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How to Become an Airport Security Checkpoint Expert

No matter what your destination is, if you travel by air, you are likely to face airport security lines. If you want to get through those lines like the frequent flyers do, there are a few tricks that will make it easier for you and everyone around you. Think ahead, so you're not doing all of this just as you get to the head of the line.

Empty your pockets of loose change. Wallets and cell phones should go into one of those little bins they provide also. Remember heavy watches, bracelets, and belt buckles can set of the alarm, so take those off, and stow them in your carry-on bag before you get to the front of the line or put them in the bins.

Consolidate books and snacks so you won't have as many things to gather back together once you've been screened.

In the United States, you have to take your shoes off. Slip-on shoes will come off and go on faster. Zippers and laces will slow you down. have your shoes untied or unzipped before you get to the front of the line. (Take care when you put them back on that you don't trip before you're put back together!)

Have your one quart/one liter plastic bag with your liquids, creams and gels out of your carry-on, and put it in a bin. Remember each liquid should be 3 ounces/100 ml or less, right? There shouldn't be any loose liquids in your carry-on bag. If you have "medically necessary" liquids or baby food, in most countries, those can be outside of your plastic bag allowance, but you must notify a screening officer.

Have a plan when you put things into bins on the screening belt. If you put things through the screening in the right order, you'll be able to put yourself back together faster afterward. Here's a good way to do this.

First put your shoes, coat and your carry-on "personal item" (usually your smaller bag) in the first bin. They will come through the x-ray first, and you can be putting them back on while you're waiting for your other items to be screened.

If you're carrying a computer, put your carry-on bag for your laptop in the bin ahead of your computer, then when your computer comes through, you'll have the laptop bag ready to slip the computer right into it.

If it's going to take you a long time to put your shoes back on, collect all of your belongings and move to the side so the line doesn't get jammed up. There are usually a few chairs against a wall nearby where you can sit down and put yourself back together.

You will annoy your fellow travelers AND the screening agents if you stand there and try to put those shoes on.... leaving your bin on the screening belt with others backing up behind yours. Airports report that almost half of all security checkpoint bottlenecks are caused by people putting themselves together after screening without moving to the side.... don't let this be you!

You're going to read this, and next time you travel, you're going to move through that security checkpoint with a plan and they'll think you're an expert traveler no matter whether you travel often or not.

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