With the increasing popularity of carry-on bags — both due to their convenience and the fees airlines now charge for checked bags — the passenger screening process has become very time consuming.

TSA Checkpoint - Orlando, FL

Therefore, it’s more important than ever to prepare properly. Here are several proven ways to get through security checkpoints quickly:

  • Make sure you comply with the TSA’s “3-1-1” rule, which allows travelers to carry-on one quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag containing 3.4 ounce (100 ml) bottles of the gels and liquids. Simply place the quart-sized bag in the screening bin which airport security X-rays. If you don’t use a 3-1-1 bag to separate your liquids, you risk having security personnel hand-inspect your carry-on which wastes time and could result in some items being confiscated.
  • Always use a Travelpro “Checkpoint Friendly” computer case when traveling with a laptop. Instead of having to handle your computer before and after scanning, you simply unzip the back of the case, lay it flat on the conveyer, zip up the case once it’s passed through the scanner, and proceed to your gate. These highly engineered cases feature a padded sleeve compartment which accommodates most 17″ laptops and — though they hold it during the X-ray process — they meet the Transportation Security Administration’s regulations regarding computers not being in direct contact with other objects while being scanned.
  • Pack all metal objects (watch, cell phone, loose change, etc.) in your Travelpro rollaboard, which eliminates your need to handle them at the security checkpoint.
  • Be sure to pack light, so you minimize the amount of luggage you must pass through security.
  • Always wear “slip on” shoes. Nothing slows you down more than having to untie and retie your shoes while being jostled by fellow travelers.
  • Survey the gate check lines, and avoid getting behind groups likely to take excessive time getting through the checkpoint (mothers traveling with small children, for example).
  • If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re dressed and packed properly. A few minutes of pre-trip planning can eliminate lengthy checkpoint delays.

Long security lines are undoubtedly here to stay. But by following these simple guidelines, you can reduce your time at airport checkpoints by 25% or more.

Photo credit: mrkathika (Flickr)