The airport security line can seem by turns tedious, nerve-wracking and frustrating.
You may start out in a long, slow-moving procession — but then suddenly you’re thrust into rush mode, hustling to remove your shoes and laptop before passengers behind you get annoyed. Next, you’re shooed through a body scanner or metal detector, randomly pulled aside for a more thorough search, or both.
It can be a major hassle. But you can make your trip less stressful by following these tips for an expedited security process.
First things first: If you’re a serious or even occasional traveler, consider applying for TSA PreCheck. This program, offered via the Transportation Security Administration, allows customers to access a special security line that requires less intrusive screening, meaning they can keep more of their personal items on (or in their bags). Note that PreCheck is included if you apply for the TSA’s Global Entry program, which expedites your trip through customs when flying home from an international trip. There’s a fee to join these programs, although some travel credit cards will reimburse the cost.
If, however, you’re not interested in paying such a fee, or you don’t travel by air enough to justify it, here are some tips to keep in mind before you head to the airport.
Things often tend to get hectic no matter how early you arrive at the airport, so you may not have time to make too many adjustments on the fly. But there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
More From NerdWallet