Airport Security Tips

Airport Security Tips

As we all know, the rules for air travel have changed in recent times. The most obvious place this change has occurred is at the airline security checkpoints. Getting through these checkpoints has become as challenging as an Olympic event, so familiarizing yourself with the new rules is a very good idea.

For one thing, few people seem to realize that there is not just one checkpoint to negotiate. There are more like three of them. The first one is the ticket desk, where you will turn over your luggage for checking and, also, where you will pick up your boarding passes. Proper identification will be required at this checkpoint, so have it ready. It will need to be a government issued form of ID, like your driver’s license, a passport, or some such official form.

Checking your luggage refers to the bags that you will have the airline stow in the storage area, located in the belly of your plane. You will be asked if you packed your own bags and if they have been in your possession the entire time since packing. For everyone’s safety, therefore, it’s a good idea to use this as a general rule when traveling. Pack your own bags and, once packed, do not let them out of your sight.

Your next checkpoint awaits. It will be the terminal area leading to the boarding gates. Only ticketed passengers will be allowed through this area, so if anyone came to see you off, you will be saying goodbye prior to getting through this checkpoint.

An inspection of your bags will be performed, along with your carry on bags. It may be a quick run through the x-ray machine or it may be a complete and thorough inspection, including a look through all compartments and even using sophisticated equipment to determine any chemicals to which your belongings have been subjected.

Security personnel perform these inspections. They will choose, seemingly at random, which bags will receive a more thorough scan. If this happens to you, do not take offense. It is a random thing, and is necessary for everyone’s safety. Your own person is subject to inspection and many will have their shoes examined.

An extended inspection and any issues over your property or person can delay you and cause you to miss your flight. So, you would do well to learn what items are prohibited and just not tempt fate by leaving them at home. Certain items can be taken, but will only be allowed in checked baggage. Other items are never allowed.

Any prohibited items that you have that are not allowed will need to be taken care of, whether that means disposal, turning it over to security or perhaps leaving the item in your vehicle, if it is parked at the airport. So, the best way to avoid delay is to just not bring questionable items in the first place. Since this list tends to change frequently, you can call the airlines ahead of time to be given information on what’s allowed and what is not.

Cory Millhouse is a world traveler and loves to share the time-saving and frustration-eliminating tips she discovers.