Getting Through Security Lines
Tips To Make It Easier

COVID slowed us down for a couple of years, and now a few health issues challenge us.  We're still traveling if not writing about it quite so much. Our goal in 2022 was get to all seven continents in one year... and we did it.

Going forward health issues may not allow us to travel.  No one can take away those memories though.  We hope all of you are well and staying safe... and that you find some inspiration here for YOUR future travels. 

OK... Let's address airport security lines. You’re packed and ready for your trip.

The short explanation here is you should become a trusted traveler and get signed up for TSA PreCheck.  And if you don't do that, at least check in at home.

You need to start planning your strategy for getting through those security lines.

We’ve talked about how to dress to make it easier on yourself…

How to pack your cosmetics…

And how to pack in general. 

Now what can you do to get through those lines as easily and quickly as possible?

THE Fastest Way Through Security Lines

TSA Pre✓™  You can hope to get randomly selected for TSA Pre-Check when you check in... or you can choose to sign up. 

See our page on trusted traveler programs for details on that.

With TSA Pre✓™ you will get into faster lines... you can leave your shoes and jackets on, and your computer and plastic bags for liquids stay in your carry-on.

Check In At Home

Check on online... you can do this 24 hours to flight time.

If you print your boarding pass at home is you can head straight to security and not have to stop at the ticket counter.... at least if you have a carry-on bag!

Hopefully you have or can get your seat assignments. If you’re traveling on an airline like Southwest, you’ll get to board in an earlier boarding group and grab a better seat.

Choose Less Crowded Checkpoints

In larger airports, head for the farthest out-on-the-side checkpoint.

Generally these tend to be used less than the ones in the middle so the lines should be shorter. This will speed you through faster even if you have Pre-Check.

In the U.S. the Transportation Security Administration (the TSA) actually has a list that will tell you the quickest security line at any airport... look them up online.

If You're In The Regular Lines...

Be Organized With The Bins

Be organized for security line screening

Once you get to the front of the line, just go along with the drill.

If you’re a seasoned traveler, you know what to do... you probably have Pre-Check, so just speed on through.

If you’re a novice, watch what the others are doing and follow their lead.

The TSA agents will also tell you what to do.

(Some will tell you nicely... others, well, sometimes they can be a bit brusque, but that’s because they have to keep repeating themselves.)

What Comes Out and Off

In the U.S take off your shoes and jacket. (In the rest of the world, you can usually leave your shoes on.)

Empty your pockets of loose change.

Cell phones and sometimes watches should go in the bin.

Your "one quart clear plastic bag" of liquids each 3 oz or less must come out of your carry-on bag. Remember, one plastic bag per person. The European equivalent is a one liter bag with 100 ml of liquids.

Your laptop must come out too unless you have one of the new TSA approved laptop bags that allow x-ray machines to get an unobstructed view of your computer without removing it. You might want to consider investing in one... or getting TSA Pre-Check.

Have your boarding pass available and wait for the security agent to wave you through.


Make A Graceful Exit

Now you have to put yourself back together.

Hopefully you've allowed plenty of time for this process, and you're not trying to rush to catch your flight.

Take your time.

Pick Up Everything

Make sure you've picked up everything you've put in the bin.

You don't want to leave anything behind. Get it all put back where it belongs, and make sure it's secure.

Every time we got to the airport, there are announcements for people to return to security checkpoints to collect items... belts, passports (!), cell phones...

Double check yourself before you rush off.

And make sure your shoelaces are tied...

You don't want to trip as you run for the plane...

Only kidding...

You have plenty of time and you don't have to run.


Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

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