I think we’ve all been there- running late to the airport, only to find the airport security line is a mile long. While there is not much we can do to speed up everyone else in the airport security line, there are some tips to get to your airport gate quicker!
If you follow this guide and try out these tips, you will definitely get through security faster, which will inevitably speed up the line of other travelers. They might even see what you are doing, and copy you!
One of the worst airport mistakes travelers make is being slow during airport security, so make sure this isn’t you!
Whether you are a newbie traveler or someone who travels every month, you will find something new on our list to help you make your travels even easier!
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One of the easiest tips to get to your airport gate quicker is to simply have all your belongings and documents readily available.
While waiting in the security line, make sure you have your ID or passport in your hand, as well as your boarding pass. If your boarding pass is on your phone, make sure you have it up and ready to go. This will save some time fumbling around in your pockets or your bag when you get up to the TSA agent.
These travel pouches are great for holding all of your important documents and belongings while traveling and at the airport. You can have all your information readily available, instead of rummaging through your backpack or carry on bag.
Additionally, my favorite carry on bag has a pocket on the luggage handle, where you can place all your important documents. While still attached to the carry on bag, it is a separate pocket from everything else, and keeps your important items from getting lost! This comes in handy in the security lines when all your belongings are all over the place. You can simply place your ID, phone, or boarding pass in the pocket and know it is safe.
Be Mindful of Shoe Choices
If you are under the age of 75, most airports require passengers to remove their shoes in the airport security line. While this, among other requirements, is a hassle, you can make it easier!
While planning your airplane travel outfit, be mindful of your shoe choices. This is not the time to wear the lace-up sandals you just bought for vacation. Aim for comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off. A simple pair of sneakers will do, or some Vans. The less time it takes to put them on or take them off, the better!
One airport mistake travelers make is not wearing any socks. Once you take your shoes off for security, you don’t want to be walking around barefoot on the dirty airport floor! Wear socks with your shoes, or bring an extra pair of socks in your carry on to slip on. You might want to do this while you are waiting in line, to help speed up the process!
Compression socks are great to wear at the airport and while flying. They will help keep your feet and legs comfortable, and allow for faster muscle recovery! I wear them on every flight and my legs feel much better!
Organize your Liquids
Most travelers are aware of the TSA 3-1-1 rule. If not, you are allowed to bring liquids no larger than 3.4 ounces, in a 1 quart-sized bag (make sure it closes), and only 1 bag per person. Any more than this will not be allowed on the plane.
I’ve seen travelers try to bring full-sized shampoo bottles, full tubes of toothpaste, and brand new bottles of perfume. Unfortunately, these items need to be in your checked luggage, or they will be thrown away.
Before you get in the security line, make sure you are abiding by these rules! I like to use this liquids bag, as it holds everything I need for my trip. If you are struggling with packing your liquids, refer to these essential packing tips every traveler should know!
Pack your liquids bag on top of everything else in your carry on bag. This will make it easily accessible so you are not rummaging through your carry on looking for your liquids bag.
Other tips to get to your airport gate quicker is to make sure you don’t have any full water bottles or drinks with you.
You should absolutely bring your own water bottle while traveling, as it is a great budget travel tip to save you hundreds! Airport water bottles are overpriced and can lead you to spend more than you anticipated.
We like to use this collapsible water bottle. It is small enough to pack in your carry on and doesn’t take up much room. Once you get past security, you can fill it up for free at a nearby water fountain.
However, make sure that your water bottle is empty prior to entering the security line. This is something I always forget. If you do end up forgetting to empty it out, you will have to either pour it out in a garbage can or drink it really fast!
This is an unnecessary extra step that slows the security line down, so make sure you empty your water bottle!
Here are some tips to get to your airport gate quicker if you have a laptop with you. When going through airport security, you will need to take your laptop out of your carry on bag, and place it in its own bin for security check.
If you are bringing your laptop on your trip, place your case in your carry on bag towards the side, so it is easier to get to. Keep the case unzipped so you can easily take it out.
In order to make your time in security even shorter, consider purchasing a TSA approved laptop case. This way, you won’t have to worry about taking your laptop out at all!
Reduce your Snacks
Other tips to get to your airport gate quicker is to reduce the number of snacks you are bringing. I absolutely agree that snacks are a top carry on item that every traveler should have! After all, snacks at the airport are very overpriced, and it is difficult to find healthy snacks.
Before going through security, take inventory of the number of snacks you are bringing. While you are allowed to bring a lot of snacks, if you have more than a handful, you are going to get your bag searched.
By a handful, I mean I once had a TSA agent hold her hands out like she was holding a soccer ball and said, no more than this much food. Hold your hands in front of you, palms up, and touch your pinkies together. That is a good indication of the number of snacks you can bring without getting searched.
However, this doesn’t always mean your bag won’t get searched. I once had oranges in my bag and they had to investigate.
One way to help prevent wasting an extra few minutes in security is to get these snack holders. They will keep all your snacks in one place and easily fits into your carry on. Otherwise, be aware that you might get searched!
Find the Fastest Line
If the airport security line is busy, you will want to find the line that is moving the fastest. But, how do you know which line is better?
After you get your ID and boarding pass checked, take a quick scan of the open security lines. For some reason, most travelers will go-to lines to the right. This means you should head as far left as possible to find the shortest and fastest line!
Other tips to get to your airport gate quicker is to take a look at who is in each line. If there is a family with children in one line, you will probably want to avoid this line, as they typically take longer.
Try to find lines that have businessmen or women, or single travelers. Look for travelers who seem like they know whats going on and know what to do!
Learn more hacks airports don’t want you to know like this one!
Take off your jacket
Here are more tips to get to your airport gate quicker. If you are traveling to or from a location that is cold or snowy, you will most likely have a jacket on. Maybe it was blizzarding outside and you have a hat, gloves, and scarf on as well. You will definitely be asked to take these off in security!
When going through airport security, you will be asked to take your jacket off. Knowing this, while waiting in line or before getting in line, take your jacket off. This will save some time once you are at the scanners.
Additionally, consider putting your jacket in your suitcase or carry on bag prior to going through security. This will be one less step you have to take, and one less item you have to retrieve from the scanner. Make sure you check your coat pockets to make sure you didn’t forget to take anything out!
If you aren’t parked too far away, consider leaving your jacket and other cold-weather items in the car. You might be cold getting into the airport, but at least you won’t need to carry them around with you all vacation. Especially if you are going somewhere warm- you definitely will not need them!
Simple steps add up, and even though this tip might seem silly, every little thing you do to prepare will help speed up the process!
While flashy jewelry isn’t exactly ideal for traveling and flights, many travelers do, and this is okay! It is important to be mindful, however, of the amount of jewelry you are wearing.
If you are wearing too much, you may be asked to take it off. If the jewelry is expensive, you might run the risk of losing it or getting it stolen. It is better to keep jewelry in your suitcase or carry on bag. Consider this cute and fashionable travel jewelry organizer to keep all your valuables safe!
Keep in mind, you are able to wear earrings and rings, so don’t worry about taking those off. If there is an issue, they will use the hand scanner and quickly realize it is just your jewelry.
The same goes for bulky belts. If you are wearing a belt that has metal, you will need to take it off. Consider wearing a belt without metal while flying (or no belt at all), to save you from looking like you are taking your pants off!
Empty your Pockets
Last but not least- empty your pockets! This one seems obvious, but it is often overlooked when scrambling to get your shoes off, liquids out, suitcase on the scanner, etc.
Your best bet is to make sure you have absolutely nothing in your pockets. This includes loose change, phones, money, wrappers, anything. Empty them out to save any questioning from occurring. There is usually a garbage can where you can rid of items you don’t need.
In the event that you do forget something in your pocket, they will use the hand scanner to identify where the problem is, and you will usually say something like “oops its just some coins” and feel embarrassed. Don’t let this be you!
While in line, do a quick check of your pockets to make sure they are completely empty. I see a lot of travelers doing the famous pat-down before they walk through the scanner!
Thank you for reading our tips to get to your airport gate quicker! What other tips do you have to help speed up the security process? Let us know in the comment section below!