10 Tips to Speed Through Airport Lines
Use Mobile and Curbside Check-In
Waiting in line to check in is never fun, but it can be avoided. If you’re not checking bags, using mobile check-in is the easiest way to skip these lines entirely. Just remember to check in online 24 hours before you’re scheduled to depart. If you need to check luggage, then using curbside check-in is a simple way to speed up the entire process. The service has noticeably shorter lines and is available at several major airports — just don’t forget to tip your baggage handler.
Avoid Certain Travel Days
Being strategic when booking your travel dates is a straightforward way to avoid long lines at the airport. It’s a no-brainer that traveling around major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas results in busy airports, so if you’re looking to avoid lines altogether, it’s best to steer clear of these dates. Otherwise, try not to fly during peak travel times, like Fridays and Mondays. Wednesday is typically the slowest day for airlines, so flying midweek is a good way to circumvent airport lines.
Know the Rules
TSA has a lot of rules, and if you want to breeze through security, it’s best to know them by heart. Liquids in your carry-on must pass the 3-1-1 rule, which means you’re allowed a clear quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, and creams as long as they are less than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Since they violate the 3-1-1 rule, water bottles must be empty and lattes are a no-go, so it’s best to wait to get your caffeine fix once you’re safely in the terminal.
Pick the Right Suitcase
Speaking of the rules, choosing the right carry-on suitcase is instrumental in streamlining airport security. Since any liquids you pack will need to be screened separately, using luggage with a large outer pocket makes it easier to remove your liquids from your bag without holding up the line. If you’re flying with a laptop or tablet, try to find luggage that is designed to carry a computer.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Dressing for air travel is somewhat of an art form, and once you find a formula that works for you, it can feel like magic. In addition to wearing comfortable clothing for your flight, dressing appropriately for security is essential. Wearing slip-on shoes will make it easy to sail through security without spending too much time on shoelaces. And since jewelry such as bangles, necklaces, and metal watches will only set off the screening alarms, make sure to keep accessories to a minimum.
-- by Jersey Griggs