Important Travel Advisories

10 Mistakes You Need To Stop Making At Airport Security.

Every traveler knows how airport security can be annoying or even irritating, yet, it’s a necessary “evil” that allows everyone to fly safely around the globe. While it’s inevitable, you can only wish for navigating through it as quickly and smoothly as possible. This means you need to prepare yourself ahead of time and avoid the common mistakes that slow the process down or probably even lead to problems with the TSA.

To fly smartly and navigate through the checkpoint like the savviest traveler, check out these 10 things you should never do at airport security.

1. Carrying too much liquid

This might be a no-brainer for jet setters, but inexperienced flyers still carry full-sized bottles of water, shampoo, and other liquids. Every time a passenger ignores the so-called 3-1-1 rule, a TSA agent has to search the bag and throw the bottle, causing the security line to slow down. Not to mention the annoyed people who are stuck waiting behind.

However, this rue has a few exceptions, such as baby formula, breast milk, and medications. In other cases, you may carry duty-free full-size liquids as long as you still have the receipt that proves they were bought within one day and they also must be still sealed.

Just make sure to find out what you can and cannot carry before heading to the airport.

2. Storing gels and liquids at the bottom of your carry-on

Leaving these items deep in your bag will only slow the security line and waste everyone’s time. Instead, you should simply make sure to place travel-sized gels and liquids individually in the bin. Keep in mind that using a clear, see-through bag isn’t enough. It’s best to use an eternal compartment on your carry-on so you can reach in and grab any item easily.

3. Keep your ID and boarding pass out of reach

Just like with liquids, you don’t want to be the reason why everyone is irritated because you’re holding up the line to pull your wallet and look for your ID. You should have your ID and boarding pass ready in your hands while you’re still waiting in line or even before getting in line. This way you’ll make the process faster for yourself and other fellow travelers while making things easier for the security agent.

4. Not removing clothing items and accessories sooner

One efficient way to get through security as quickly as possible is to have whatever needs to be out (including shoes, jacket, watch, belt, and large jewelry) ready to be put on the belt the second you get there.
So take off your watch, belt, and jacket while you’re still in line. As for your shoes, at least make them easier to remove quickly by untying the shoelaces.

People who are allowed to leave their light jackets and shoes on are children under the age of 13, seniors over 75, and those with TSA PreCheck.

5. Removing things you aren’t supposed to remove

Taking out all electronic devices to be scanned individually is a common mistake travelers make at airport security. The TSA states that passengers should only remove electronics bigger than a cell phone from their cases to be scanned separately. So your tablets and laptops are concerned, while your phones, hairdryer, and electric toothbrush are not unless you have TSA PreCheck membership.

As for jewelry, you only need to take off bulky items before going through security. Usually, earing, wedding rings, and small pieces stay on.

6. Wearing sandals

Flip-flops may seem like a perfect choice since they’re super easy to slip on and off, but you really do not want to expose your feet to the filthy things that may be lurking on the airport floor, especially when you realize that you’ll be at risk of getting athlete’s foot.

If you insist on wearing sandals, at least protect your feet by a pair of disposable booties.

7. Skipping checkpoints that are less busy

Major airports have several checkpoint entries for every terminal, and depending on the time of the day, some of them might be more active than others.

The good news is that you can easily check security wait times based on historical data by downloading a TSA app called MyTSA.

Just make sure that your selected checkpoint will get you to your gate.

8. Giving the agents a hard time

While maybe last time you went through security no one mentioned that you should rather put your mascara in a clear bag or you’re probably assuming that your little shampoo bottle is less than 3.4 ounces (or 100 ml), you should keep in mind that what you’re being told by the security now is all that matters. At that moment, the TSA agent has all the power to make demands and arguing will only make things worse or even get you detained.

9. Making jokes about bombs or national security

You can actually get in trouble for joking about national security even though it’s technically not illegal. In fact, many passengers have been arrested for making jokes about bombs or explosives while at airport security.

Thinking that your joke is harmless or funny is a huge mistake, so be cautious because the TSA won’t appreciate your sense of humor while doing its job.

10. Not considering the PreCheck program

Frequent flyers can benefit from the TSA’s PreCheck program to get through airport security lane faster and without restrictions. Basically, the application process is a thorough background check that, once cleared, members will no longer be required to use separate bins or take off their light jackets, shoes, and belts. If your highest priority is to go through the security as fast as possible, then the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs are worth considering, especially if you often travel internationally.