How To Pass The Airport Checkpoint Quickly
By George Williams
Many travelers have to waste time queuing for the screeners at the airport. This is unavoidable and it is the front line personnel that you see as you make your way toward the gate are just the worker bees. They're not Congress and they're not the big wig decision makers. If at times they seem like robots, deviating very little from their spcheel, it's because they have procedures that they must follow and deviating from the standard operation procedure is not an option.
There are a number of things you can do yourself to speed things along. Listed below are the top ten tips to help your visit to the airport security checkpoint hassle-free.
1. Don't wear pants or suspenders that contain a lot of metal. If you can't remove the metal prior to passing through the metal detector, you'll be sent for additional screening, thus increasing your wait time.
2. Laptop computers and video cameras that use cassette tapes, not digital cameras, need to come out of their carrying case prior to passing through the x-ray machine. Have these items out of the case before you reach the table to divest your items.
3. Wear tennis shoes or known airport friendly footwear so you'll avoid setting off the alarm on the walk through metal detector. Often the screeners will encourage you to take your shoes off before passing through the metal detector. What many passengers fail to recognize is that many, many shoe manufacturers place steel shanks (supports) in the souls of the shoes. Just because you don't see metal, doesn't mean they are metal-free.
4. If you have an inkling that your belt buckle or larger metal watch may set off the metal detector, remove them while you're waiting in line and have them ready to place into a bin.
5. Have your boarding pass and government issued photo ID readily available. Some airports have someone checking your boarding pass and ID as you first approach your concourse, then shortly thereafter there is another employee asking for the same thing. Actually they may be asking for the same thing, but these employees, often one a federal employee and one a private company employee, while looking at the same thing, aren't looking for the same thing. Each person has a different role to fill. If you have to dig in your purse or wallet for these items, that will increase the wait time. Ensure your boarding pass is pulled out of the airline envelope.
6. Only undeveloped film with a speed of 800 or higher should be hand checked. All other disposable cameras, film of 100, 200 or 400 speed and digital cameras are safe to pass through the x-ray. Know your film speed before reaching the x-ray machine.
7. Leave all tools, Swiss army knives, pointed end scissors, and bladed corkscrews in your checked bag. You may not bring them onboard the aircraft in your carry-on bags. If your bag must be searched to find these items, it's definitely going to increase your wait time.
8. Strollers and pet carriers need to pass through the x-ray machine. Remove your children and pets from this equipment prior to reaching the x-ray.
9. Most small jewelry such as rings, necklaces and earrings will not set off the alarm. Don't bother wasting time removing them.
10. Yes your fanny pack, hidden money belt and wallet on a string around your neck must pass through the x-ray, have it ready to place into a bin.
With this method, you can pass the metal detector easily without much checking from the officers. When you fly next time, use these strategies and try having fun by being prepared!
George Williams maintains a number of metal detector websites including Metal Detecting, Metal Detector Secrets and Metal Detectors Information.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.