Keep the Line Moving!

There have been several security line changes in the past two years. First, food cannot be concealed. Also, a few small airports are reducing screening requirements. Here are a few reminders:

-Organize the carry-on bag so electronics larger than a cell phone can be quickly and easily accessed when at the security checkpoint.

-Ensure the quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols can also be accessed quickly and easily.

-Don’t overstuff the carry-on bag. An uncluttered bag makes the screening process easier and quicker for passengers and TSA officers. Consider checking bags when feasible.

-Once screening is complete, be sure to put all electronics back in the carry-on bag. Double-check the bins to make sure nothing is left behind.

Much has been written about the long lines at the airport and who is responsible and what can be done about it all. Before we start blaming others and the government maybe, just maybe we have something to do with it.

Do you have a TSA Pre-Check number? I do. When you sign up for the Global Entry for $100. you automatically qualify for TSA Pre-Check. But if you never fly internationally the $85 TSA may work for you. Make sure your name is exactly at it appears on your government issued ID. The best part of the TSA Pre-check is not the short lines, but you do not need to remove your shoes, or take your electronics out of their bags!

Now being prepared… Most of us know the drill. Certainly if we were to listen, the loudspeaker keeps telling us what to do. How many times have you seen someone walk up to the security scanner with a bottle of water in their hand or on their backpack? No carrying liquids through security have been for over ten years now. Certainly they heard! Meanwhile, we wait while they drink it down or walk back to the trash barrel.

We know we need to take off. I know you just got dressed but we still need to take it off. You can begin to strip before you get to the bins. The belts, watches, large jewelry, shoes, hats, outer jackets, it seems like most everything. Much can be put into your carry-on pockets.

Now shoes, they are one of the items that really slow down the lines. Boots with a dozen eyelets are the biggest offenders. Yes they look cool, but it is not cool when someone needs to wait while another is untying! I like my Merrill’s they slip on and off, plus they are wide for the swelling feet! Along with shoes that can be easily (note easily) removed, please wear socks! I can barely look when I see someone walking barefoot through the body scanner. Can you imagine the number of feet?? Ugh!! Please wear socks and not gross me out!

Now the stuff… We are allowed one carry-on and one other item. Then comes the food, the coffee, I didn’t finish, the pillow and stuffed animals, the coat I needed to wear from the house to the warm taxi that I will not wear in Jamaica! Somehow these items all get through. And they take time to carry about and put down, pick-up and gather into your arms. Leave it all at home. You are going away, not taking home with you!

Lastly, remember your carry-on is just that. So do not pack it as if you were going to check it. No large bottles of any liquid or no knives ( you could not imagine how many knives get confiscated! ) Many of the airlines, when the flights are very full, are now checking for free carry-on luggage at the gate. Many are playing this game, but the luggage still need to gets through security!

So next time you are waiting in the security line, remember you can help. Get in line, get off the telephone and pay attention. Be prepared so we all can get it all over, so we can sit in our little cramped seats on the airplane!

Now do not be cheap and purchase a TSA Pre-Check and then one of those extra legroom seats!

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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