Do You Waste Time Getting Through Airport Security?

Airport Security

In a survey carried out on air passengers by the Department for Transport on their experience going through airport security, 10% of dissatisfied customers gave slow queues and lacking organisation as their reasons. By following our easy tips, you can expect to reduce your stress levels and time with a plainer sailing transition through airport security.

Be Familiar with Hand Luggage Restrictions

Whether you’re a well-versed flyer or it’s your annual family holiday, it’s always worth re-familiarising yourself with what you can and cannot take in your hand luggage.

In the case of dietary requirements or travelling with a baby, exemptions may be made on the no food policy. It’s a good idea to check ahead of time with your airport to avoid any complications. If you’re taking a baby on board, consider pre-ordering food and formula milk at a branch in the departure lounge like Boots that you can pick up on the day. If you’re breastfeeding, you are able to take up to 2000ml of unfrozen breast milk through security. For all other liquids, only 100ml is allowed on the aircraft. It must be stored in a clear bottle of the same capacity and then placed in a clear bag no bigger than 20cm x 20cm. This is limited to just one per passenger.

When travelling with electricals, we appreciate you are more reassured of its safety when it’s in your possession. Whatever you’re taking, be it a laptop of camera, be aware that they may ask you to turn it on at security. It is important, therefore, that you ensure it is charged. Devices that don’t turn on on request won’t be allowed through.

They may seem like obvious items, but it is also a good idea to clarify what, under no circumstances, must be in your hand luggage. This includes items like knives, corkscrews, large scissors and more. It’s also important to consider the fact it’s not just about what you can and cannot pack into your hand luggage, but how you pack it. Work out a system to ensure you have everything to hand when you need it to keep the security line running smoothly. Keep all documents in a separate pocket in your bag and things like liquids and electricals easily accessible to take out and deposit into trays.

Dressing Appropriately for Security Scanners

Being conscious about what you choose to wear to the airport will not only help in making your way through security quicker, but might increase comfort and warmth, too. Remember you’re not on holiday yet. Hold back on the diamante sandals, costume jewellery and hot pants. Dress so you’re not shivering in your summer wardrobe in a well air-conditioned airport, but also so you’re not spending more than a minute before and after security ridding yourself of items likely to set the scanners off and result in a pat down that is uncomfortable for everyone. This goes for shoes, too. Avoid wearing footwear with lots of laces and buckles. Easy to slip on and off shoes are ideal, like boat shoes and ballet pumps. Avoid boots as they will almost certainly be checked.

Now we’ve got that cleared up, any accessories and jewellery should be removed and put in trays at security, as well your shoes. It’s a good idea to wear socks on the day, as you’ll be walking across a floor thousands of people have walked on that day alone.

Other Time-Saving Ways to Get You Through Security

By dressing appropriately and being savvy in how you pack your hand luggage, you’re already making life so much easier for yourself when approaching airport security. With minimal items to remove from your person and everything you need to put into trays at the top of your bag, you’re ready to get through the queues punctually and without stress. Take two trays so as not to pile up with too many things and have liquids ready. Put your laptop in its own tray and remember to be prepared to turn it on if asked. Carry out any last-minute checks that you don’t have that water bottle on you you were planning to finish, or loose change and car keys in your pockets. For the latter, pack away into your bag so it can all be checked in one go.

Before you find yourself in the middle of the security check process, be mindful and aware of your surroundings. Watch the queues like you would traffic to avoid other angry passengers huffing and puffing behind you. According to Tegan Groombridge at Parking at Airports, a smile can go a long way, too. “It pays to be nice when going through security. You won’t get moved to the front of the queue, but those carrying out the security checks are likely to ensure that you go through smoothly and easily. Everybody likes to be smiled at by their customers.”

After Security

Phew, you’ve made it through the security screening. But time wasting doesn’t stop there. You should still be conscious of your surroundings to speed up the process for everyone, including yourself and any of your friends or family who may be behind you in the queue. Take your trays and move away. Finding a space to re-pack items and slip your shoes and belt on will prevent the end of the line from clogging up. Those stress levels will also coincidentally remain low. You can take your time rather than feeling rushed. This could otherwise result in items not being carefully packed away or possessions left behind.

Following our tips will not only speed up the mundane process of slogging your way through airport security. It will also help you feel less tense. No one particularly enjoys all the endless checks, but it does ensure our safety and we think with our assistance you’ll be in much higher spirits, well prepared for some much-needed time away.

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Alice Marshall is a travel writer advising on the best tips and tricks to save money at airports and around the globe. She enjoys sunny climates and beaches holidays with dreams of the high life. Her favourite holiday was in 2011 when she toured Thailand for 4 weeks.


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