Getting through airport security can be one of the most stressful parts of flying, as sometimes it seems like the rules change with every airport.
Shuffling through a slow line, peeling off layers while ensuring everything is laid out neatly in the tray can be time consuming. Then there’s the added pressure of being sure you’re not wearing or carrying anything that might sound an alarm – no one wants to be that person! However, there are a number of things you can do to speed up travelling through the airport security line.
As in most things, a good rule of thumb is to prepare before you leave home.
Before you leave home
Doing your research can save time
As rules and regulations can change, it’s always a good idea to quickly check an airport’s web site before you arrive. This can help specifically when travelling internationally as each country could have different laws. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller site is full of up-to-date, area-specific travel information including advice on prohibited substances.
Dress for the occasion
- Wearing shoes that are easy to take on and off is a great idea, especially if you have children with you.
- Minimal jewellery can save time; you could even put your favourite pieces in containers in your hand luggage and put them back on at the gate.
- If you can, take out any metallic piercings and replace them with plastic versions.
- It’s always best to shed layers before going through a check-point so you’re not trying to remove everything at the scanner. This can be difficult in winter but once you’re in a heated terminal you can stash your jacket in your hand luggage until you get through.
Check your bags before leaving the house
- Having banned substances can get you stopped, so always try to do a final check before leaving the house.
- Restrictions relating to what you can carry on board are usually listed on the back of your ticket.
- It’s a good idea to be prepared to disclose any prescription medicines (including inhalers) and have doctor’s notes for them if travelling overseas.
- Try put any non-essential items in your checked luggage.
- If you’re on an international flight liquids are restricted. Traveller.com.au suggests carrying “no more than 100 millilitres for each item, always with lids on”.
- To help stay hydrated, take an empty water bottle through security and fill it once you’re through.
Charge all electronic devices
- You will likely be asked to place your laptop and other electronic devices, unsheathed, in a separate tray to your other belongings.
- Check all of them are charged and functioning.
- According to Travel Weekly, some airports will now not let you on, or confiscate your device if it won’t turn on.
Choose the right queue
- Try selecting your line as you would at the supermarket. Lining up behind a group of people who are all together could cost you in time.
- Choose a line with people who seem to be independent and moving efficiently. Look for business people or single travelers, as these often move quicker.
- It’s a good idea to be aware of any impact you could have on the line. Newcastle Airport suggests if you have a pacemaker or any pins in your joints to let staff know. If you set the machine off you could be patted down.
A little planning can go a long way
Traversing airport security efficiently is often a matter of planning, but it can be done. Perhaps next time you fly, try applying the above so you can spend the maximum time relaxing before your flight. Should anything go wrong, at the airport or whilst on holiday, travel insurance can protect you from financial loss. compare providers here for a better deal.