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I am on a plane about twice a week and thus, have to go through airport security twice a week.  Regardless of our feelings about the TSA, it’s something we have to live with in this day.  Well, I have learned a few tips that make the TSA security screener’s life easier and thus my life easier.

1. Wear slippers, flip-flops or slip-on shoes when going through screening.  That’s right leave the hiking boots at home.  With simple slip-ons or flip flops you have an easier time taking them on and off, you don’t block everyone else around you and your shoes aren’t subject to further scrutiny from the screener.

2. Make sure your liquid toiletries are in containers that are no bigger than 3 oz and can fit in ONE standard sized ziplock bag.  There are not exceptions to this.  Also, I always put my toiletries in my laptop bag.  It’s easier to get to and I grab it when I take out my laptop.

3. When advancing through the screening line and before you get to the tables where you place everything in bins, start upzipping your laptop bag so you have easier access to you laptop bag.  As soon as you get to the table, grab two bins.  One is for electronics and valuables.  The other is for coats, shoes, etc.  Make sure you have your boarding pass in your hand as you walk through.  When I print out my boarding pass at the self check-in kiosk, I always put it in my back right pocket.

4. Get hooked into a frequent flier program that allows you to go through an abbreviated line.  I love United’s program.   This saves about 15-30 minutes and has saved my life in some hurries.

5. Always send your carry on bags through first, then bins with your clothes, shoes, then the bin with your valuables (watch, money clip, laptop) last.  If you don’t and someone ahead of you gets held up, your valuables are sitting there for anyone to grab.

By being organized and thinking ahead, I have never had a problem going through security.

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