Since I referenced Travel + Leisure’s most annoying security checkpoints a few weeks ago I thought it would only be fair to balance that out with some tips for easing the security part of your trip.
I found this list in The Plain Dealer over a year ago and have kept it handy thinking it was worth sharing. Better late than never, right?
Here are 12 tips from the Transportation Security Administration to make your trip through airport security as smooth as possible..
1) Pack an organized carry-on using layers, bundling cords of iPods and other small electronics and separating items by clothes. A confusing stew can look suspicious. Remove big electronics such as laptops and video cameras from carry-ons and from their cases.
2) Prepare a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic ziptop bag of lotion, shampoo and other liquids before arriving at the airport. Don't forget to pull it from your carry-on and put it in the bin.
3) All coats and jackets have to go through the X-ray machine.
4) Don't wrap gifts. If you do, a security officer may unwrap them.
5) Undeveloped film can stay in your carry-on. If it's faster than 800 speed, the X-ray machine can mar it with a pale stripe called "X-ray fog." Declare high-speed film to a TSA agent so it can be physically inspected instead of X-rayed.
6) Remove ALL items from your pockets before going through an advanced imaging technology machine. Even your boarding pass and ID -- they can trigger a pat-down because the AIT equipment reads them as an anomaly. So carry them in your hand or, better yet, tuck them in a zipped pocket of your carry-on after you show them to the guard at the podium.
7) Put shoes directly on the belt instead of in a bin. That gives the officer a better look at them.
8) Body piercings can set off a metal detector alarm. Passengers required to get extra screening may have to remove the body piercing in private if they don't want a pat-down.
9) Travelers can wear head coverings and religious garments, but they may get additional screening if the garb is loose-fitting or large enough to hide a weapon.
10) Take infants and children out of strollers, send the carriage through the X-ray machine and proceed through the detector. TSA recommends that children who can walk go through screening machines on their own. Otherwise, carry the child, facing forward if possible, through the detector.
11) Remove pets from travel cases, send the case through the X-ray and hold the pet in your arms when you go through screening. (No raised arms required of you or travelers carrying infants).
12) Think before you speak. Jokes about bombs and terrorism are not tolerated. Same goes for belligerent behavior and threats. They will result in delays and possibly missed flights, the TSA warns.
Source: Transportation Security Administration