There is an unspoken rivalry amongst well seasoned airline passengers, frequent fliers like business travelers in particular. The competition is not necessarily limited to airline travel, but in the context of this post revolves around who has the most effective routine for getting through airport security effortlessly. You have to admit that there is a certain sense of self satisfaction when the guy who gets into the shorter queue before you ends up being held up and completing the security obstacle course after you have already slipped your shoes back on and waltzed on to the duty-free.

If you spend a lot of time flying you have to get good at this or risk wasting half you life in airport security queues so here are a few tips from the professionals that we have sourced online:

  1. Avoid lace-up shoes and opt for slip-ons or sandals and flip flops.
  2. If you don’t need a belt, then don’t wear one. If you must wear a belt then leave it packed in your hand luggage until you’re through security.
  3. Choose a bag for your laptop that allows you to slip it in and out without too much fuss. If the bag has additional space and pockets these can come in useful for other items like watches and wallets. Also bear in mind that security may allow laptops to stay in bags through screening if they provide a clear and unobstructed X-ray image of the laptop.
  4. When traveling to/from a winter destination, if you’re not flying business class (where flight attendants will hang up your coat for you) and checking in bags, place winter coats in checked baggage as well to save from lugging it around the airport and on the plane.
  5. When going through airport security, put shoes through the scanner first, then laptop, followed by laptop bag and any other carry-on luggage. This way, once you’ve gone through the metal detector, you can put your shoes back on and your computer back in its bag while your other items are being scanned.
  6. Avoid having too many chargers and other items with unsightly cables as these can often slow you down due to their suspect appearance on an X-ray machine.
  7. Use a passport / travel case to keep your passport and boarding pass organised together. There is nothing worse than going through security (where you are generally disoriented) and having to think “where did I put my ticket or passport?” It’s a good way to help stay zen.
  8. It’s not worth taking those hotel shampoo bottles (unless they are particularly select) as you will need to put them in your plastic zip lock bag (and only one per person)
  9. Before you get to the security scanner, be sure your keys / wallet and other valuables are safely stored in your suitcase or zipped pocket, so you can avoid pulling them out quickly at the last minute which is the best way for something important or valuable to drop out without you knowing.

By keeping your hands free you can have your passport and boarding card ready which will speed things along nicely and you’ll be through in no time. The quicker you get through security, the more time you have to enjoy the business lounge and duty free shops before catching your flight! Updates

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A native of Zimbabwe, Ralph has lived on three continents and traveled to 20+ countries. He lived in London for 12 years before moving to California where he oversaw various social media and content initiatives for before returning to the UK.

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