- Before You Leave
- Dress for minimalism—slip off shoes, empty pockets, no constricting or tricky jackets.
- De-clutter—check carry-ons, handbags, etc. for forgotten implements of danger (like nail clippers), oversized hand cream or unnecessary reading material that will make maneuvering awkward.
- Beware the 3 oz rule—while unevenly enforced, it pays to edit liquids and put all smalls in a Ziploc to avoid potential hassle.
- Accessorize après-TSA—pack jewelry, watch, belt in a side pocket and put on post-screening.
- Pack on top—Keep toiletries in plastic and pack on top so you can pull it out quickly.
- Fly between 9 am and 3 pm or after 8 pm—missing the business traveler rush hour.
- Get cash—There's usually a line.
- Prep In Line
- Remove sweater or jacket; unzip laptop bag and carry-on.
- Pull out your ID.
- Follow the business travelers—once-a-year travelers, large groups and families take more time.
- Smile—antagonizing TSA agents and fellow travelers might not hurt, but it won’t help.
- Screen Smart
- Hold on to your boarding pass—many airports require it.
- The best order—Laptop bag first, then laptop, then personal items. You can grab the bag, pop the laptop in and carry the grey thing elsewhere to get dressed.
- Snacks & Diversions
- Avoid the first Starbucks or newsstand you see. The closer to the gates, the shorter the lines.
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