It may sound silly, but one of the main things that I do to get through a line quickly and not lose things is to have some kind of outerwear with pockets zippable ones, if possible. There are any number of things that can get misplaced during a jaunt through airport security, including keys, wallet, phone, boarding pass and ID. Wearing a light jacket means you don t have to throw everything haphazardly into a bin. Simply put all of your small objects into a pocket before heading through the security screener. If it sounds simple, that s because it is. And it ll save you a lot of grief.
As for shoes, I recommend loafers or something that slips on and off easily (unless you have PreCheck, in which case you can leave your shoes on). Avoid big boots or shoes with complicated laces and straps. Also, wear socks: You don t want to have to walk on the airport floor with bare feet.
My other must-have item is ready? a belt with a plastic buckle. I bought a sturdy nylon belt from Thomas Bates ($14.95) a little while ago and it has served me quite well in my travels. I ve been through security with it dozens of times and not ever had to remove it. (I have PreCheck, which lets me keep my belt on. The times I ve worn a regular belt and set off the metal detector, I ve had to remove it.) Having to take off and put on a belt isn t life-changing in the grand scheme of things, but in the small, stressful bubble of airport security, it can really make a difference when you re rushing to make a flight.
Stay Powered Up
If you printed out your boarding pass beforehand because you definitely checked in online the night before, right? this isn t as applicable, but many people, myself included, use their phones as boarding passes. That s all fine while you re sending emails and checking Instagram during a long security line, but 15 minutes becomes 30 minutes and whoops suddenly your phone dies.
Partly for just that reason, I always take a portable lipstick charger with me: It s lightweight, fits in my pocket, and has saved me more times than I can count. (The key, of course, is to remember to charge the charger.) I found an Anker PowerCore mini charger online for less than $10. That s good for slightly more than a full charge on my iPhone. If you need more power, there are larger, heavier batteries in the $45 range that hold a lot more juice and can charge two devices at the same time. The PowerCore 2000 advertises a whole week of charging in a package that weighs in at just under 13 ounces.
Traveling With Children
Generally, passengers can take liquids through in only 3.4-ounce quantities in a quart-size bag. There is an exception for infants and toddlers drinking formula, breast milk or juice or both, which may be taken through in reasonable quantities just be sure to give the security agent a heads-up. Additionally, children under 13 will not have to remove their shoes, hats or light outerwear.
The 20-Minute Rule
I had a teacher once who, when I was late to class, would say to me, In order to not be late, you must be early. I scoffed then, but the statement has stuck with me over the years. I now call it my 20-minute rule: Whenever you think you have to be at the airport, get there 20 minutes earlier. Most of the time, some hiccup will add a small delay to your trip: Having to double back to lock the door, bad traffic or a late car pickup. Giving yourself an extra 20 minutes will usually allow you not to have to stress out about getting through security and to your gate in time. Would you rather kill 20 minutes reading magazines or kill yourself sprinting through Terminal C?
Stay Calm and Carry On
No one wants to be in a security line at 7 a.m. Be courteous to the T.S.A. workers and give travelers around you personal space. If someone desperately wants to go in front of you because his flight is boarding (and you re not in the same situation), let him go ahead. Airport security has become a more time-consuming and less pleasant experience over the years, but we re all in the same boat. Take a deep breath and keep that in mind the next time you re fumbling around with keys and a stroller and trying to remember where on earth you put your driver s license.
The ritual of passengers removing liquids and computers from their carry-on luggage could be coming to an end, thanks to the development of a new generation of scanners.
Trials have begun at a US airport using a portable version of a CT – computed tomography – scanner. CT scanners have been used to screen hold baggage for some time. But they have been considered too big and too noisy to be deployed at passenger security. This is changing with the portable version of the devices.
They are capable of examining luggage in considerable detail, even allowing screeners to rotate the image, making it possible to inspect bags from every conceivable angle. The tests are being carried out jointly by American Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Should the tests be successful they will be extended to other airports in the US.
Airport staff will be able to see inside cabin bags in far greater detail Credit: GETTY
They are among a raft of trials aimed at making the process of getting through airports easier.
New screening technologies are in the process of trial and certification in many locations around the world, said a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the main industry trade body.
The process has been painfully slow, hampered by the many individual state and regional standards that have to be met.
Nevertheless, we are hopeful that equipment that will enable people to keep electronics inside bags will be certified by the end of this year in some states, with further testing and development to allow liquids to remain in bags to follow sometime in 2018.
Three ways to make your airport experience less stressful 01:52
Trials have also been going on in the UK where the Department for Transport says the situation is under constant review. A complete ban on carrying liquids onto an aircraft was introduced in August 2006 after a terrorist plotted to take down a transatlantic flight by mixing the liquid components of a bomb on board. It was eased following extensive research which concluded that liquids in quantities below 100 ml posed no threat to an aircraft.
In Britain, Luton Airport is testing a CT scanner produced by Analogic Cobra, which allows passengers to take carry-on luggage without removing liquids.
Elsewhere other technologies are also being trialled, including a device which scans bottles for liquid explosives. One company, Cobalt Light Systems, of Abingdon, has machines being evaluated in hundreds of airports across Europe, including dozens in Britain. Known as the Insight 200, the device can spot explosives in less than 10 seconds. Should the device detect threat material it triggers an alarm.
It is aimed at LAGS – liquids, aerosols and gels – and has been approved by the European Civil Aviation Conference, an intergovernmental body responsible for airline and airport security.
While the CT scanners could improve the passenger experience, the US still wants to extend the laptop ban to include flights from Europe Credit: GETTY
Tests have shown both a high level of accuracy and a negligible number of false alarms. The EU has been keen to lift the restrictions for some time, but its deadline for doing so has been put back several times. At one point it looked as if the 100ml limit could be eased. Now allowing small amounts of liquids to be left in cabin luggage, rather than placed in a clear plastic bag and scanned separately, appears a more likely option.
Airlines have made clear that there would have to be a consistent approach across all airports before the rules are eased, warning that different policies would create chaos. Meanwhile talks are continuing between the EU and the US over proposals to extend the cabin laptop ban. Currently enforced on flights from 10 African and Middle Eastern airports, the US wants to extend it to the EU, but the move has been opposed by both Brussels and airlines.
PUT A SOCK ON IT
If you go barefoot, you could be heading on holiday with an unwelcome souvenir
AIRPORT security is one of the least enjoyable parts of going on holiday abroad, as passengers struggle to empty pockets and hand luggage of laptops, liquids and loose change. But it turns out that the whole affair could be even more unpleasant you could end up with a skin infection.
Passengers are often required to remove their shoes when passing through airport security
Thanks to heightened security, many passengers are now required to remove their shoes when passing through the scanners at the airport. But experts are warning that if you are asked to do this, you should always avoid walking barefoot.
The floor is so dirty around the security area, thanks to millions of people walking around shoe less, that there is a big risk of a fungal infection like athlete s foot.
You should always avoid walking barefoot as the floor is so dirty around the security area
And it doesn t get any sun.
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I haven t taken any samples from these areas, but if we do I bet we ll find 101 different things.
Rami recommends leaving your socks on if asked to remove your shoes and to always pack a spare pair of socks if you are wearing sandals.
Thanks to millions of people walking around shoeless, there is a big risk of a fungal infection like athlete s foot