for its Platinum Card holders. Check your credit card and airline rewards to see if you qualify for these programs. Keep in mind if you’re a newbie traveler, you may not yet qualify for this service, but after just a few trips, you’ll be on your way to road warrior status.
To make flying easier for business travelers, the TSA instituted a program called Pre-Check Expedited Screening. This program is open to frequent travelers or members of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Programs. Travelers who qualify for Pre-Check no longer need to remove their shoes, liquids, laptop, outerwear or belt. Here is what you need to know:
- Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways will contact passengers who qualify for this program. When travelers opt-in, they will see the Pre-Check logo printed on their boarding passes.