Sliding through Airport Security
You've all seen the lines to get through airport security. It's become more and more congested. Passengers haven't taken the time to read the rules and that slows everyone down and makes the boarding process more frustrating.
First and foremost, make sure your carry on bag is the correct size. Many airlines have different regulations; so always check with the airline before packing. As a rule of thumb, most airlines allow two items to be carried on. One is a personal bag, such as a briefcase, laptop, camera bag, or purse. The other is a 45" length, height and width total dimensions of the bag to fit in the overhead. Some of the airlines also have a weight restriction on your carryon bag. If your bag cannot be carried on, keep in mind that the only lock you are permitted to use is the TSA lock.
Next, be sure you are not packing any prohibited items in your bag. Sharp objects or weapons are just common sense. However, many of the airlines are now allowing scissors with blades less than 4" long, screwdrivers less than 7" long, tools less than 7" long, including wrenches and pliers, knitting needles, tweezers and nail clippers. You can obtain the complete list from your airline or from their website.
You have to remember that you will personally have to walk through a metal detector. Keep that in mind when you are getting dressed for your trip. You will have to remove belts if they have a metal buckle. Also your watch, and most other jewelry except rings and/or small earrings will need to be removed before going through the metal detector. Additionally, most shoes have some sort of metal reinforcement and they will also have to be removed. With the exception of your shoes, it's easiest to put all of these items in your carry bag, and put them on after going through security. Always be sure to bring medical proof along with you if you have had any type of surgery that would use metal pins or parts. This is imperative because you would have no other way of proving why the machine keeps identifying metal on your person.
The easiest way to approach going through airport security is to be organized. Security will occasionally do random searches, and overstuffing your bag makes it harder for them to look through your bag. It also makes it more difficult for you to close the bag and continue on your way. Many experienced traveler's pack in special packing cubes so that all of their underwear, socks and sleepwear are together. There are also plastic lined cases to keep your toiletries separate. Security personnel may also ask to see an item that showed up on the x-ray machine. If your bag is organized, you'll find the item they have asked to look at much faster and easier.
You'll notice that more and more passengers are carrying on bags. Because the overhead compartments of the plane become so full, it's important to put identification tags on both handles of your cases. It's easy for someone to mistake your bag for his or her own because your bag will not always be able to fit in the compartment over your own seat. There is a new line of luggage called Mosaic. It has a monogram plate for initials on the bottom of the case. This is a great idea since the bag is clearly identified from the back end and that is what you see first in an overhead compartment.
These tips should get you on your way quickly and efficiently. Have a great travel experience.
Maxine Greco has been in the luggage and travel industry for over 35 years. She is currently working at Village Luggage & Gifts.