How to get through airport security faster


Waiting in line at the airport is an annoyance that most people probably could live without - especially when you're late. There are however several things you can do to avoid spending hours in line. presents 8 hacks on how to get through airport security faster.

1. Do your research

Today, there are several apps that help you keep track on wait times at the airport. You can get information about the current wait for not only security but also customs and check-in. Make sure to download one of these before your trip and you will without a doubt be prepared.

App in the Air



2. TSA PreCheck

How does passing through airport security without having to remove your shoes, jacket, laptop or liquids sound? This is exactly what TSA PreCheck can give you. Once you have undergone the required interview and background check you can enjoy expedited passage through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lines, which can be found at hundreds of airports in the U.S. 

TSA PreCheck is only available to U.S. citizens, cost $85 for five years and is available when you fly domestically. According to TSA, PreCheck passengers wait less than five minutes in average at security.

3. Dress appropriately

Dressing right can make a big difference at airport security - and we're not talking about looking good. It's all about dressing smart. Skip the belt, watch and jewelry and wear shoes that are easy to take off and on. It is also a good idea to have a jacket with pockets or a passport bag around your neck for your phone, wallet and passport.

4. Prepare your carry-on

If you have a laptop or tablet with you, it must be removed from its case and put in a bin at airport security. Make sure that your laptop or tablet is easily accessible, preferably in an outer compartment. If you have liquids in your bag, these need to be placed in a clear one litre/quart sized plastic bag. You're not allowed to go through security with larger containers of liquids than 100 ml/3.4 oz and they must fit into the plastic bag. By preparing this at home and placing the bag on top of your carry-on you can save a lot of time.

5. Check the line

Before entering the airport security checkpoint, get a good look of each line and the people waiting. A shorter line does not necessarily mean a faster line. If one line consist of ten business travelers and another of two families with young children, it might be a smarter move to choose the one with only business people. Another thing you can do to get through security faster is to choose a lane either to the far left or right, since most travelers tend to walk straight ahead when entering the checkpoint. 

6. Become an Elite member

By joining a frequent flyer program and achieving elite status you will be rewarded with benefits not available to the general traveler. As a frequent flyer with elite status there's a good chance you're membership comes with priority security screening.

Read more: Reaching Elite Status

7. Fly business or first class

It's not only TSA PreCheck and elite status that can get you access to the expedited security lanes. With a business or first class ticket you can also be entitled to these fast tracks. 

8. Travel at unpopular times

If you're really not a fan of long lines at security, try not to travel when everybody else does. The line to airport security is usually shorter at night time, early morning and late evening. If possible you should also try to avoid traveling before big holidays such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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